The Arewa traditional games.

The Arewa traditional games are dambe, kokawa, sharo, polo etc. The Arewa culture is rich in traditional sporting events such as Dambe which is Boxing, Takkai, Kokawa that were originally organized to celebrate harvests but over the generations developed into sporting events for entertainment purposes.Traditional games historically played a significant role in teaching Nigerian children about the structure of their societies. In this article i will explain different traditional games activity that alot of male/boys Arewa people play. 

A game is an organized type of play that is usually done for entertainment or fun but can also be used as an educational tool. Many games, such as those of professional spectator sports players or games of art such as jigsaw puzzles or games involving an artistic layout such as Mahjong, solitaire, or some video games, are also considered work. but all these are mothern games.

The Arewa Traditional Games


Kokowa is a traditional wrestling game and it is one of the Arewa oldest traditional sports. though i don't know when it was introduced, but it was most likely part of pre Islamic informal education, which emphasized physical exercise and training as important factors in producing strong and healthy citizens.

Kokowa season is traditionally after the millet harvest. During this time, wrestlers travel in groups from village to village, accompanied by drummers. Kokowa has always been involved in activities such as Kalankuwa and other festivals. Special contests were once held to commemorate special occasions such as marriage or naming ceremonies, the installation of new leadership, or the arrival of important guests. Today however, Kokowa has become a profession and could be organized at anytime or season of the year. Thw “Yan Kokowa or wrestlers are found in all the local government areas of the State.


Langa is also Arewa traditional game which alot of people love to play, it js a round based game in which one player from each team, known as the Ruwa the point-scorer, attempts to reach a designated area on the opposing team's side in order to score a point for their team SO all players, including the Ruwas, must hop on one foot while holding their other foot with one hand. A player is eliminated from a round if their hand is dislodged from their holding foot by an opponent.The total number of players, including the target, will be twelve. The team will consist of six players, including six substitutes. The target must be identified by a headband and must take part in both the attack and defense in each case. There will be a target destination that the target must touch or reach in order to win.

DAMBE (Stick Fight)

Dambe is also known as Stick Fight, the Dambe's initial objective is to entertain and develop popularity. People used to engage in Dambe not for financial gain but to make a name for themselves. SO ontestants usually begin with Gaisuwa or 'Raba-rana' during the Dambe game, this involves the two boxers getting close to each other and joining their hands. All drumming and singing are expected to cease at this point. When a boxer falls flat on the ground, one or both of his hands touch the ground, or he falls on one or both knees, he is declared defeated.

The years 1965–1985 are significant in the history of Dambe in Katsina State, it was during this period that a set of prominent ‘yan dambe oe game players were produced in the state which in turn mode Katsina to become widely known as important centre of Dambe.

Dambe is widely played in Katsina especially after the rainy season of every year.


Sharo, which is also known as 'Shadi,' is a traditional game associated with Fulani herdsmen who lived in Katsina, Daura, and other parts of Arewa prior to the great Danfodio jihad in 1804.

The Sharo game is played annually during 'Kaka' that is post harvest time in places such as Shargalle in Dutsi Local Government Area of the State, Mashi in Mashi Local Government Area, Batsari in Batsari Local Government Area of the State, "Yandaki in Kaita Local Government Area of the State, and a host of other towns scattered throughout the state.


Sharo is a game in which two people use a long stick called a "lasol" to beat each other on the upper abdomen. The purpose of the game is to afford young girls the opportunity to choose a potential husband. Others include teaching the young the art of combat, self-defense, endurance, fearlessness and bravery. The rest include to preserve the age long cultural heritage and generally to unite the Fulbe (Fulani). Sharo according to historical accounts is believed to have been introduced in Katsina State by the earliest Fulbe settlers who arrived between the 17th and 18th century.

POLO (Wasan Doki)

Polo is a game in which players hit golf balls into goals with long-handled hammers (sticks) similar to other games; polo is played by two challenging teams of four players each.

During the reign of Emir Muhammadu Dikko, a British judge named Sheridon introduced Polo to Katsina in 1921. He was the first instructor and the one who introduced them. Katsina princes and their associates such as Usman Nagogo, Ibrahim Galadiman Magani, Yusuf Lamba, and Dandada were among the first players. Durbi Umaru, Sarkin Sullubawa, Sarkin Musawa Usman Liman, Magaji 'Yanhoho, Alhaji Hussaini, and Abdullahi Autan Dikko are among the others.

The Katsina Polo Club, which later became the most popular in Africa, was formed in a short period of time.

Katsina, Nigeria's polo fund, has an international-standard polo ground. It was completed in 1926. The polo ground features outstanding physical structures such as a grandstand, popular stand, timekeeper stand, gymnasium, scoreboard, stable, main field, club horse, a mosque, and a modern gate.

Every September, the Katsina Polo Tournament is held. It attracts players from all polo clubs in the country and beyond. Every year, the tournament kicks off the polo season. Notable is the presidency, which is dedicated to the Emirs of Katsina for life; no elections are held.


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