Growing up in the 90s in Zimbabwe children had to find alternative means of entertainment. Today the youth have so much at their disposal, TV the whole day with different channels, internet, toys, and play stations. Unfortunately with this boom of entertainment at their disposal, todays youth are not required to be creative and resourceful and tend to have less friends because of staying indoors so much.

We had to improvise for toys, using bricks as cars and making wire cars. My main focus today will not be on the the toys but on the games that we played back then.

Most games were very interactive and always depended on having a group of more than 5 people hence were good for building social skills and interaction. We managed to keep ourselves very entertained. And it was good unadultered entertainment with no age restrictions and parental guidance advisory statements. Most people of this era would agree with me when I say we had it good while growing up and the current youth will not enjoy their youth as much as we did. Some may not agree with.

Te majority of the games were ball games and these balls were made by skilled craftsmen who were known to make these balls from wrapped plastics (Recylcling!? we were green way before it became a fad!). The main plastic being a 5kg or Red Seal Roller meal or Ngwerewere, then sometimes it would have a net of plastics to make it really compact so it could bounce.

Hwishu

A ball game similar to cricket in concept where you have two teams. The [X] represents one team and the dot the opposition. It can be played by an even number of players from four upwards. The more the merrier.

Objective

The Game consisted of a large circle where the team [X] that was on the offensive would all gather. The defending team [C] would stand in strategic positions behind the scoreline [F]. Player A would roll the ball towards team X. A player from X would come out and kick the ball as far as he could then the whole team would run and touch the scoreline and back to the home base where they were safe. A player kick the ball only once for each roll. One completed cycle will be worth 1 point. The defensive team have to collect the ball and try to strike a player before he makes it back to the home base. Players can also be eliminated if they kick the ball in the air and the opposition catches it in the air bounces and shouts “Hwishu!” If a player kicks outside a defined boundary which was usually someones yard (Balls would get confiscated and destroyed so a reserve ball would always be on standby.) Again if a player kicks a ball and it doesn’t go past the scoreline then he is eliminated.

Once the offensive team reached a certain number of points then those who had been eliminated could get a second life. Once games limit had been reached everyone who was eliminated would have to run from the sidelines into home base for a second life. The opposing team could strike you with the ball and eliminate you before you reached the home base. Once all have been eliminated the two teams would swap.

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