Wanji in Tanzania

Joshua Project has identified the Wanji only in Tanzania





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Wanji people live in southwest Tanzania in the southern mountains of Iringa Region between the Bena, Sangu and Kinga people. Some live on the Usangu wetlands near the village of Mahongale. Some Wanji may attend the secondary (high school) at Makambako, a trading center in the area. There is a corn (maize) grinding mill, waddle and eucalyptus tree project and farm for maize (corn) at this former Lutheran school. Also a local brick factory/kiln.

One of the early Gospel messengers was Sam John Nierendra. One of the people who became a Christian was Samwaili from the mountain village of Msalimwani. The women of this village still wear the skins of animals to ward off the biting cold of mountain mornings. They worship spirits of their ancestors and fear the leopard that stalks at night.

Samwaili attended the Tanzania Bible School where he studied hard. After graduating he traveled the Usangu plains telling folks about his Savior and established other churches. ( 2001 report by David Caskey who lived in Wanji area) In time some of the Bible was provided for this group, 1979-1985. This language needs to be reassessed to see why the translation work stopped and if more translation work is needed for this isolated group. Some appear to have moved down out of the mountains on to the Usangu plains. Their interaction with other larger near by groups will need to be checked to see if they can now use any of these groups' Scriptures. Lutherans, Anglicans and Presbyterians work in this general area as well as perhaps some RC from Njombe.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Wanji
People Name in Country Wanji
Population in Tanzania 40,000
World Population 40,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Vwanji
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Bantu, Central-Tanzania
People Name General Wanji
Ethnic Code NAB57o
People ID 15856
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 Iringa region, Makete District, Kipengere Mountain Range. West of Bena [bez], south of Sangu [sbp], north of Kinga [zga].   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Vwanji: Wanji (40,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Vwanji: Wanji 40,000
For Primary Language: Vwanji

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1979-2012)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
The Seed Company Translation Project Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 12.00 %)
35.00 %
Ethnic Religions
65.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
5.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
35.0 %
Roman Catholic
60.0 %
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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