7 Ghanaian games we don’t play anymore

When we talk about the good old days, we’re mostly talking about the days of Kwasasa Yo, Cabin Biscuit and FunPop. Those days also included Pimpinese and Dr. Beckley, but we don’t like to talk about that one.

While we’re reminiscing about the good old days we realised we don’t see any of the kids play the games we used to play. Nowadays, everything is electronic. But there are some games that are Ghanaian classics and they deserve their own hall of fame. P.S: if you were a Dada Ba you might not be able to relate.

1. Alikoto


Whenever you saw a group of boys huddled in the sand together during beak-time then you already knew what game it was. It took a special skill to spin and an even more special skill to not cry when they used they used the spinning top to hit the back of your hand when you lost. All those hand moves wasted when they could have been professional fufu kneaders.

2. Pilolo

Children taking score of their Pilolo wins

The neighbourhood kids would be running up and down the compound because of this game. An object like a broomstick would be hidden according to the number of players. One of the kids would referee and hide the sticks while the participants closed their eyes. When the referee shouted “pi-lo-lo”, the participants would have to find the hidden items. The finish point would be where they’d have to send the stick. First to finish would be winner.

3. Zanzama

Bald headed Steve Harvey

The rule was simple. Say Zanzama before sitting down or you would chop the knock of your life. Sometimes, I wonder if the reason I keep forgetting tasks is because of all the Zanzama knocks from JSS.

4. Konco Car Racing

Tin can car (Konco Car)

You buy your toy cars Made in China. I make my toy cars with milk tins. We are not the same.

5. Counters Ball

Counters Ball being played by a group of Ghanaians.

Counters Ball was just a vibe. We’d draw up a miniature football field. Use counters as the players and the ball from a Sure Roll-On Deodorant. Talk about ingenuity and recycling. The OG Green generation.

6. Ampe

Wikicommons: Two young girls happily playing ‘Ampe’ a popular Ghanaian childhood game

We need a national Ampe Tournament. Quiet as it was kept, ampe was where most of the girls had their revenge. They’d pick their faves to join their team and be dramatic with the leaping and leg movements. If you lost they’d toot their fingers aloft in a gunshot, “I’ve shot you. You’re out!” What a time to be alive.

7. 4 corners

A player measuring his goal post for Ghanaian game 4 Corners

Four goal posts. Four cardinal points. Four players. One football. Each player got one kick until another had kicked the ball. If you were scored you were out and another player would come and take your goal post. I have a vivid memory of the ball being kicked unnecearily hard to my shin and calves. Tears.





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