Games Children Play in Uganda

By Nicholas Nesler
Children in Uganda play a variety of games.

The Republic of Uganda is a country in East Africa, bordered by Kenya, Sudan, the Congo and Tanzania. It is home to many different ethnic groups; close to 40 different languages are spoken in the country, including English, Luganda and Swahili. But children are the same no matter where they live—they all love to play games and have fun. There are a variety of games played in Uganda which are similar to many popular children's games in the United States.

Nyaga Nyaga Nya

All the children sit in a circle, and one child is the leader. All the kids sing the song "Nyaga Nyaga Nya" as the leader walks around the circle. When the song is over, the child who is in front of where the leader is standing must get up and dance until he falls down. That child is now the leader; the song begins again.

Dog and Hyena

One child is chosen to be the dog, and another is the hyena. Children line up behind each leader and hold each other in a straight line behind the leader as they dance back and forth, singing a song of their choice and trying to grab the children that are lined up behind each other. The team that grabs the most children from the other side is the winner.

Kakopi

To play this game, all children sit in a line with their legs extended in front of them while singing the song "Kakopi." One child is chosen to be the leader, and while everyone is singing the leader walks around and taps each child's legs. Whichever leg the leader is touching when the song ends must be tucked back behind the child. When both legs are tucked back, that child is out. The last one to have a leg extended is the winner, called "the night dancer."

About the Author

Nicholas Nesler has worked in journalism for over 10 years as a reporter, photo editor and sports editor. Nesler has written for "The Batesville Guard" and the "Paragould Daily Press." His awards include the '07 FOI award from the APME. He received his bachelor's degree in journalism at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro and his master's degree in education at the University of Central Arkansas.