We all know the Olympics gather several events representing the global sporting culture. Even though this is the notion that is sold by the Olympics logo to the world, most of the games featured in this event have a European aristocratic origin.

Ever imagined how this event would look like if organizers incorporated traditional African sports?

Well, this is a far-fetched dream that might not be realized any time soon. This is mainly because most people don’t know that such sports exist. In fact, even some Africans are not aware that Africans had their own sports before colonization.

There are hundreds of traditional African games that can spice up the Olympics and other global competitions. Some of the best include;

Senegalese Wrestling

Popularly known as ‘Laamb,’ Senegalese Wrestling is a sport that has been in existence since time immemorial. It began in Senegal as a recreational sport for farmers and fishermen in the country.

Today, this sport has been highly commercialized. Some of the top-tier fighters can demand as much as $100, 000 per fight, making it one of the most lucrative sports in Senegal.

Donkey Racing

If you are a horse racing enthusiast and you bet on the Kentucky Derby odds, you would be surprised if you knew Donkey racing also exists.

Donkey racing is a popular traditional African sport that is held annually in Lamu, Kenya. This unique sport is characterized by well-trained donkeys without sandals. It requires the use of skill which has been passed down to several generations for centuries.

Imagine watching donkeys race in an Olympics arena. Quite amusing, but if equestrian sports have their spotlight, why should donkeys be left out?

Nguni ‘Stick Fighting’

Nguni ‘Stick Fighting’ is a form of martial arts that has been a past time for Nguni Herders found in South Africa for many years.

The herders take turns playing offensive and defensive in fights that can take as much as five hours. Scoring points are awarded depending on the part of the body struck.

However, this sport is a bit extreme and might not find its way into the list of Olympics sports. It’s bloody, and some competitors have even died in action. The community defends the sport saying that it requires skill and fit physique, and most importantly, it promotes cultural expression.


Another traditional African sport that is worth an Olympic show is Savika. It is played among the Betsileo Community in Madagascar and involves riding bulls. Yes! Unlike in Spain, where bulls are run, irate bulls are ridden in this part of the world!

When Brahman cows are released from their cages, players attempt to hop on their backs. When they succeed, they have to hold on for as long as possible. Even though there are no medals given to the winners, it is an exhilarating sport that attracts thousands of spectators.

Ta Kurt Om el Mahag

Ta Kurt Om el mahag is a sport that is treated with the utmost respect by the Berber tribesmen who live in the Libyan Desert. This game resembles baseball, which was dropped before the 2012 London Olympics. It is believed that this tribe exported this game to Europe during the Stone Age, and it was renamed ‘baseball.’

Baseball, as you know it is an interesting game; hence Ta Kurt Om el mahag deserves a spot in the Olympics!

Ngolo and Capoeira

Ngolo and Capoeira are traditional African sports that originated from West Africa. The sports create a perfect combination of martial arts, music, and dance making them fun and thrilling.

It is believed that these games were invented as a form of response to Portuguese ruling, which forbade the practice of African customs. Capoeira was born in Angola and then brought to Brazil with the Portuguese slave routes, so it became also part of the South American country culture.

Therefore, we believe Capoeira would be popular not only with African audience, but also with the South American one. Besides there are already people all around the world practicing it as a hobby or as professionals.

Africa is a hotbed of vibrant culture, amazing people, and lots of places to visit and things to do. Many people don’t know that this continent is also a place that boasts a wide range of unique and electrifying games like the ones outlined above. If the Olympics represents a global culture, let’s hope some of these games will be incorporated in the event someday!