The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) took 128 Eastern Cape indigenous games participants to participate at the National Indigenous Games Festival which was held from24 – 29 September 2017 in Sheshegu Stadium, Polokwane.
The Indigenous Games Festival, in its pursuit to provide a platform for bringing people from all different cultures together serves as a strategic tangible driver towards the realisation of NDP’s 2030. The NDP 2030 mandates the need for government to drive programmes which promote social cohesion with the deliverable by 2030 which will see South Africans more conscious of the things they have in common than their differences and more accepting of people’s multiple identities.
Indigenous Games are inextricably linked to the traditions of a cultural group, being of a local origin and requiring physical skill, strategy and/or chance. Culture is not static, indigenous people continually added to their own cultural, material and physical heritage. Reliving and reinventing the games of their forefathers and mothers, adding and creating their own games along the way, became a part of daily living.
Despite Africa’s rich history of Indigenous Games, a number of the games have become extinct without having been documented in historical and anthropological accounts of the indigenous people of Africa. Like other sport and recreation codes, Indigenous Games impact on a number of socio-economic issues such as African identity; cultural diversity; education and training; accessibility of resources; international relations; economic growth and so forth.
Acculturation and global influences have had a marked effect on the erosion and adaptation of these traditional forms. Indigenous play activities and games were thus transformed to be of a more contemporary nature. The games were an expression of local people, culture and social realities over a period of time. These activities were grossly neglected in historical and anthropological accounts of the indigenous people of South Africa.