Traditional games: Ampe, skipping rope, hot scotch once busy pastimes for young girls now waning

Traditional games ampe, skipping rope, hot scotch once busy pastimes for young girls now waning

In the vibrant town of Bawku nestled in the Upper East Region, a spirited young girl named Patience Atibila once lived. At 45, she fondly reminisces about the days when traditional games like Ampe and skipping rope were the heartbeats of the community.

These games, once a rite of passage for young girls, provided not just physical exercise but also emotional resilience. However, with the influence of technology and modern entertainment options, the popularity of these traditional games has steadily declined.

Patience reflects on the countless benefits of Ampe and skipping rope. These games not only kept the girls fit and healthy but also created real friendships and a strong support system. In the absence of material wealth, they were self-motivated and bonded through play.

While Patience acknowledges the relevance and health benefits of traditional games, she contemplates a shift towards more modern physical activities like table tennis, volleyball, soccer, and swimming. These activities have the potential to build career paths for practitioners in today’s world.

The fading popularity of traditional games is a reflection of changing community dynamics. As families transition to more nuclear structures and live busier lives, the time and space for games like Ampe and skipping rope diminish. Educated or affluent individuals often discourage their children from playing with those less privileged, contributing to the decline of these traditional activities.

Despite the challenges, there are calls to preserve traditional games for their cultural significance and the values they instill in children. Suggestions include integrating these games into the educational system, promoting them through media, and encouraging parental involvement.

Salatu Abubakar, a WIAD officer for the Department of Agriculture, emphasizes the physical and mental benefits of traditional games, advocating for their revival in schools, churches, and mosques. These games, once integral to community life, can still contribute to managing child obesity and fostering unity.

In a changing world where digital distractions abound, the nostalgia for games like Ampe and skipping rope lingers. The tale of Patience and the vanishing games serves as a reminder of the simple joys that once defined life under the African sun. As technology advances, the challenge remains to keep the spirit of these cherished games alive for future generations.


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