Remember your childhood years, rushing home from school, changing out of uniforms and heading outside to play? In the streets the loud sounds of cheer, laughter and dismay could be heard. Boys and girls would be showing off their skills at ‘kgati’, ‘diketo’, ‘chicago’, ‘eggy’ or ‘mgusha’. I played these games until late-night into the sundown and actually when folks were heard calling children to come inside and telling friends to go home.
A few days ago, I pinched myself following the amazement to what I believe has become an unfamiliar sight especially in townships, when I walked past a group of youngsters occupying themselves on the kasi streets playing kgati . But a part of me was also enchanted to have come across such, because it took me down memory lane.
Looking back, it was Balls of Fun to be a kid those years. Precisely the 90’s. I’m sure you already anticipated why I say that. Well, because we didn’t have IPods, smartphones, never mind a mundane phone, intenet and so on. So all we could rely on and kill time with honestly was the aforementioned games, dubbed as “indigineous games”. LOL. Although that makes me sound like a dinosaur *frowns*. Oh no….
Anyway, I’m not about to diss the millennium kids and go on about how they have turned into couch potatoes because all they do all day, everyday is be on a bummy swag and be on that PlayStation, Xbox and video games note. *slight pause*. Nah! Ain’t anybody got time for that. All I want to do is just….rewind, pause….and press play *no pun intended*, to all fun and games moments that I as a kid had a pleasure to indulge in, and without even have to spend a penny .
To all other KASI natives like myself out there, do you remember Hop Scotch (Pule, Modise, Tladi, Ndala, Piet, John, Outside), EGI- pronounced as e-ggy( I used to love the part where the culprit has to choose either to drink 2litre of water, have a mud make-up done all over his face, empty all dustbins around the neighbourhood), and the follow-the-leader games like “Ngi nenja ncane, enama dzedze” and I loved the our English version (I have a litte dog, yi rastation), ei mahn. It was buck! And you can’t be telling me you grew up in the South if you don’t know how to make glue. Yes, create it yourself, with a green bar soap, it didn’t need to be Sunlight, and mix it with green grass and water, then stir it til it becomes real thick. But it didn’t stick shwem. Hahaha…but that didn’t stop us from making it anyway. So here’s a list of what I got up you as a kiddy
1. M’gusha – the game was played mainly by girls and we would use old pantyhose then cut it and tie it in nots to make one single round long piece. Then the games begin, there plenty of them and were mostly accomodated by a song. But my mind isn’t working with me so I can’t remember any.
2 .Kgati– this one we usually played during winter to keep warm, but we certainly had games for certain season. We used a skipping rope and one person will hold one end and the other will hold another end and start skipping and again there was song accompaniment (sp).
– nolitje dobi ilitje,o li beke phansi,bese o ya dryaya,bese o ya puma.
-stocky,stocky ngwana malome. o nkisa kae?thabeng tsa mme,mme wa loya o loya ka eng,ka tsiritsiri,sehlare sa baloi …
3 Dithini/Bathi/ Chicago -the will be two groups and the ones will “touch” the ones who are stacking up the tins until they all well done and they should not fall. (by touching we mean throwing a ball at other team and it touches you,you were out and should wait for a “game”-that is when your team has managed to stack all tins without being touched ans have safely return to thier “home”. the team that was touching we used to say ba a fila.
4 .Hands clapping games: these we made certain moves using hands with a partner and there also songs with the games.
One song I can remember distinctly but don’t what it is actually trying to say is the “by so by love to baby” song, and it really sounds ridiculous LMAO!!!!!
♫ By so by love to baby
To baby to the song
The song put the yona
The yona put the man
The man put the put there
LMFAO!!! And you guaranteed were happy when you reach “by stop” without any mistakes.
5.Mokoko/spypy/1-2-3 block– in a nutshell i will say hide and seek the kasi version.
6.Kop-kop banana– remains a favourite of mine where one person will hide a belt for a group and then when he done he will call out “kop-kop banana,kop kop “he will indicate whether o mo icing or wa tjhesa (you are in a hot or cold spot) and if gets hotter it means you are close to where the belt and whoever finds the belt first would hit you with it until all members are in the “home” so he can go hide it again
7. Circle games-these one are usually played by at crèches where everyone will form part of a circle and start game.
-tsa mo reka omo,eng omo
– mrabaraba kofiii
morabaraba tiyee (murabarab 1;murabaraba 2 etc.)
-my ultimate favourite and it went like:
Bharakwana bharakwana *clap clap clap*
isibhedlel’ esikhulu *clap clap clap*
sanced’ usdumo *clap clap clap*
ephukumlenze *clap clap clap*
sori sdumo *clap clap clap*
besidlau umacashelana *clap clap clap*
ngaphansi kombhede *clap clap clap*
And random songs w would sing:
Uphumaphi MaDlamini X 3
Ngiphuma eDorobeni X 3
Ubuyo thenga ntoni X 3
Ngi buyo thengi is’qcoko X 3
Sibiza malini X 3
Sibiza ishumi nebhozo X 3
Imal’ engaka MaDlamini X 3
Ngi yayisibenzela X 3
Au phume u hambe Madlamini X 3
Oh and I still remember “Sizo fun’ umuntu wethu namhlanje (hamba kahle pretty girl pretty girl)”, do you?
8. And then there was morabaraba, diketo too many to mention but those were the times people.
And how could I forget maqoqisa? Here we used stones as characters to a story and made thier house on the ground, if you used pen and paper you would have the houses drawn and use a pen to knock at where a scene is happening. I still remember how our school desk had pen holes because this. And there were pros in storytelling and we would gather around that person just to hear her story. Boy, weren’t kids so creative back then, most storylines were far better than Generations I tell you.
Let’s see if you agree with me on this one, LOL. I dare you. If you grew up in the townships even if it’s not Soweto, is all of this, what I mentioned here true? I’m sure I left a whole lot, so feel free to add by commenting on the box below ….le’gooooooo!