Traditional Nigerian sport

Sport is probably considered as old as the humanity itself. So, every country in the world has its own traditional kinds of sport. Nigeria also has different unusual traditional sport activities which represents a part of the culture rooted in the history of the country. Do you know some of them? Among them are dambe, kokawa, abula, ayo. Have you ever heard about these ones! We are going to tell you about this unusual kind of sport. Maybe you will be fond of one of them!

The name of traditional Nigerian kind of sport: Dambe.

Type of sport: combative.

Description of this kind of sport and main rules.

There are many variations of boxing in Nigeria. Dambe is one of its variations. It reminded a traditional boxing. This kind is very popular in the northern part of the country. The main rules of Dambe are very strict and obligatory for execution.

The players have one of their fists wrapped into a bandage, while the other fist remains free. The action takes place in a sand-filled circle. If one of the players steps out of this circle, he will be immediately disqualified. It equates to defeat. This activity is so famous in Nigeria. In the country even exists Kogi State Traditional Wrestling (Dambe) Association. Gambo Agbem is their head coach. His main aim is to make this traditional sport compulsory during any National Sports Festival. This traditional kind of sport has faced great competition since the introduction of Western sport in Nigeria. But Nigerian government is considered dambe as heritage of the country and does it best to preserve it as any other cultural issue.

The name of traditional Nigerian kind of sport: Kokawa.

Kokawa is a traditional wrestling. This Nigerian traditional kind of sport has close connection with the traditional customs. Traditionally in Nigeria, a man, who wants to marry a beautiful woman, must pass through this competition. Only the strongest man could have the right to get a wife. Today such way to find woman has remained and kokawa being a part of tradition that usually takes place only during the festivals. The participants wrestle in the sand in order to get honors. The circle is six meters in diameter, and its borders must not be stepped out. There are various weight categories – from 40 to 100 kilograms. There are usually three rounds of the fighting. Thanks to such popular names as Sokarti Soberekon, Michael Okpala, Late Michael Bamidele, Maman Zaria, Ben LionHeart, and Power Uti and others, modern wrestling in Nigeria has a great potential for the future.

The name of traditional Nigerian kind of sport: Abula

Description of this kind of sport and main rules.

According rules, Abula is very close to modern volleyball. There are eight players in each one, four from every side. The rest of the team members are waiting on a bench to substitute their teammates. But there is a main distinction between volleyball and Abula. Playing volleyball players must use their hands to hit the ball, but in Abula, players need a wooden bat to do it. The winner is the team which gets highest points.

The name of traditional Nigerian kind of sport: Ayo

Description of this kind of sport and main rules.

Ayo is named a Yoruba board game. This game has become very popular in many African countries, not only in Nigeria. To play this game you should be very clever, quick and nimble. The game usually requires two dexterous players who are trying to get more seeds. There are twelve holes in the game: six ones on each of the sides. Every hole in its turn contains four seeds. The size of the board is 0.8m to 1.2m. The players are allowed to act during thirty seconds. It is applied the anticlockwise format is applied. The one, who gets more seeds than the opponent does, will be the winner.

As you see, Nigeria could boast very interesting and unusual traditional kinds of sport. In the country was created a Traditional sport federation which helps to develop and preserve such unique traditional kinds of sport as cultural heritage. At the same time, modern sports are actively developed and become popular in the country. Nigerians has made big success in modern western sports showing excellent results in world competition. Traditional kinds of sport are the essential part of Nigerian life. It helps to unite people in one strong nation with mutual interest. It doesn’t matter how old are you