Mathematical problem-solving solutions found in African indigenous games
2015-04-02

A recent study by Dr Tshele Moloi, a Mathematics Education lecturer at the Qwaqwa Campus, revealed that games such as Diketo or Morabaraba enhance the understanding of abstract mathematical concepts in children.  Diketo is a children’s game where 10 small stones or marbles and 1 ghoen or big stone are made available to each player. A small hole about 5cm deep is dug in which the small stones are placed for the players.

During this game of Diketo, learners can identify the variables involved – both dependent and independent.  In round one of the game, it was found that the stones scooped out of the hole can be described by the pattern: f(n)= -n/2   +  21/2 , (where n denotes the throwing of the ghoen). Stones placed in the hole can be illustrated by the pattern:  f(m)= -m/2   +  10, (where m denotes the throwing of the ghoen). There are many patterns that can be obtained when the players are in round two.

The patterns which emanate from rounds one, two, and three can be put on the Cartesian Plane, which can then demonstrate the linear functions.

Read more about this study into mathematical solutions based on African indigenous games here.

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