This post is the sixth in a set of publications which will describe the last trip I did in East Africa, back in August, leading me to Zanzibar and back again.
Walking around the streets of the Stone Town of Zanzibar is not unusual to see people of all ages spending the warm afternoon playing board games.
In East Africa, the game of Bao is a common form of entertainment.
Before starting to write this blog, I wanted to research on this game to know something more and I found out that in Zanzibar there are actually two version of this game: one is called Bao la kiswahili (“Swahili Board Game”) and the other, a simplified version, is called Bao la kujifunza (“Bao for beginners”).
Other than seeing the locals playing a new game, I was interested in the skill they showed. Some of them could, with a single hand movement, consistently put three kete‘s (the stones) into three different pits!
The two players on the pictures were friendly and didn’t mind me being a spectator and take a picture or two of them.
I watched two or three very intense matches but I still failed to fully understand the rules of the game; I should definitely give it a try and play Bao, perhaps starting with the version for beginners.