Pygmy, Banziri in Central African Republic

Pygmy, Banziri
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  Anonymous
People Name: Pygmy, Banziri
Country: Central African Republic
10/40 Window: No
Population: 2,400
World Population: 2,400
Primary Language: Ganzi
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 75.00 %
Evangelicals: 28.20 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Pygmy
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Ganzi people live in small villages along the Oubangui River in the Central African Republic where their primary industry is fishing. They were once considered slaves to the Gbanziri ethnic group and they are still subservient to them, often being employed by Gbanziri chiefs to do menial work. In the late 19th century when French settlers and explorers docked on the Oubangui River it was the Ganzi who transported the French people and their luggage into the interior of the region. Because they assisted the colonialists in the past and then felt betrayed by them, they tend to feel distrust for strangers to this day.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Ganzi people have experienced some displacement because of tribal conflicts. In addition to this they also feel a sense of isolation due to their dependence on fishing which is a solitary occupation. This results in a lack of unity among the villages. There are no schools, health centers or religious institutions that would fill the need for a central gathering place for the people. The literacy rate is below 10% with no resources written in their own language and no one to teach them. To get along with surrounding peoples the Ganzi need to speak a second language such as Sango, Gbanziri or Langbachi.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Possibly 75% of the Ganzi people are Christian, but they are still influenced by traditional idol worship. There is much opposition to Christianity in the CAR so growing a church is very difficult there. Some of the Ganzi are exposed to the gospel as they travel but there is minimal witness in their villages at this time.

What Are Their Needs?

There is no Scripture in the Ganzi language, and the literacy rate is very low because their language is not written and there are few schools. Ganzi people also speak Gbanziri, Sango or Langbachi.

Missionaries are necessary to to help create literacy programs enabling the Ganzi to write and read their own language and also to disciple believers into church leadership positions.

Text Source:   Anonymous