AN OVERVIEW OF MODERN DEVELOPMENTS OF TECHNICAL GROWTH OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL SPORTS. BY MALLAM ELIAS F. YUSUF

A PAPER PRESENTED THIS DAY,MONDAY 26TH NOVEMBER,2012,AT THE TRADITIONAL SPORTS FEDERATION OF NIGERIA (TSFN} COACHING CLINIC FOR EKO 2012,18TH NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL. AT MEDIA CENTRE NATIONAL STADIUM SURULERE LAGOS,NIGERIA.

  • ASSOCIATION FORMATION

To really promote traditional sports in the real perspective, a sport association had to be formed. Formation of Nigerian Association of Traditional Sports (NATS) was really very dramatic and intriguing.

In 1990, a book titled “Abula and African Billiards” was written by Mallam Elias Yusuf, the inventor of the Abula Game. The Abula game itself was invented in 1984 and the African Billiards in 1988.

In 1992, Mallam Yusuf made a video tape on Abula and African billiards. As Mallam Elias Yusuf and Mr. S.A. Daudu had been in the same school complex at Idi-Araba High school, they came up with a decision to present the video on Abula and African Billiards to the “Force House” which was the popular name given to the building house, the National Sport Commission near Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, Nigeria.

The duo of Mallam Elias Yusuf and Mr. S.A. Daudu presented this tape on Abula and African Billiards to the Chairman of the then National Sports Commission, Chief Alex Akinyele through Dr. Amos Adamu, the then Assistant Director of sports in Nigeria in the company of Dr. Dongoyaro. That was the final push that brought about the formation of Nigerian Association of Traditional Sports (NATS) in 1993.

Langa had been demonstrated in 1977 at Kaduna National Sports festival, but did not muster enough force to lead the formation of traditional Sports Association in Nigeria because it was to form an association on its own. However, as well articulate rules and regulations were put in place on Abula and African Billiards, this accelerated the formation of Traditional Sports Association in Nigeria under the aegis of Nigeria Association of Traditional Sports (NATS) under the chairmanship of Dr. (Alh.) G N. Hamza in 1993, first NATS chairman.

Despite the formation of NATS in 1993, it was only in 1998, when Mallam  Elias Yusuf became the chairman of the Technical Committee of NATS that he took initiative to put all the rules and regulations of five foremost Nigerian Traditional Sports – Abula, Ayo, Dambe, Kokawa and Langa to be assembled and published into a booklet. The move was supported by the newly appointed Secretary General of the Association Mrs. Rose Adiole. With this development, the era of the rule of thumb in Nigerian Traditional Sports ended and the beginning of modern developments of Technical Growth of Nigerian Traditional Sports started. The first edition of NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF TRADITIONAL SPORTS’ TECHNICAL RULES AND REGULATIONS OF FIVE SELECTED TRADITIONAL SPORTS was published on 21st October, 1998

The second edition, which became very necessary because of certain essential rules especially in Ayo and Langa and the inclusion of African Billiards in the rule were put together under the technical Committee of NATS made up of:

  • Mallam Elias F, Yusuf …………………………  Chairman
  • Bako Abudu ……………………………… Member
  • Babamoni …………………………………   Member
  • Taiwo Abiade ……………………………..  Member
  • Rose Adiole …………………………………. Secretary General, NATS

 

CO – OPTED MEMBERS.

  • S.A. Daudu
  • K.A. Oderinde
  • Dele Oyeleru
  • Sunday Adeogun

The third edition of the rules book was inevitable as the 8th All African Games was approaching and Mallam Elias Yusuf was foremost in agitating that Nigerian/ African Traditional Sports must demonstrate at the Abuja 8th All African Games in 2003.

Mallam Elias Yusuf became the new Chairman of Nigerian Association of Traditional Sports must in 2001. It was under his leadership that the Association transformed into TRADITIONAL SPORTS FEDERATION OF NIGERIA (TSFN) and he became the first president of TSFN. Mr. S.A. Daudu, then became the Chairman of the Technical Committee of TSFN. The Technical Committee that worked for the 3rd Edition which was also the 8th African Games Edition, was made up of:

  • S.A. Daudu ……………………     Chairman
  • Mallam Elias F. Yusuf ………………. Consultant member
  • Anthony Jerome …………….   Member
  • Tunji Ogunbanbi ……………..   Member
  • Mohammed Nasir ……………   Member
  • Ayodele Ariyo ……….…….…..   Member
  • Saulawa Y. Mohammed …..… Member
  • K.A. Adekola ………………..…..… Secretary General TSFN
  • Mallam Yusuf was the editor-in-chief of the three editions

 

  • A MAJOR LANDMARK IN TECHNICAL TRAINING

On August 12, 1999; Grade III, II and I Coaches CONTENT (syllabus) in Nigerian Traditional Sports was presented to the National Institute for Sports (NIS) Lagos at the graduation ceremony that day, in the present of the then Hon. Min. of Sports, Hon. Damici Sango. It was a great honour for Mallam Yusuf to present Dr. Haske Dantanin, the then Chairman of NATS on this historic landmark presentation.

The committee of three that was involved in composing the traditional Sports syllabus for NIS was:

  • Technical Committee Chairman, Mallam Elias F. Yusuf
  • Member, Alh. Bako Abudu
  • Adviser, Mr. Sense Lucas Gadani (the then Director of NIS)

As the time will not permit us to deliver all the pioneering information on this overview of modern Development Technical Growth of Nigerian Traditional Sports, we have to put a coma here. However, during this growth and development period, we have been able to inject intellectual power, capacity building, good record keeping, logistics that will continue to ensure that our traditional sports in Nigeria have infused modern technical and technicalities into African Traditional Sports. Nigeria is the Heart of Africa in Traditional Sports Development and with sustainable technical know-how. If we do not relent, we shall be able to remain the pillar of African traditional Indigenous Sports without hassle or doubt. There is no doubt that our rules, as they are very objectives, modern, articulate, straight forward, simple but quite sophisticated, will liberate and bring African Traditional Sports to the limelight  with sustainability in no distant time

Before I rest my case, take note that we have gone modern by introducing;

  1. Publishing our rules in black and white and reviewing them when necessary
  2. Introducing the use of whistle
  3. Stop watch (Ayo)
  4. Caution and penal cards i.e. yellow card and red card
  5. Score sheets
  6. Score board (Abula)
  7. Glove (Dambe)
  8. Centre referee/umpire
  9. Judges
  10. Developing our own sports equipment
  11. Books on traditional sports (published)
  12. Our traditional sports in our School National Curriculum
  13. Provision of standard facilities in our Traditional Sports (Abula court, Kokawa and Dambe Circles, African Billiards boards etc)
  14. Use of blue and red corners in Dambe and Kokawa
  15. Use of 30 seconds rule in Ayo [to forestall time wasting]
  16. Use of cut off system in Ayo etc

 

  • NEW THINGS TO COME
  1. Let us have a unique officiating outfit (wear) that is traditional for each of the sports.
  2. Bringing of African Billiards to a scoring event to increase our medal table by five gold medals and promoting this African pool that has almost gone into extinction.
  3. Introduction of Beach Abula to increase our medals strength by 3 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals and to increase the versatility of Abula Game
  4. Introduction of female Traditional Wrestling to increase our medals and encourage our females just as in modern wrestling federation
  5. Increase our medal categories in Dambe and Kokawa to narrow the weight categories and reduce the risk of large weight difference within the same weight categories
  6. Set up research unit in Trado Sports and liaise with Nigerian Education Research and Development Council for improving our sports in the National School Curriculum

 

  • MODERN TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENTS AT EKO 2012

The state of the earth facilities are being put up for Eko 2012 in our six sports;

  1. ABULA:

Abula courts at University of Lagos SPORT CENTRE for Eko 2012 are supper in terms of floor, colours, perimeter fencing, designer’s net, posts, etc, it is taking Abula facilities to the next level

  1. AYO:

Ayo with standard championship Ayo disc, and for the first time at the National Sports Festival, barring any itch, Lagos is to put projector, projector screen and flat screen to enable large crowd to watch Ayo as it is being played live. Can you try to beat that? It is at Teslim Balogun Stadium in a beautiful hall

  1. DAMBE:

State of the earth Dambe court is being put up with latest roping system to take Dambe to the next level in technical facilities provision

  1. KOKAWA:

The provision that is made for Dambe is also made for Kokawa. It is beautiful and technically more advanced than ever before. It is inside the National Stadium, Lagos, Nigeria.

  1. LANGA

Langa also has excellent Langa field and demarcation that has never been hitherto equal. It is also inside the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria.

  1. AFRICAN BILLIARDS

The African Billiards board is ready for the demonstration of the game everything been equal. Venue will be announced once every logistic about it is sorted out.

CONCLUSION

As all of us, both coaches and technical officials are being exposed to this clinic, let us use the knowledge we gain by it, honestly and positively to improve the growth and development.

As third edition book on our Technical Rules will be one decade old (2003 – 2013), machinery should be set in motion to review and published another one for at least for the next decade (2013 – 2023).

 

THERE ARE LOTS TO DO IN ORDER TO PROMOTE OUR TRADITIONAL SPORTS

 

 

THANKS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s