Growing up in an African village was the greatest experience one could ever get in a lifetime. It is always fun growing up in rural African areas especially in Ghana. Life in villages might seem tough and rough for city dwellers and foreigners but to a Ghanaian child, it is the best they could ever get. Experiencing the typical rural life comes with hard work and moves along with games and ancient African stories.
Many forms of entertainment have been seen across the Ghanaian communities which include ‘counters ball’, ‘Pilolo’ (Hide and Seek), ‘street soccer’, ‘Sack race’, ‘Lime on spoon race’, ‘music and dance’, ‘Night Story Telling’(Kweku Ananse Stories), among others. Some of these games were played during the day while some were purposely designed for the night. Kids who are creative manage to create artifacts from paper, wood, clay, and other materials to entertain themselves. Every Era in Ghana came with a different form of entertainment that dominated among children. Those in the rural areas are much involved in these types of engagement as it is their only source of joy. Unlike some city children who had access to some electronic games or forms of entertainment.
Ghanaian children are mostly involved in leisure activities which are usually outdoor and take a number of participants. Due to the widespread of the deadly virus named corona, children are forced to stay with their family home. The pandemic came with the closure of many important institutions which included educational institutes. This has created a boring atmosphere for kids because it deprived them of many activities which makes them happy and keeps them active.
In the first quarter of the year 2021, after a long boring break, some children in rural areas have created a way of making artifacts from used boxes, straws, bottle tops, and a broomstick. While the originator of this idea is still unknown the idea keeps spreading wide from household to household and from village to village and some enthusiast of children arts predicts that it might spread to the urban areas of Ghana and maybe beyond. The most popular item manufactured from these items is designed toy cars which are controlled by broomsticks.
It might sound funny but this is a great form of entertainment for these children in this pandemic era. Usually, these items were waste product which was either bent or recycled but now it has become the source of happiness for many children in Ghana. And has also cut the cost of spending on toys which could aid indoor activities. In Dodowa, a suburb of Accra, this local technology of making a toy car has spread widely, and at least every child in the town could boast of having one ‘broom tech car’.
It is always a wonderful moment watching them play with their new models of toy cars. Talking to a twelve-year-old Kwame, he only knew of the toy cars made from empty tins which were difficult to make and handle but the new ones which were introduced to him a day ago are fantastic and easy to handle. To Kwame, this invention is an improvement of what they already know. And every kid is excited to have one because it’s stress-free and takes just a few minutes to finish designing one.
This is how some Ghanaian children have been able to solve the problem of boredom that comes during lockdowns.