Ndengereko in Tanzania

Joshua Project has identified the Ndengereko only in Tanzania





Largest Religion

Main Language


Ndengereko People Video

Source:  LinkUp Africa      Download
Introduction / History

Some research indicates that a large people group migrated to Tanzania from West Africa. The Rufiji settled along the river and took that river's name. The Matumbi moved farther south and occupied a series of small hills—(Matumbi means "mountain" in their language). The Ndengereko stayed north of the Rufiji River and lived only along the coastal plain area.

The Ndengereko are the first major coastal group below Dar es Salaam. My guide selected a town on the main road with a population that was primarily Ndengereko. It was about 2:30 p.m., and we were both hungry.

Small restaurants were on each side of the road. We entered one of them and inquired as to what they were serving. "Fish and rice," we were told. We had eaten that menu for several days and we were ready for some beef or goat. Upon making our request, the waitress informed us that only one restaurant was serving meat, and she pointed to the restaurant across the street.

We entered and found only a few customers eating a late lunch. The cook and two waitresses were sitting down to eat their own meal, but they took time to serve us. Then we discovered they were Ndengereko and had the interest and time to visit with us about their people. It was remarkable how the Lord led us to them.

Following a good meal and a nice visit, we asked directions to the town chairman's office. When we arrived, we found the chairman to be a bit suspicious of our intent. Eventually he accepted our explanation and offered to take us to an elderly gentleman who could share the history of their people and town.

After discussing the origin of the Ndengereko, I asked if the tribe had always been Islamic. The old man said, "No. Islam came with the Arab slave traders who taught us to be Muslims." Our attention turned to the subject of slavery and the involvement of the Ndengereko in the slave trade. He explained that his tribe was already practicing slavery before the arrival of the Arabs, which made it easy to cooperate with them.

I asked if David Livingstone ever visited their area, but I learned he had never passed that way. Upon inquiring about the presence of a church or Christians in their town, the chairman responded, "There are none, and if there were they would not be permitted to live among us." Later I discovered that a church had been built in a neighboring village but was completely demolished by the local people just a few months earlier.

Our departure was cordial, and a small relational bridge was built. However, it was easy to see that the typical approach – witnessing, distributing literature, conducting open-air meetings, sending a pastor and building a church – may not be the best method to use in presenting the gospel to the Ndengereko. May the Lord raise up a committed messenger with a creative approach to gain favor and for an open door to present the gospel.

Profile Source:   Link Up Africa 

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-01-11
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-01-04
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-01-17
People Name General Ndengereko
People Name in Country Ndengereko
Population in Tanzania 166,000
World Population 166,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Bantu, Makua-Yao
People Name General Ndengereko
Ethnic Code NAB57j
People ID 13279
Country Tanzania
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank 33  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Ruvuma region, east Songea District, Central coast, south of Zaramo [zaj], north of Rufiji [rui].   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Ndengereko (166,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Ndengereko 166,000
For Primary Language: Ndengereko

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.70 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
1.00 %
0.00 %
97.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
40.0 %
Roman Catholic
60.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Anonymous  
Video Source: LinkUp Africa
Profile Source: Link Up Africa 
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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