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53 Chapter Five Games That Increase Creativity, Accuracy and Motor skills In South-eastern Zimbabwe as in many parts of the country and even the world, there were some games meant to sharpen children’s intellect as well as promoting their physical strength and determination. All children were expected to develop their intellectual faculties along with their physical growth. This was meant to enable them to stay vigilant and to be able to amicably confront real life problems as they grow up. While intellect development was an aspect of development encouraged in children of either sex (boys and girls) in the Shona society, physical strength was an aspect of children development encouraged in male children. This was in line with the issue of role play in Zimbabwean traditional culture where men are likely to encounter more situations that require physical strength than women. For instance, men were expected to do all work that required physical power such as construction, and women do all domestic work that required less physical power like washing and cooking. Children’s traditional games that emphasized the sharpening of the intellect and promotion of physical power were and are still many in south-eastern Zimbabwe. They include the following: T Tsoro (Draughts) ‘Tsoro’ is one of the most ancient African games played in Zimbabwe and many parts of Southern Africa. The game requires some high degree of intelligence and vigilance when 54 playing it. In fact the players have to think quickly and clearly in order to outwit the opponent. It is normally played by young boys and sometimes young girls, but even adult people also play the game. The game is meant to develop and sharpen the boy child’s intellectual faculty such that he grows up with the aptitude to manoeuvre different situations in real life. This is rightly captured by Masuku and Ndawi1 who pointed out that African children’s games with stones such as ‘tsoro’ can be used to teach counting, number value, estimation and spatial relations. The game has several versions varying from region to region, but all are known by the same name, ‘tsoro’. To play ‘Tsoro’ (Draughts), a minimum of two people are required although the number of participants can be increased to three or four a side depending on the ‘tsoro’ version. Traditionally ‘tsoro’ is played with very simple objects, for example, hard amarula nuts, wild loquats seeds, gourd shells, sticks, corn cobs, stones on the ground surface or in holes on the ground or beans on a cut wooden plate. Nowadays objects such as bottle tops are used to play some of the versions of ‘tsoro’. As previously highlighted, tsoro is a very competitive game played by two adversaries at a time with others watching as audiences. However, in some cases boys would pair up and compete as pairs or even groups. The result can either be a draw or a loss on either part. Versions of ‘Tsoro’ Played In South-eastern Zimbabwe a a) Tsoro Yemutatu One of the versions of ‘tsoro’ played in south-eastern Zimbabwe is ‘tsoro yemutatu’. This version is two-player. The game can be played on a card board box or drawn on the 55 ground. The board is a triangle with one line across its breadth, and another line running down the length of the board down its central axis. This creates for seven intersection points of which the pieces can be played upon. Each participant/player has 3 pieces, but of different colours from those of the opponent. For instance, one plays black pieces, while the opponent plays white pieces. In order to play this version of ‘tsoro’, participants take turns to drop their three pieces onto the board before they move them to create a 3 in-a-row. The ultimate objective is to be the first player to have three pieces in a row-to have a 3-in-a-raw. One can be said to have won the game if he manages to create the 3-in-a-row or when the opponent no longer has an open space to move any of his three pieces. b b) Tsoro Yemakomba (Tsoro Played In Holes) This version is also played by two participants/players. In order to play this version of ‘tsoro’, each player should have two rows of holes. The number of holes in each of the four rows is the same. It is, however, curious to note that this version has several other versions with...


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