The project aims to redesign and digitize local games played by Tanzanian children all over the country into digital format for the aim of improving their numeracy skills. Group discussions, observations, and interviews were conducted to 53 children and 12 teachers in 3 schools in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, and Pwani to explore game mechanics of local games children used to play. A total of 11 games were identified as shown in the table below .

Table 1: A list of identified local games in three regions
No. Swahili names English name
1 “Kukimbizana”, “Kidali”, “Kidali cha juu” Last tag
2 “Mduara”, “Ukuti”, “Kioo” Dancing in a Circle
3 “Kula mbakishie baba” Don’t drop the stick
4 “Kombolela”, “Kujificha” Hide-and-seek
5 “Kuruka Kamba” Jumping rope
6 “Marede” Filling the bottle
7 “Danadana” Football
8 “Kuendesha magari ya miti/ udongo” Toy cars
9 “Kujipikilisha” Cooking
10 “Kubembea” Seesaw
11 “Manati” Slingshot

Out of 11 games, three games namely manati, ruka kamba, and danadana have been redesigned and developed to be played into tablets.


Danadana The danadana game is one of the very famous game amongst boys in primary schools. This is a football game with a player playing ball without dropping it. Every touch of the ball is counted (See Plate 1). The other pupils count every touch of the ball and the player who plays the ball without dropping with maximum touches emerges as the winner. On the other hand, the player is disqualified once the ball is dropped. This game teaches children number counting.



This is game resembles the catapult game in terms of rules and design but famously played with pupils in many villages in the country Plate 3. In fact, the older pupils tend to use manati to hunt birds in rural areas as part of the game. The winner of this game is a pupil who managed to shoot and kill many birds per that day. You need skills to able to hit the correct target.

Therefore, the same concept of manati was redesigned to develop a number identification game. Birds labeled different numbers are placed in on top of the tree (similar to seeing birds on the tree). A player is required to hit the correct bird as per instruction given via voice overs. Player scores a point once the correct ball is hit. Once the ball is hit, the numbers are rearranged randomly and a player is asked to hit another bird based on instructions from voice-over. Once a player scores 5 point, the player moved to the next level with more challenging activity.

Log in