Discover 6 African Sports Existing before Colonialism with ForeTVhub

ForeTVhub - African Sports Existing before Colonialism
© Christine Vaufrey/Flickr

From the way of dressing to the way of leaving, with times changing several things have changed too. After colonialism, several new activities and games came into existence, such as basketball, athletics, handball, soccer, and boxing. However, if these games came after colonialism, are you not curious to learn how things were earlier? How did they enjoy themselves earlier? Is there something into existence from that era?

ForeTvHub Sports presents six African sports activities that are still there from the times before colonialism:


Hunting was earlier a means of survival and gathering food, which later turned into a profession that everyone practiced throughout the world. However, it is also a sport for people in Africa. In Ghana, an annual festival, Aboakyer Festival, also known as the Deer-Hunting festival, is celebrated. People from Winneba or Simpa celebrate this function on the first Saturday of the month of May in the Central Region of Ghana.

At the starting of this festival, a group comprising of young men go into the forest. The ones who return first with a living and uninjured deer are declared as winners. 


Senegalese Wrestling
© Christine Vaufrey/Flickr

Earlier, in several tribes and communities, wrestling played the role of bragging right. The logo tribe in Nigeria organized wrestling events to find out the talented wrestlers among them. Later, these wrestlers earned social statuses and titles.

Wrestling is a popular sport around West Africa. Every year, several wrestlers belonging to Senegal, Nigeria, Guinea, and Senegal gather for international traditional wrestling competitions. Apart from men, women also come forward for traditional wrestling, such as Women’s Bakweri Traditional Wrestling conducted in Senegal.

Nguni Stickfighting

Nguni Stick fighting
© Combat Otaku

Locally called Naguni, this sports activity has its origin in the South of Africa. Earlier, it was the most preferred pass time for herdsmen and youth. In this game of the battle of sticks, two players take part at a time. They can also group themselves and play till someone wins. 

The opponents are suggested to avoid hurting each other to avoid the scene from turning into a blood-splash. The game is banned in several areas of Southern Africa, but it is still played in different rural areas.


Kgati is a skipping game in which two participants hold skipping ropes at the different end, and the third person in it skips in different ways while singing and chanting. Earlier, the game involved only girls but as time passed, several male players also came in.

The game of Kgati needs the players to have a singing voice and coordination. The teams participating get 15 minutes, and the result is marked out of10 based on:

  • Fitness
  • Flexibility
  • Coordination
  • Variation of Style
  • Traditional Attire
  • Traditional Songs

Camel Racing

The sport of camel racing involves camels running at high speed over a predetermined course. The game includes dromedary to run instead of the Bactrian camel. Usually, camels are seen as a mode of transporting and are brought up for their milk and meat. Camel racing is an old sport, prevailing from the 7th CE.

Capoeira- Angola

It is an Afro-Brazilian martial art activity, which became popular in the 16th century in Brazil after slaves from Africa began to do it in their free time during plantations. This indulging activity included music and dancing. It has its origin in Angola, where Angolans called it N’golo. It originally started as a spiritual/ religious practice, which lined as a living for their ancestor with swift and rhythmic movements to music. There are several techniques used for this sports activity, including evasion, kicking, and jumping.

Final Thoughts

Some traditions never die, and the same is the case with these sports games. Not just this, there is a lot more you will feel intrigued to learn about. For it, stay connected to the Afrocentric happenings relating to Art & Culture, Entertainment, and Sports with ForeTVHub.