Zimbabwe childrens games of the 90s - Nhodo

Sport | By Baynham Goredema, Designer | 30 April 2013

This game normally consists of about 10 pebbles in a circle or shallow hole. Players sit around the circle with their own pebble which is called the mbuga.


The game has 10 stages and can be played by two or more more players. You need to empty out all the pebbles in the circle through a process of elimination over the 10 stages. 

How to Play

In stage 1(Mamu One) the player tosses their mbuga into the air and then drag more than one pebble out before the mbuga falls before catching it midair. The player then tosses the mbuga in the air again and drags back all the pebbles leave for one.
This pebble is kept and the previous stages repeated until all 10 stones have been eliminated from the circle.
Once a player clears stage one, they advance to stage 2 (Mamu Two).
The same process as that at stage one is repeated; but this time only more than two stones are dragged out of the circle with two remaining when the pebbles are returned into the circle.


If you drop your mbuga you lose a turn to the next player who picks up from where the losing player would have left off but starts from stage 1. If they clear all the ones in the circle, players with pebbles they would have eliminated will have to surrender them back into the circle. When dragging out and you fail to drag out the minimum number then you lose a turn. When dragging and you over shoot the circle you also lose a turn. If you fail to leave the minimum outside you will also lose your turn