Swahili Language Courses

Many people think that an act of solidarity is simply a financial one. What they don´t realise is that, in reality, it can be a cultural too.

Experiencing different people, social settings and cultures… getting to know another language, other interests, habits, traditions, music, food, hopes and desires of a poor country has cultural and personal enrichment as a result for all parties involved.

The objective of all activities organised is to help participants to get to know the culture of the country that we are in: Tanzania. Among of the activities we offer are the cultural exchanges between both schools and classes, as well as an online Swahili language course (in Italian, alternative address ).

Bao Group

(Chama cha Bao)

Games are also part of culture, and for this reason we have created an “International Club of Bao Lovers” for those people who are passionate about the game ( KIBA ) to play it online.

Saba Saba, Dar es Salaam, 2011
Bao is one of many games belonging to the family, that go by the name mancala , based on "seeding" of seeds or pieces in the holes.

These games are popoular throughout Africa and Asia, going by different names and having different sets of rules, predating Christ and going as far back as Ancient Egypt.

The slave trade carried the game across the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic, and therefore is very popular in Asia and the Americas.

Bao is played in two or four rows of eight holes each dug on the ground on a surface with two or four rows. The game can be played on a table (which is the literal meaning of the Swahili word “Bao”), but the actual surface it's played on is not of great importance. It can be on the ground at the beach or it can even be played using an eggcarton! Gaming "tokens" can consist of anything that is more or less spherical: pebbles, seeds, etc.

Bao is extremely popular, perhaps even more so than football, especially in Zanzibar and Tanzania, and all the places in between.

However, despite the simplicity of the materials used, strategies and tactics required to win the game are very similar to those of chess. It's one of the most interesting games, and is purely based on tactics and the speed of arithmetic and the players' ability to think outside the box.

See also:

1)   Instructions (in Italian) on how to build a bao out of cardboard

2) Programs for playing bao on a computer

3) To play online and to get in touch with other players

Order the book that we have published (of 173 pages and 50 exercises, 15.00 euros (plus shipping costs), containing ten real games played during a tournament. ( An extract with indexes).

You can also purchase a board (see photo here ) for a further 28.00 euros (plus shipping costs).

The takings from these sales will as usual be used to finance our projects.

[ Top of page ]


Changamano ONLUS - Via Pontinia 51 - 04100 LATINA         

Translated from Italian as part of the PerMondo Initiative of free translation for charities.
© Voluntary Translators: Will Masters and Kate Humby - Proof-reader: Abaigh Wheatley, 2011.

Styliste: © P. Fumarola, 2011. Code: © N. Vessella, 2011.