Department Celebrates Africa Day Through Indigenous Games
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) took indigenous games to various schools in the Metropole to commemorate Africa Day on 23 – 24 May 2013. Africa Day is annually celebrated on 25 May worldwide, and this year activities were structured around the theme of “Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance”.
The schools identified for the games were Macassar, Elswood and Zeekoevlei Secondary Schools and the Mosheshe Primary School in Langa. These schools form part of the DCAS Mass Participation, Opportunity and Access, Development and Growth (MOD) programme. Learners at these schools participated in kgati, morabaraba, ncuvu and diketo board games. Jukskei was also played at some of these schools. Last year DCAS started to introduce indigenous games and trained coaches at various schools in the province.
These activities are indicative of DCAS’ commitment to promote and develop indigenous games in the Western Cape. Mr Philasande Macwili of the Directorate: Sport Development said the games strengthened the revival of indigenous games and popularised them as part of our rich heritage in South Africa, and the African continent at large. “The games revitalised mass participation and skills development, leading to participation in international competitions, where African heritage and talent could be showcased,” he said.
A significant aspect of the games is that participation is not gender specific. On 23 May 2013 the schools competed in a tournament where each coach selected a team consisting of 3 males and 3 females. In commemorating Africa Day, each participating team entered as a country from a selected list.
Indigenous games form an integral part of Africa’s rich history and heritage. Macwilli said the games instilled pride in communities. “It is embraced by learners from different backgrounds. In a traditional society, these games and associated activities contribute to the interaction of young people,” he said. Macwilli believes that the games provide participants with the necessary survival skills and knowledge, for both boys and girls to gain entry into adulthood. It also strengthens and develops community spirit.
The heritage of cultural games gave meaningful expression to a kaleidoscope of diversity, different environments and various historical and social circumstances. The activities on Africa Day promoted unity, cultural warmth and social inclusion.