The Ndengereko of Tanzania
Location and Background: The Ndengereko are a Bantu speaking tribe centralized between the Ruvu and Rufigi Rivers on the southern coast of Tanzania at an altitude of 300’. Once thought to have been part of the Matumvi tribe originally, they moved north to settle in their current location and farm. The first president implemented a plan which burned people out of their farms forcing them into communist style settlements in major community centers. Many families still live in these community centers but travel quite a distance to get to their farms.
History: During the Maji Maji war, of World War I, many tribes came to the Ndengereko area to help the Germans fight in the war. They needed a language to communicate in and so they chose Kindengereko. After the war was over, most ended up staying in that area and they were absorbed into or became, by language default, the Ndengereko.
Culture: The Ndengereko are subsistence farmers, growing maize rice, cashews, and sesame. They are very community oriented, living in houses made of packed mud and stick with thatched roofs, which are quickly being replaced with metal sheeting. The Ndengereko speak Kiswahili, as their mother tongue is dying out with the older generation. Music is an intricate part of their lives and is woven into their social and religious events. The traditional drum beats are being combined with modern dance music.
Religion: The Ndengereko claim to be born Islam, but will turn first to their animistic traditions in times of trouble. They are so seamlessly interwoven that many do not understand where Islam ends and their animistic beliefs begin.
Latest Prayer Updates:
The Ndengereko are gradually losing their distinctive language and culture as they mingle and mix with the coastal Swahili of Tanzania. As they loosen old traditions and ties, may they acquire new loyalties and a new culture by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Ndengereko believers created Scripture songs from the earliest days of their faith. Pray they will continue to learn Scripture, compose songs, and that those songs will spread far and wide and bring others to faith in Christ.