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Arts & Culture

11 Fun African Games That Are Perfect For Family Reunions

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Every family from around the world enjoys the time when they reunite and catch up like a happy family. African games have existed for centuries and many traditional games are passed down to the respective generations. Due to the global pandemic, many families have still not been reunited due to the lockdown laws. Additionally, as international travel has been a little pricey, not very often do African families have the privilege of seeing everyone around the same table.

So, let’s explore the various traditional African games and see which one – or two – will enlighten your next big family reunion:

#11 Cricket 

Family Playing Cricket

Photo credit: Pexels.com

An amazing outdoor game that can feature many families from all parts of the world. The global sport which is better known as the gentleman game also allows all genders to compete in what guarantees plenty of fun. The aim of the game is score as many runs for your team while guarding your wickets. Additionally, do not get caught or you will be awarded out and will have to wait for another turn. All that is needed is a bat, a tennis ball and a knee high wickets and plenty of energy for the game.

#10 Senet

Senet one of the worlds oldest games

Photo credit: GameHungry

The tradition of this Egyptian original board game has kept plenty of African gamers at the edge of their seats. This African game is based on Queen Nefertari depicting her Senet back in 3100 BC. Thirty squares, arranged in three rows of ten have had their respective rules passed down verbally through the generations. The game is similar to the more common backgammon and has a great recipe for a fantastic family reunion.

#9 Morabaraba

Morabaraba board

Photo credit: Spotong

One of the tactical traditional African games provides many participants great pleasure to participate in. Originating from Southern Africa, the game additionally taught lessons for young agricultural individuals. The main objective of this African game is to get three in a row – then you are allowed to shoot your opponent pieces off. What originated in Africa is now a fond game across the globe.

#8 Dara

African kids playing

Photo credit: Zim Legends

Dara is a strategic Nigerian favorite with plenty of rich history as a traditional African game. Very similar to tic tac toe, the aim of the African game, Dara, is to achieve a successful row of three. Once you have succeeded so, you eliminate any of your opponent’s pieces. A game is successfully won when you have tactically made it impossible for your opponent to get a row of three.

#7 Zamma

African families playing

Photo credit: UNICEF

Played mainly in the North African region, Zamma is closely compared to Checkers. The full size of the board is nine vertical and horizontal rows, with each player receiving forty pieces each. The aim of the game is to eventually eliminate all of your opponent’s pieces to become the winner. The game dates as far back as 1400 BC and is still widely celebrated across the continent.

#6 Kharbaga

Family members playing African games

Photo credit: South Africa Gateway

Kharbaga is known locally as the game of kings, where the winner redeems the king’s crown. With the board grid sizing from five rows both vertical and horizontal, the main purpose is to move forward until you reach the opponent’s end. Very similar to checkers, most players find this African game to be a great way to generate healthy rivalry between family and friends.

#7 Fanorona

Fanorona board

Photo credit: Fanorona

Another strategic African game makes this list, Fanorona has its origins from the large African island called Madagascar. The major aim of the two-player game is to capture all of your opponent’s pieces. With a total of twenty-two pieces per player, intense games have the potential to last very long between two expert participants. Legend has it that in the 1500s, the King’s son got so distracted by this game, he lost his father’s inheritance.

#8 Tsoro Yematatu

Simple Zimbabwean Game

Photo credit: What We Do All Day

Tsoro Yematatu is the perfect game to settle a family rivalry. The African game is very simple to play, with the board being a triangle. The board offers seven points where the main goal is to get three-in-a-row. This game is normally quicker than other board games, however, being able to outwit your opponent will declare you the winner in the end. The origin of this entertaining game hails from Zimbabwe, and you’ll need plenty of strategies to be the winner.

 #9 Soccer

Africa's favorite game - soccer

Photo credit: Pexels.com

Every family in the continent of Africa loves the global game of soccer. Known to many as the sport that unites everybody from different backgrounds, soccer is always the fun-loving outdoor game. The large passion of Africa’s players and supporters build a great platform for every young player to aspire to be the next soccer hero. With games that can be played anywhere, as long as there is a ball and a few members, a game of soccer can be played.

#10 Butterfly

Butterfly African board game

Photo credit: Face 2 Face Africa

Another derivation of traditional checkers, however, this one has a completely different board shape. Shaped with two adjacent triangles, the game offers only nineteen spaces with each player receiving nine pieces. The major opportunity in this African game is to eliminate your opponent’s pieces by simply hopping over them. So are you the strategic individual who is capable of mastering this African classic?

# 11 Guess The Flags

Ivory Coast Flag

Photo credit: World Map

The true test of general knowledge when it comes to the African continent. By getting the various flags of the African continent, things tend to get extremely challenging when it comes to who knows 54 African countries and their flags. Name the nation’s capitals and neighboring countries to win extra points.

Are there any games you think we should include on the list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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