Ndengereko in Tanzania

Joshua Project has identified the Ndengereko only in Tanzania







Largest Religion

Main Language


Ndengereko people video

Source LinkUp Africa                                                Download

Profile Source: Link Up Africa

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.

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Country Tanzania
Continent Africa
Region East and Southern Africa
10/40 Window No
Location in Country Ruvuma region, east Songea District, Central coast, south of Zaramo [zaj], north of Rufiji [rui]
People Group Map Ndengereko in Tanzania PDF Version

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People Name General Ndengereko
People Name in Country Ndengereko
ROP3 Code 107158
Joshua Project People ID 13279
Indigenous Yes
Population in Tanzania 154,000
Least-Reached Yes
Alternate Names for People Group
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Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Ndengereko 153,680
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Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Bantu, Makua-Yao
People Name General Ndengereko
Ethnic Code NAB57j
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Largest Religion Islam
2.0%    ( Evangelical  0.70% )
Ethnic Religions
Other / Small
Christian Segments
Other Christian
Roman Catholic
Photo Source: Link Up Africa
Map Source: Anonymous
Video Source: LinkUp Africa
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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