1. Make friends with mechanics from the local garage. They need to supply you with tyre tubes so to avoid paying 5 bob, just make friends with one and you’ll get the tubes for free.
2. Invest in a box of razor blades – make sure you have at least one very sharp one that can cut out the tubes quickly.
3. Practice saying, “Peace mkatiko zangu zote na off nikipona” so that anytime you see a bladda it is an automatic response. This will prevent you from “burning” if the bladda cuts off while you are playing.
4. Invest in figure hugging clothes like tights, shorts and vests. Bladda doesn’t favour those who play in qulotes, maxi dresses or jackets.
5. Practice jumping high and wide. Both types of jumping will be required for various styles.
6. Make friends with tall people. These are great especially if they are the ones “filling” – the other team will struggle to get to number 3 and 4 of any style.
7. Remember the order of styles: Normal, Mkondesho 1 and Mkondesho Kidole, Elephantis, Fishings 1, 2 and 3, (I actually sought help for this one!)
8. Gather your team to start playing early in the day because you want to be at least at Fishings 2 when the sun is high up in the sky.
9. Practice with your siblings while at home. If you don’t have siblings, use two stools or a drainage pipe and a bucket full of water or just go and force your parents to get you siblings.
10. Play bladda till you become “Master”. And be the first one to be picked when teams are being formed.
I really miss playing bladda.