PLEASE, HELP US TO TRANSLATE THIS WEBSITE FROM FRENCH TO ENGLISH
Games and toys from Africa
Don't ask yourself more questions about what present to give to your children. Give them Africa!
What games does your child play in your country?
An ancient African strategy game: Awalé
The word Awalé comes from the name of a rare plant whose seeds are used to play the game.
The most classic version of this game is known as originally from Ivory Coast. Called Awelé or awalé in Ivory Coast and in Niger, set of six in Togo, adjito in Benin, the ground rules of this game have their origins in antiquity. It was created in Africa and has expanded into the Middle East, the Indian Ocean, Latin America... Each country has its own way to play the game, however rules do not change... This is a puzzle game based on the calculation.
You can find the rules here. It only remains for you to enjoy!
The phenomenon of homemade toys extends to the entire continent, and after a little research of pictures, we had fun ranking them.
TOP 3 wooden cars
TOP 3 wooden scooters
Help us improve this page dedicated to the discovery of African games and toys.
Leila, a multiplayer game, played with feet
Discover more African games on our facebook album "Games of Africa". Pictures, videos, links... Hand games, footwork, construction, knowledge games...
Footwork in Kenya
THE plush we needed to invent
Visit the official page: Alilio
Dolls ... Always closer to our children
Since the 2000s «ethnic» dolls ranges have developed significantly and more fiercely in the last 5 years.
This shows a real willingness on the part of different communities to be visible on the toy market.
The time when the black doll was a perfect imitation of her friend the white doll in terms of facial features is over. The photo below shows the evolution of models.
Parents are responsible for the education of their children and should be sensitive to the fact that their children could identify themselves to their toys. For some reason, it is more common to find white dolls in the hands of children of African descent in France. This phenomenon concerns Africa and the African diaspora around the world.
Yet, today, African children have the opportunity to fully identify themselves to their dolls. Among their toys, it is possible to emulate the cultural diversity of today's world, thanks to a wide range of dolls Metis, Arab, South American, Asian...
We invite you to meet the dolls featured on the following sites: Poupées des Tropiques (Tropical dolls), Dolls Kenya Dolls, Afrotoys...
Some modern and traditional dolls
Dolls... Even dads feel involved
In Nigeria, since 2006, an entrepreneur after the birth of his daughter, created a range of dolls embodying values of his country (clothing styles, hairstyles, names ...). Which drives Mattel’s Barbie out of the continent.
The production has been outsourced to China in order to make the selling cost affordable to African average household’s budget, but Taofick Okoya dreams of a production based entirely in Africa. In his interviews, he explains that dolls are now manufactured abroad and arrive naked in Nigeria, where the local workforce is responsible for dress and style.
To the question, "Why do your dolls still look like Western dolls?" he says he has noticed that little girls love combing their dolls as they want, that is why most Queen of Africa dolls have smooth hair... So, there is still work to make black girls understand that their hair are not more difficult to manage on a daily basis than the other.
Visit the facebook page of Queens of Africa
In England, another Nigerian dad goes further; Chris Chidi Ngoforo decided to create in 2011 a collection of African dolls to encourage his daughters to speak his native language: the Igbo... And Rooti Dolls were born. Dolls speak several African languages. In fact, each doll has its own personality and tells a story. For example, Ama (pictured right) is from Ghana, she speaks Twi, Ga, Ewe and Krobo, she is studious and wants to become a doctor when she grows up. Nubya (pictured middle) is native to South Africa. As for Keza (pictured left), her parents are from Zambia and Zimbabwe! A dozen dolls, all beautiful and original are also part of the collection.
Some dolls are dressed in pretty dresses printed fabrics combining African and Western models of fabrics in order to make children familiar with pretty African styles.
Rooty Dolls dolls are sold on P1MAfrik Boutik, our new online store.
Tell us what are the games and toys of your country.
Dolls and even more dolls
Both boys and girls can play with dolls. This is why Hua Toe Konate (Mali) has created two dolls friends: Fara, the boy and Fina, the girl. Both names together in one word form Farafina which means Africa in Bamanam / Bambara language!
Fara and Fina have a magical lion.
Fara and Fina speak Bambara when you press on their bellies.
Fara and Fina have a wide range of accessories: bed, chair, doll tea set...
For more information please visit Fara and Fina official website and overall encourage this local and ecological production which is necessary for our children.
Maya the Soninké, that's the nickname she gave herself. By that nickname she wants to showcase her pride of her origins, and that way inform the public about the content of her activity.
Founé Diarra, aka "Maya Soninké", is a young mother of Mauritanian origin who grew up in France. She noticed that there are educational games in English, French, and Italian... But none in an African language! As a result, fewer and fewer children speak properly their native African language.
So Maya has decided to create her own structure with the aim of proposing workshops and educational games. First she begins with learning games in Soninké language, and then she proposes games to discover African countries, all the activities are addressed especially to young children from the age of 3 years but also to parents: memory games, lotto, alphabets... Quite a few paraphernalia of supports to help parents pass on their cultural heritage to their children. Founé Diarra gave us the pleasure of attending our “Forum sur l'Education Culturelle des jeunes Africains” (Forum on the Cultural Education of African Youth), last November 10 to showcase her products. Available in retail and sale on her website: Les Ateliers de Maya la Soninké, LAMSONINKE. You can also support her on her facebook page.
Puzzles and quizzes to know better their country
In Central Africa, a mother decided to dedicate herself more closely at the education of the youth of his country, Gabon.
Because the market offers a little in terms of games that encourage children to learn, she set up a company that creates educational games and distributes them: Editions Abufak. Different kind of puzzles to learn regions and cultural wealth of their country.
The company chose the event of the African Cup of Nations in January 2012 to make young African public discover Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and that great continental competition. You can support this independent company on its facebook page Abufak.
A hole range of educational and bilingual games in order to get to know Africa
This is our success story of the African game.
It must be acknowledged that African communities in recent years are experiencing an increasingly strong period of awareness. Because we are realizing that there is a kind of an under-exploitation of our cultural wealth, a loss of the transmission of cultural heritage to future generations...
Fortunately, many people, including parents, have already set to work in order to reverse the course of events!
Another mother, this time from Cameroon, created and developed a range of bilingual educational games (English / French) to test each other's knowledge on Africa. It is in the United States where she lives that she realized that her children had a very limited idea of Africa due to the media and the education given at school. She decided to take things in hand. Below is a video of Paulette Mpouma, the inventor of Afriqu'Enjeux and its derivatives, grouped under the name "The Africa Memory Game".
All games are on sale on our online store: P1MAfrik Boutik .
Africa: Number 1 in recycling
Do not throw your sardine cans
A good idea for companies and children associations
Manufacturers of furniture and coffins in Kenya have no problems to get rid of unusable lumber leftover. So these are the orphans of the country who benefit from it like Mji wa Neema (Swahili word for The House of Hope) where little Joseph (below picture) spends time. In this way there is no need to break the bank by purchasing kaplas and legos. Children are happy with lumber leftover. Mji wa Neema is part of the orphanages located in and around Gilgil and Naivasha , they are all supported by the small British NGO Saidia Children's Home.
An idea for governments overwhelmed by the pollution of their seas
A former employee of KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) sets up an industry in Kenya drawing her inspiration from children who make boats on the beach with sandals rejected by the sea. That is how UniquEco was born in 2005, in order to preserve the Kenyan coast and encourage the local know-how. Since 2013, the founder, Julie Church changed the name of UniquEco by Ocean Sole.
Different cooperatives of the coasts of the country collect flip flops / sandals and send them to Ocean Sole in Nairobi. These cooperatives are paid per kilo.
This is the Kenyan government that must be satisfied to have found an answer (in part) to the sea pollution, among others due to tides which bring objects that can come from as far as Indonesia or China!
The video below explains how many items including toys are manufactured thanks to flip flops and sandals found on the beach in Kenya. (Video).
Ocean Sole's animals are sold on P1MAfrik Boutik our new online store.
- Learn to locate African countries on this funny page we found.
You want more immersion?
- Collection: Toys, play culture and Society, an anthropological approach with reference to the Sahara and North Africa,
by Jean-Pierre Rossie.
Available on SanaToy.org
You too, you can act :)
Pour 1 Meilleure Afrique organization is composed by few peoples, all volunteers, who use a part of their time to document our websites and organise events.
Without the participation of the public or professionals, this page about Africa games and toys will get rich with lots of difficulties.
Information, videos, pictures are welcome.
Pour 1 Meilleure Afrique's team
This page was translated by the volunteer Khadija Benmoussa.
Thank you Khadija.
Thank you Khadija.