The Student Affairs and First Year Experience (FYE) Ambassadors hosted a day of fun and games for students on Friday, August 5, as part of the “Back to ekasi” student initiative.   

Township childhood games such as murabaraba (a strategy board game), bathi (hitting a stack of cans a tennis ball), diketo (an eye-coordination game played with small stones), umgusha (similar to hopscotch), kolobetsa (a mock game of baptism) and skipping were all part of FYE’s relaunch of the programme in the second semester.

The Library Lawns were filled with students and staff who wanted to be a part of re-creating the vibe of ‘back to ekasi’.

Nokulunga Sithole, FYE Ambassador, said, “We are aware that most of us who are here at varsity are from the township.” Most students move into student digs and often get “swallowed up by the culture of the urban city in Braamfontein”, said Sithole.

Also present were SRC representatives, Secretary General Fasiha Hassan and Deputy Secretary General Thabo Boom. “This is an excellent way for us to share different cultures from different backgrounds,” according to Hassan, who said that the event was pivotal in the “greater decolonisation project”.

Third-year mining engineering student, Katlego Tlhapane, who was actively engaging in a game of skipping, said “as someone who lived ekasi, you would come here (Wits University) and the culture just dies down, but this initiative is nice because it reminds me of my childhood.”

The catering at this event was by Scribbles and Nibbles, a Wits student business, and the menu was everything ekasi style, including amakota (traditional bunny chow), amashwam shwam (puff snack), amakip-kip (coloured popcorn) and apple munch (ice lollies). The caterers put a fun spin on the menu with amakota called ‘Mavuso’ and ‘Blesser’, playing on the youth phenomena of sugar daddies.