Jackson Drift’s children play ‘ukudlalisa’

GROCER: Amos Tshabalala, the father of the ukudlalisa family, comes from work with food parcels which he bought from the mall (dump site). Photo: Sibonelo Mtshali.

UKUDLALISA is a popular game in black townships where children emulate the behaviour of their father, mother, brother and sister in the household and perform it while they play.

Jackson Drift informal settlement children Nhlanhla Tshabalala, Amos Tshabalala, Tshwanelo Dlamini and Nompumelelo Tshabalala love playing ukudlalisa. They collect used tins and use them as pots, old boxes become cupboards. The dumping site is like a mall to them and that’s where they get their “furniture” from.

COOKING: Tshwanelo Dlamini (ukudlalisa mother) cooks mud as pap. She loves doing this when it’s ukudlalisa time. Photo: Sibonelo Mtshali.

Residents don’t mind them because it’s a normal thing in the settlement for children to play ukudlalisa. When the dumping site is full of waste, it’s Christmas to them, as they would collect plastic, boxes, tins, used clothes, etc.

They even build fabricated houses with distorted bricks. After they finished playing they take everything back to the dump site.

“I am a sister to these children and I understand what they are doing is fun and interesting. I know this because I used to play ukudlalisa a lot. I sometimes motivate them to play,” said sister Mabongi Xaba.

FAMILY: After playing ukudlalisa they know they need to tidy up and go bath. Photo: Sibonelo Mtshali.

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  AUTHOR
Sibonelo Mtshali
Journalist

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