Sudan: School Grounds Brew Home Grown Games

Local school grounds in Sudan are a breeding pool for home grown games. The most popular seems to use any pole available, including those against walls, string & a soda bottle filled with rocks and dirt. Voila, you have a tetherball game at hand. About the only thing not found just laying around is the string and oddly enough that’s what needs to be replaced often, as can be seen by the photo with the variations in colored string.

Tetherball in Sudan

[Editors note: these pictures were taken during a sand storm]

Sudanese children and their tetherball game

Another home grown game seems to bear some resemblance to cricket. They throw a small rubber ball at another person who tries to kick it. If they are successful they run between two pre-determined locations, stacking rocks/stones/bricks at each point, until the other team can return the ball to try and hit them with it.

Oddly enough, it seems volleyball is another popular sport. I know of at least four schools which have installed volleyball nets

(This story is from Taylor Martyn, a photographer and missionary in Southern Sudan.)

What Do You See?

I have a talk that I give when people ask me to speak on AfriGadget at conferences that is called, “What do you see?”. It’s a visual and interactive quiz where I take the audience through different images of AfriGadget and ask them what they’re looking at. It’s a lot of fun, and it proves to everyone why it’s so hard for people in the West to come up with contextually relevant life hacks in Africa.

Below are some images from an old family friend who has spent his life working in rural Southern Sudan and Kenya. Under each image you’ll see why it’s interesting. By the way, I too missed the relevance of the flip flops at first glance…

Old flip flops made into door hinges

Making use of available resources for a hinge. I really like the way that Ben has used these old slippers and shoe for the hinge of his small kiosk/shop at Butere.

Home made African chair

This old chair at Mahanga in Western Province shows the ingenuity of the local carpenters in making use of available resources, with the carton and stuffing from sisal and wood shavings.

Bottles and plants in Kenya

Using available containers in a nursery for medicinal plants in Asembo area of Western Kenya.

Fanta bottle pipe

Making use of a Fanta bottle to channel water from the rainwater downpipe to a storage container in Nairobi.

A special thanks to Roger Sharland of REAP East Africa for sending in the pictures.