Burkina Faso's new sport, razball, mixes cultural understanding and athletic prowess
A net, a 30-metre pitch, and four players kicking a ball back and forth across the ground... This is "razball", a sport created in Bobo-Dioulasso, a town in southwest Burkina Faso, in July 2021. One year after its creation, we spoke to the creator of the sport, which is becoming more and more popular.
The sport was invented just last year by Zakaria Bandaogo. He says the sport is about more than just athletic prowess.
The vocabulary used in razball is a reflection of the different cultures of Burkina Faso. The pitch is called "zangayaré" which means "clearing" in the Bissa language. Then you have the "maga," which is hitting the net. "Maga" is from the Dioula language, spoken in the west. When you kick the ball over the net, it's called a "lohni". That's from the San language.
The sport helps promote social cohesion within Burkina Faso. And it's a way of promoting our country overseas. It is a way to pay tribute to our culture, and to make our languages known internationally if this sport ever becomes popular worldwide.
Razball has already had its first championship tournament in Burkina Faso and the game has even been picked up in the Ivory Coast. But Bandaogo hopes that one day it will be played at the Olympic Games.