1. Promotion of Traditional/Indigenous/Ethno Sports in all our schools from Kindergarten through primary, secondary, colleges, polytechnic to university, obeying “UNESCO” Verona Declaration (2015) on Traditional Sports in schools.
  2. Promoting TSG through tourism e.g through Royal Fathers, Traditional festivals, e.g The Olojo Festival of Ooni of Ife, Argungun Fishing Festival, Osun-Oshogbo Festival, Ofala Festival etc Promoting through V.I.Ps.
  3. (a) Patriotism Agenda for Africans: (a) To be in agenda 20/30 & Agenda  2063 with the theme: REPLACING THE GUNS WITH OUR INDIGENOUS SPORTS 

(b) Promoting our sports to be:

(i)  In the (All) Africa Games

(ii) In the Commonwealth Games 

(iii) In the Olympic Games 

  1. National Agenda: e.g National Sports Festivals of each of the countries (in all the 54 countries in Africa)
  2. Recreation and Leisure 
  3. Decoration, Exhibition, especially in International Expos, Ministry of Interior Parks, forest reserves and reformation premises, National Day Events etc..  
  4. Infrastructure: In schools, stadia, parks, gardens etc
  5. To be part of High Profile National Sports Bodies e.g Army Sports, Naval Sports, Airforce Sports, (Armed Forces Sports) Police Games, NUGA, NACEGA, NIPOGA YOUTH GAMES, NSSF etc
  6. Research Chairs/Awards etc
  7. Adopting and adapting our sports for fitness training & national fitness program (index)  
  8. Production of Coaches and Technical Officials through Train the Trainers Coaching Clinics, Routine Sports Association Clinics/Institutes etc
  9. (a) African Confederations on each sport and Multisports Federation for African Indigenous Sports. Regional Sports Bodies e.g ECOWAS 
  10. Standardization of Rules and Regulations to continental level and world exports level for our Traditional Sports.
  11. Promotion of local leagues e.g Lagos Abula League, National and Continental Leagues.
  12. Writing of Books especially compendium or encyclopedia of African Traditional Sports and Games.  
  13. Sports Museum or creating a section for our indigenous sports in existing museums.
  14. Sports Institute(s) on African Traditional Sports and Games (TSG).
  15. Encouraging film makers to promote African Indigenous Sports through their films.
  16. Hosting of Traditional Sports Festivals, championships at Regional, Continental and World levels. 
  17. Modernization of the sports for greater acceptability and promotion.
  18. Budgeting to really promote these sports to world level (standard)
  19. Appointing Minister of State, Sports to handle our Traditional Sports  for each country in Africa etc. 
  20. Mentoring: Let us have mentors i.e. elders and sponsors to mentor on our indigenous sports 

Thank you.

Mallam Elias Yusuf 

President of TSFN (2001 – 2005) 

The Jury, Traditional Sports 

Demonstrated at the 8th

All Africa Games, Abuja 2003

The inventor of Abula Game

And African Billiards 


08023289082, email:



  1. Promotion Through Education Sector 

The template of (Afrotradosports) African Traditional Sports in our Schools. Let each and every country in Africa obey “2015 UNESCO Verona Declaration on Traditional Sports and the Antananarivo recommendations on TSG. By so doing every country will practice and promote Traditional Sports on a more consistent global/uniform standard, thereby carrying out the followings (i.e each country):

  1. Prevents extinction of our Traditional Sports 
  2. Promotes existence (each country identifies their TSG 
  3. Promotes documentation of her indigenous sports 
  4. Promotes improvement 
  5. Promotes popularity 
  6. Promotes daily practice and usage 
  7. Promotes history of the sports
  8. Promotes knowledge of the sports 
  9. Promotes pride of the sports
  10. Promotes solving problems of the sports
  11. Promotes modern version of each of the sports 
  12. Promotes advancement of the sports
  13. Promotes researches on the sports 

UNESCO’s Verona Declaration Wants: 

O Promotion of Intral mural competitions inside each school 

Promotion of inter school competitions at the local, state and national school competitions on Traditional Sports and Games (TSG) 

P Each country will promote cognitive development on the sports through school internal and external examinations.

Q Promotes curricular (i.e knowledge) of activities on the sports 

R Promotes recreational activities in the school with the sports wherever possible.

S Promotes inter-country championships.  

T Promotes provision of facilities on the sports.

U Promotes standardizing facilities on the sports and have agenda/plan of number of years to promote particular sports before promoting them to a higher level. 

V Grouping the sports for promotion 

W Books on the sports

X ICT on the sports

Y Streaming on the sports

Z afrotradosports TV etc 

  1. Using Tourism Outlets To Promote Our Traditional/Ethno Sports (In Nigeria As An Example)

These tourism outlets are varied and dynamic. A good number of them include:

  1. Through Traditional Rulers or through traditional events/festivals. These two-in-one outlets always or in most cases go together e.g 
  1. Olojo festival of the Ooni of Ife in Osun State, Nigeria. The Ooni could adopt Ayo, Africa Billiards, Traditional  Wrestling or multiple traditional Sports to go with the festival. Could start a week to the festival proper. (However, the Royal fathers can host the sports championship separately).
  2. The Osun Osogbo Festival could adopt any of the Traditional Sports as part of the festival and provide a permanent pavilion for the arena of the championship.
  3. The Igue Festival of the Oba of Benin or The Oba of Benin Traditional Sports Championship which debuted in 2001
  4. The Oba of Lagos Ayo National Championship which debuted in 1997 
  5. The Ofala festival, of the Obi of Onitsha, Anambra State, Eze Njamanze Traditional Sports, Owerri, Imo State etc 
  6. The Argungun fishing festival  had already started having some traditional sports during the fishing festival. However, this need to be highly stepped up. We also have the Yawuri Emirate Festival etc the other countries in African should identify the structured platforms that can accommodate and promote Traditional Sports like those stated above.
  1. (i) V.I.P: Traditional/Ethno Sports Festival e.g Current Heads of State’s cup, Governor’s cup, Chairman of Local Government Traditional Sports Championship, Senators, House of Representative Members etc

(ii) Former HeadS of States living or dead, sports philanthropists etc

Companies e.g Conglomerate brands, International Brands, Up and coming companies etc, country clubs e.g Club De Royal, Ayegbaju-Ekiti. 

  1. Patriotic Agenda:

Patriotism: Pride: This is putting our Traditional/Ethno Sports to be in flagship champions e.g

  1. Be in the (All) Africa Games 
  2. Be in the Commonwealth Games 
  3. Be in the Olympic Games 

This is very important for the children of Africa because as at today (2021 January), none of African Indigenous Sports is even a scoring event at the (All) Africa Games not to talk of Commonwealth Games or the Olympic Games. We should note that the five interlocking rings with five different colours depicting the five major continents of the world as the symbol of the Olympic Games, our own black ring, placed in the centre is a barren ring so to say as there is no African Indigenous Sports in the Olympic Games. 

4. National Agenda:

Each of our (54) countries in Africa (as at today 2021) should have sports policy that will not just accommodate her own Traditional/Indigenous/Ethnosports but should be ready to seriously document, develop, promote and modernize the sports for easier and attractive acceptance by the youths and for export to other African countries and the world over. The sports should be actively engaged in the National Sports Festivals of such countries and be widely and actively publicized. Intellectualism should be actively used to develop and promote the sports.  

Our Traditional Sports should be segregated into classes and be graded too. Some will be on high priority list and some on reserved list or preservation list and depending on the seriousness of the countries that have them.

The classification will be on (a) combat/martial arts (b) ball games (c) seed games (d) mat games, recreational games, games of low organization etc or leisure games etc. Experts on taxonomy of sports could be involved.

5. Recreation And Leisure

Some of our indigenous sports are very good for recreational activities apart from their quality for high quality championships. It is just like as you can recreate with football, yet it is a very high flagship championship sport. Table tennis is also used for recreation yet it is in class of the very high championship, in fact, flagship championship. We have sports like Ayo, Abula  African Billiards, Langa etc in that group in Nigeria and many African countries have theirs too.

6. Decoration and Exhibition

The genre of our indigenous sports should be among the junctions/round about decorations. They should be included for Exhibitions at International Expos etc. They could also be at the headquarters of our foreign missions e.g Ayo Boards with seeds, African Billiards boards with seeds etc.

7. Infrastructure: 

The infrastructure of our indigenous sports in Nigeria should be constructed at the centres of our National Parks for visitors to recreate with e.g Ayo Boards and pavilion, African Billiards Board and Pavilion, Abula courts (and equipment). Traditional wrestling and Dambe Boxing courts and open field for Langa. Other countries should also exhibit their own sports at such spots in their countries.

Just imagine you are a Nigerian, you are in Nairobi and find your way to Nairobi National Park, you bump into “PAVILION OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL SPORTS” on an acre of Land. You pleasantly further discover, the stand of Ayo  and African Billiards in the pavilion or you are from South Africa and you get to Lagos Nigeria and you are told there is a secondary school nearby where they play Dibeke or you are a Ghanaian and you are taken to DRAFT PLAYING CENTRE in Surulere Area of Lagos or you are a Kenyan and you find yourself inside the Millenium Park, Abuja in Nigeria, you find yourself face to face with FIX THE RESERVE, guess how you will feel? These feelings can be brought to practical existence if we Africans, I mean our leaders, include our African Traditional Indigenous Sports in the ubiquitous bilateral relation agreements and implement the agreements faithfully and without delay. Certainly we can enjoy them practically not through imaginations. It will not be a day dreaming matter. We can make it happen when we are finally up and doing on our indigenous sports. 

So our National Parks can be very veritable sources of promoting African Traditional Indigenous Sports. 

For our indigenous/Ethno Sports to grow and develop there must be infrastructure for them especially in our schools, stadia, parks, gardens, our homes and specially dedicated centres or institutes for them.

If they have no facilities, the interested individuals would have no chance to practice and master them. Their facilities in our Tourist centres like forest reserve parks, Ikogosi warm and cold water tourist park, (Ekiti State) cultural centres like National Arts Theaters, Iganmu National Park, Abuja  etc. Definitely, the number one place to put their facilities are our schools. However the monuments in their best form will be the pavilions for them, stadia for them or the institutes for them. 

These sports are to be included or embraced by High Profile Sport Bodies such as Army Sports, Naval Sports, Airforce Sports (Armed Forces Sports) Police Games, NUGA, NIPOGA, NACEGA, NSSF, YOUTH GAMES etc. This will make our indigenous sports to be fully embedded in our society and communities all over. I can tell you with absolute confidence that Abula and Ayo featured as scoring events at the 7th NAVAL GAMES at Abeokuta

in 2005. It is Bravo! To The Nigerian Navy. 


9. Research Chairs/Awards:

Awards for researches on our indigenous sports should be instituted in our universities to encourage researches and academic activities for excellent advancements in our indigenous sports. It is just very necessary for us to go the extra mile if we are going to move very fast in moving our indigenous sports forward. We are for both the usual and extra plus ways to get there because we are too much behind others as regards sports development on the globe, especially our ethno sports/TSG.  

10. Indigenous Sports For Fitness Program: 

Adapting and adopting our indigenous sports for fitness training and national fitness program should be worked upon. Some sports of low organization may just be amalgamated to become fused together in order to be used as fitness sports. This is also where we need the universities to research into our Traditional Sports and adapting some of them as hybrid with sports from within the continent of Africa. It is possible to make fitness index for Africa by wedging these sports together from Africa indigenous background.

11. Production of Coaches:

Production of Coaches and Technical Officials through projects like (1) Train the Trainers. Some years back when the Federal Ministry of Education (Nigeria) approved Traditional Sports to be in the National School Curriculum by the 48th Session of National Council on Education, a train the trainers to train Teachers of PHE on the approved indigenous sports, was planned but later abandoned.

All Africa countries should be able to Train their coaches and Technical officials to be versed on the theory and practice of their sports. 

  1. Encouragement of continental confederations on sport to sport basis and Multisports continental bodies should exist to multiply proficiency on our Traditional Sports. The multi-sports body will organize a kind of continental Olympics for many African Traditional Sports while each confederation will be the inbuilt organization to control the standard of such specific sports that have been able to graduate to have confederations in Africa. Such progress are also dynamic and political and the bodies will view such to decide for the next level of such sports.

12. African Confederation for each sport and Multisports

Continental bodies of African Traditional Sports will accelerate the growth and development of the sports. 

13. Standardization Of Rules And Regulations     

At continental level and world level. Definitely, some sports/games will be at continental level and their rules would have to be moderated and upgraded 

Some sports have gotten very standard rules and regulations that would not give Africa continental body any headache to moderate while some need serious moderations to upgrade them. The six sports in the Rule Book of Traditional Sports Federation of Nigeria are very advanced and standard. Nigeria must work on the others that have not entered the rule book. 

The number one problematic sport in Africa may be our Traditional Wrestling that can be taken care off with the marging of their divigent rules together and removing contradictory ones and give them a name like done at the Olympic Games where we have Grecoroman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, so Africa can have Afrotrado wrestling. Doing this may make African Wrestling get to the Olympic Games faster than expected.

Regional Sports Bodies e.g ECOWAS and others will help us to grow faster. Technical bodies on such selected sports should be very dynamic but caring in making rules that will make the sports go forward and retain their uniqueness.

Really, there are some sports in which their rules and regulations had already reached topmost perfection e.g the rules and regulations of Draft (which is said to be a Ghanaian Game which I also know to be very homely in Nigeria over the years. The rules of Draft are very few and may not be easily subjected to serious changes. So may be other sports. However, new good ideas can be accommodated and the technocrats on these rules must be highly knowledgeable and experienced on the sports in which they are involved and can also injects other good ideas as they say “a good reason must give way for better”.

ATTESTATION: The players, Technical Officials, Coaches, Stakeholders and Fans will attest to changes if they are better by comparisons.  

We must look forward for ideal people that will give us idea rules that will make our Traditional indigenous Sports move up and forward but should retain their uniqueness, identity, good flow and the joy in them being magnified. The intellectual property where applicable should be respected.   

14. Promotion Of Local And Continental Leagues 

This is important for our sports to be alive all the year round. Our Youths will be usefully engaged in them and this will promote peace and progress in our Youths and with our own indigenous sports of which they will be very proud of.   

15. Books On Our Traditional Sports:

Books are great sources of Documentation and Knowledge. Let there be encouragement on writing books on our Traditional/indigenous Sports. The first book on our Nigerian/African Indigenous Sports was on ABULA and AFRICAN BILLIARDS written by Mallam Elias Yusuf and published in 1990 and eventually the compilation and publishing of three editions of the Rules and Regulations of our Traditional Sports in Nigeria (1998, 2000 and 2003 respectively), there is the book on Langa by Alhaji Bako Abdu. Many PHE teachers, writers and publishers have used the sources of our rule books to write texts on traditional sports for the secondary School Education level in Nigeria along with other sport topics. Traditional Sports being in our school curriculum encourages writers to write texts on Traditional Sports as they write on other Global Sports. Even far from that, I have seen Social Studies and English Language textbooks writing on our Traditional Sports in Nigeria. This is great, we should be looking forward towards African Encyclopedia on African indigenous Sports in the near future. This can and should happen in this decade 2020/2030 for Africa Traditional/Indigenous Sports as ECOWAS Specific Regulations for African Traditional Wrestling was released in 2011. 

16. Sports Museum 

Let have sports museums or let have parts of existing museums devoted to our own Traditional Sports or we create department for our Traditional Sports in the existing museums. It is  possible. When I visited Tanzania, through EKO PROJECT of Lagos State Government, Nigeria (2013) I saw something that is like Ayo board (Mbao) in the museum where the motor cars used by President Julius Nyerere were in display. This was very encouraging to me because I am a follower of African Traditional Sports. In Nigeria, do we have Ayo Boards and seeds in our Museums? 

17. Sport Institutes On African Traditional/Indigenous Sports

Individual countries in African should set up such institutes in their own countries to take care of the peculiar situations in their countries and there should be international institutes of African Traditional Sports at least in each Region of Africa or any country that can do it. In Nigeria, we have a good number of our Indigenous/Traditional Sports that have grown beyond Nigeria and I am very much aware that the National Institute for Sports in Lagos Nigeria is already producing Higher Diploma Graduates in Traditional Sports, but it is not too much for us to have a full fledge/Indigenous International Institute for African Traditional/Indigenous Sports. Nigeria is a great leader in African Traditional Sports and must not relent on such an idea.  The economy, population, background knowledge and general interest of Nigeria can conveniently accommodate it. 

18. Encouraging Film Makers to promote African Traditional/indigenous Sports in their films. This is a great way to encourage the populace in Africa and other parts of the world to emulate our sports. They will get the picture of our sports in standard forms. Writer of films should create beautiful scenes and in fine sceneries/environment on our Traditional Indigenous sports to give us satisfaction and education (knowledge)

19. Hosting African Traditional Indigenous Sports And Games Festivals/Championships/Seminars etc

These should be done by states, countries, individuals and companies,  VIPs to support and sponsor the hosting. We should have continental championships, festivals and world festival of Traditional Sports. As we have TAFISA which has organized world festival of Traditional Sports in 1992 in Bonn (Germany) in 1996 in Bankok Thailand, in 2000; Hannover in Germany (the 2004 festival in CANADA was counseled), 2008 in Busan Korea etc. This is a sign that Africa is alreading lagging behind in hosting Traditional Sports again. We must wake up. 

By hosting our own Traditional Sports, we will get great upward development and progress and our Youths will be employed empowered, and their spirit will receive high elation. It is something great to be looking up to in Africa. This will arouse the enthusiasm of our Youths. 

We should note that countries that host African Traditional Indigenous Sports are making great contributions in helping to remove Africans from the dismal  level in which we are carrying other peoples’ sports on our heads and sadly dragging our own sports with our feet on the ground. As we have embraced other peoples sports, we should equally practice ad promote our own sports. 

In 1930, the City of Hamiton (in Canada), which is now recognized as the first host of the Commonwealth Games, provided $30,000 as traveling costs for the eleven British Empire countries that participated in the 1st Commonwealth Games which was then called British Empire Games. This is History. African countries should jostle to host and pioneer the promotion of African Indigenous Sports. In ancient Greece, the Greek city states used to declare TRUCE during wars to allow the Ancient Olympic Games to take place. This shows how they placed their sport above any issue. 

20. Modernizing Our Traditional Sports In Africa

Football finally entered its modern age and stage in 1863 when it splits into two- Association Football and Rugby Football after entering Britain as Harpastum from Rome 

The transformation of football was extra-ordinary among all sport that had traditional backgrounds. So our traditional sports in Africa can go into great transformation through modernization with injection of modern rules and regulations. However, it is not all our Traditional Sports that will receive transformation. Therefore some will remain documentated and remain in the cooler until their luck will finally shine or their useful purposes will come into the open i.e discovered.

21. Budgeting To Promote Our Traditional Indigeneous Sports   

This is very important. However, our Governments are not viewing our own indigenous sports as such. Our people also have been indoctrinated that our own things are inferior, so they are not important. So we need a more positive mindset to believe in ourselves. With good allocation of fund for the promotion of our Traditional Sports in our schools especially on making their facilities, equipment, teachers, coaches, technical officials competitions, tournaments and championships (frequently and sufficiently) available, will go a long way to change our Traditional Sports from the present moribund and abandoned wealth of our nations. 

22. Special/Spectacular Appointment e.g Minister of State (Sports)to handle our indigenous sports will not be too much. Creation of National Traditional Sports Commission in each country in Africa will do a lot of magic in uplifting our indigenous sports in Africa. We need urgent action to counter what our Africa Indigenous Sports had suffered in the past. They need reparation, yes our Traditional Sports require great compensation for the neglect of the past.   

23. Mentoring    

Leaders in the promotion of our Traditional Indigenous Sports in Africa should engage in serious positive mentoring of both young and old. They need balanced positive mindset. 

Yes, the importance of mentoring cannot be over emphasised. Some high profile mentoring have helped in bringing major breakthroughs in technology in which competitors have been brought together to combine beautifully to produce lasting high quality brands. The production of Mercedes Benz is a great example. 

This suggested template is one of the ways of mentoring ourselves in promoting our Traditional/indigenous Sports in Africa. 

I like to advise that this suggested template should be used with open mind in order to obtain the desired outcome in moving our African Traditional/Indigenous Sports from red ocean of neglect and backwardness to shift to blue ocean of goodness and popularity. 

In brining this write-up to a close, I hereby quote a paragraph from BLUE OCEAN SHIFT by W.CHAN KIM/RENEE MAUBORGNE (2017):

“We are now ready to deduce the mindset of blue ocean strategists and the distinctive ways their thinking departs from red ocean logic. The aim here is for you to understand how blue ocean strategists think so that you can embrace this logic as you embark on your own blue ocean shift journey. This mindset acts as a compass to guide your strategic direction. Without getting it right, the market-creating tools, however good, may be misapplied in action and fail to produce your intended shift. As we go through each guiding principle, think about how it allows you to begin to see opportunities where before only constraints were visible.”  

Thank you.

Mallam Elias Yusuf 


Congratulates AfCFTA as Her torch being lit today 20/01/2021.

Very soon, the torch of African Traditional Indigenous Sports will be on too. 


I must acknowledge and express my gratitudes to Mrs. Abiola K. Ogunbiyi, the current Chairman of Lagos State Traditional Sports Association for being the motivating factor for this write-up.

I received a phone call from her, inviting me to accompany her to a one day seminar organized by Nigeria Economic Summit Group which took place on 11-02-2020. The seminar was on sports industry policy in Nigeria. I was highly elated to be part of such a great gathering. 

That particular seminar was mainly for the Tourism Sector and she was given an opportunity to bring somebody along with her. 

For her being very objective in picking me for the seminar, speaks volumes as I see her as being an asset to the progress of her community. She did not only select me, she also supported my transportation to and fro Etiosa-Alimosho in this expansive city of Lagos that is fastly transforming to a SMART CITY. All these put me under a compelling pressure that I must not disappoint her great gesture in believing that, inviting me would yield a good dividend for our community. 

I just want to believe that I have been able to do something useful to justify her hands of fellowship.

Thank you Ma. 

I am equally glad that I was able to submit the above memorandum to Nigeria and also developed it to a suggested template for Africa not withstanding the tedious constraints of coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Everybody on earth today says: COVID-19 MUST GO. 


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