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Childhood games: A trip down memory lane

Do any of you remember the games you played as a child? If any of you, like me were born in the 90s and before that era, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Children nowadays don’t really know the meaning of real games apart from what is on their iPads, PlayStation and smart phones. The average child now rarely plays outside and if he/she does get out of the house, it’s to huddle with their friends over yet another iPad or mobile to play digital games.

As more and more arcades and play designated areas take up the digital route, when it comes to games, one can’t help but reminisce about when playing games was as simple as dodging a ball made of socks (Kati) and Bano. Let’s take a walk down memory lane:

 1. Kati: My all-time favourite. The first thing I would do once home from school was to make the ball, and then find out who in the neighbourhood was available to play with. The more people in this game the better. Kati was basically a local version of the Western game; dodge ball.

All you needed was avoid getting hit and believe me; it was harder than it looks. I was never among the adept players, I usually lasted a few rounds but always joined the growing group of ousted players sitting on a curb, waiting for it to end and try yet again to be the last man standing.

 2. Bladder: A favourite for many, I’m sure but never one of mine especially because I was never good at it. I can’t really describe it perfectly, and I stand to be corrected.

Here, a long thin piece of rubber is tied to make a circle which is held at both ends by two people. The aim of the game is to jump in and out of the slim space.

The two people holding the ends start from their ankles and each round they move the bladder  higher and higher, increasing the difficulty of the player being able to jump in and out of the enclosed space.

It is quite fun though but could leave you with a few injuries here and there since the bladder is very thin, stretched out and tightly held. Woe unto you if the bladder gets cut while playing…


3. Shake: I never really understood why it was called Shake because there was never any actual shaking going on but I digress.

Shake was a game that consisted of a series of large boxes drawn on the ground in multiples of two with the inner margins of the boxes being the danger zones guarded by one person per box. The aim of the game was to get to the end of the matrix and avoid any part of you being touched by the margin ‘guards’.

This game worked best with a lot of people so you could have one team as the prisoners trying to escape and another team as the guards.

 4. Bano: This game was more popular among boys than girls. This was another game that I wasn’t very good at because I had really bad aim. I’m proud to say though that my aim has since improved, thanks to my love for basketball.

Bano, played using marbles, was a very intense game that required a lot of concentration.

A hole reminiscent of a golf hole but much smaller was dug in the ground and the aim of the game was to flick the marble from a particular distance aiming for the hole. Once again, it seems easy but it has its challenges like the different positions you would have to take just to get the right aim.

I don’t think if we played it now as adults any of us would be able to get the marble in the hole on the first try.  These are some of the games I could remember vividly as they were a daily occurrence in my hood then.

They were so energetic and definitely need to make a comeback and get our kids more active as opposed to their sedentary lifestyle.