Introduction / History
The Yamba inhabit a remote mountain range in the North West Province of Cameroon, just south of the Nigerian border. Seventeen Yamba villages within a thirty kilometer radius are accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles, or by foot, due to poor road conditions. Throughout these Bamenda highlands, comprised of both rocky peaks and narrow valleys, the Yamba farm corn, beans, cocoyams and peanuts and raise livestock.
The Yamba trace their ancestry back to the Tikars who migrated from Kimi, a region eighty miles east of Yamba land. For years, the Yamba remained quite isolated because of the difficulty in reaching this region. It was not until 1928 that any mission was able to reach the Yamba. Since 1975, with the blasting of a road over Rom Rock, there has been much more outside influence.
The people speak Yamba, the language of the region, along with some Pidgin and English. Several dialects of Yamba exist, with the Mbem dialect playing an important role, since it is widely understood by the other dialects. SIL has been working with this language group since 1976 with the arrival of Virginia Bradley and Julie VanDyken. Since then, much progress has been made in obtaining Scripture in Yamba. In February 1993, the Yamba celebrated the dedication of the New Testament in their mother tongue. Currently, the Book of Jonah is available in Yamba. SIL has recently begun promoting literacy among the Yamba. With only a 15% literacy among adults, much work remains. Since the Yamba lack the infrastructure needed to build themselves up spiritually, outside assistance is needed.
Although 75% of the people call themselves Christian, many still hold onto traditional beliefs as a way to protect oneself against evil. Much prayer and support is needed if Scripture is to have an impact in reviving the Church among the Yamba.
|Profile Source: Anonymous|