Soccer is very popular in Rwanda. The top three
teams are Rayon Sport, Kiyovu Sportif and the Rwanda
Patriotic Army team. Rwandans keenly follow soccer
games, either by attending the matches or by listening
to them on the radio. Men get together for informal
games and children enjoy kicking and running after
balls made of leaves held together with twine. There
are a few soccer clubs for adult women in cities
such as Kigali.
Some Rwandans are very fast runners. From a young
age, children compete in running and high jumping.
Recreational wrestling is another favourite pastime.
Some Rwandans who live near the lakes enjoy swimming.
Rwandan children play games such as hide and seek,
skipping and hopscotch.
Mancala is a traditional board game
enjoyed by Rwandans. It is played with 48 dried
peas and a specially made board, with two rows of
six hollowed-out cups. Some boards have a cup at
each end for keeping captured peas. At the beginning
of the game, all the peas are distributed in the
cups. In turn, each player picks up the peas in
one cup and distributes them sequentially in the
other cups. Players try to capture as many peas
as possible during this process, but the rules of
capture vary. Igisoro, a more complex version of
the game, uses a table with 32 hollowed-out cups,
in four rows of eight.
Other traditional pastimes include reciting poetry
and telling stories. Poetry recitations are generally
held at wedding ceremonies. Most Rwandan stories
tell of the heroism of kings and ancestors.
Special events, such as births, weddings and harvests,
are occasions for music and dancing. One men's dance
is the intore, which means "chosen." The
best dancers are chosen to perform a warlike dance
to the accompaniment of drums. A special dance called
ikinimba is part of the traditional courtship ritual.
It is danced by men and unmarried women. When a
woman marries, she may no longer participate in
the dance, but men may perform the dance after they
Rwanda has a national radio station and most people
have access to a radio. Rwandans enjoy listening
to American rock music, Caribbean reggae, and Zairian
and Kenyan pop music.