The weakest link

Ms. N Chamane of uMlazi B section explained about this game that one child would be enclosed in the circle by the rest of the children holding each other tightly by the hands. The one in the middle would go from link to link hitting and trying to escape saying, “Ngaphuma la” (I can escape here).


1 The person consulted
2 Who plays this game?
3 What is used to play the game?
4 When is the game played?
5 Where is the game played?
6 How is the game played?
7 Custom associated with this game
8 Source

The person consulted
The researcher spoke to Ms. N Chamane who resides at B section, uMlazi. She explained how this game is played.

Who plays this game?
This game is played by girls from the age of 4 to 10.

What is used to play the game?
There is no equipment needed to play the game, the girls just play.

When is the game played?
The game is played during the day when it is not raining throughout the year.

Where is the game played?
This game is played in a cleared open space.

How is the game played?
Children would form a big circle and hold each other firmly by the hands. One of them would get inside the circle and look for the weakest link through which to break the circle and escape. As she moves around from link to link she shouts “I can escape here”. The ones in the circle respond by saying “It’s iron” or “It’s chains” meaning the link is unbreakable. When the one in the middle spots the weakest link she would hit the link hard, escape and run as fast as she could. The rest of the group would pursue her and the one who apprehends her takes the next turn in the circle. The game would go on and on until everybody has had her turn.

Custom associated with this game
This game has no customary origins. It merely entertains the children.

From a Masters dissertation by Victoria Mkhize for the School of IsiZulu, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Supervised by Professors P.J. Zungu and V. Prabhakaran.

Leave a Comment