By Anita Rannoba
In a country now dominated by western culture and games, Botswana Traditional Sport and Games Confederation (BTSGC) has taken a conscious decision to resuscitate the country’s indigenous games.
According to Kenneth Middleton, President of BTSGC, the move comes as local traditional games are facing a threat of extinction.
He noted that as it is now, Batswana are more interested in developing industrialized sport that comes from cultures elsewhere than developing our own.
“The west has sold their sports culture across the four corners of the world and they are slowly replacing indigenous Games and culture. This is why BTSGC was established,” he explained.
“Our traditional games are under threat and they need proper preservation and also need to be developed to sporting levels, ” said Middleton.
To successfully inculcate the adoption of traditional games, the BTSGC president said they are engaging with schools to promote traditional games.
He pointed out that in their one year existence they have managed to work with a few schools from junior and senior secondary schools.
Middleton added that they want volunteers from all kinds of schools across the country to help live the dream of preserving these games.
With traditional games unlikely to make it to the Olympics, which are mostly leaning towards specific games, most of which are from the Western world, Middleton said the future of the games now lie with the newly established World Traditional Games Tournament.
Kazkhastan will be the first to host the Worldwide Traditional games tournament is 2021, after they won the hosting bid during the UNESCO consultative meeting on traditional games.
“The world seems to be boring because we all do similar sports, so we want to bring out our part of culture to the world and make sure it is not forgotten,” he said.
He said so far, BTSGC has handpicked local traditional games such as Mhele, Chama, Batho Safe, Morabaraba, Nxai/Rwabi, Think Sounding, kwiri, Bolo ya dithini, Maroundas, Koi, Diketo and Seragantshwane to start preserving and developing.
Highlighting that BTSGC is affiliated to the International World Games Federation and Mind Sport South Africa in order to be able to be part of the 2021 tournament.