Introduction / History The Bussawa or Busa people are mostly found in Niger and Kwara states of west-central Nigeria near the Benin border. New Bussa is actually a new location for the people because the construction of the Kainji Dam, which made their relocation necessary.
The main language of the Bussawa is Bisa or Bokobaru. A Bisa New Testament became available in 2004. Gospel recordings also exist for the Busa who are unable to read.
Where are they located? Mostly found in Niger and Kwara states of west-central Nigeria.
What are their lives like? Busa villages are near an active trade route, which has brought them together with other ethnic groups such as the Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa-Fulani and Nupe. The Busa are an agricultural people. They grow maize, yams, beans, rice, millet, melons, and vegetables. Goats and cattle supply milk, meat and hides.
Most people groups in rural Nigeria like the Busa enjoy music, story telling and dance as a form of entertainment and communication. These art forms are very meaningful in rural Nigeria. Those who want to take the gospel to the Bussawa people should find ways to communicate using these art forms.
What are their beliefs? The Bussawa people are a mixture of animists and Sunni Muslims. The Sunnis believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, revealed through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
In most of the Muslim world, peoples like the Bussawa depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. The often use charms and amulets to help them deal with spiritual forces. The Busa live in fear of evil spirits.
What are their needs? The Bussawa people need adequate rain for their crops and their livestock so they can live lives free of want and poverty. They need modern medical care and good schools that will help the next generation to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
The Bussawa people need to hear and understand the message of Christ. He alone can give them an abundant life and the forgiveness of their sins.
Prayer Points * Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Bussawa people teachable and understanding hearts.
* Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Bussawa families into a rich experience of God’s blessing.
* Pray for the Bussawa culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.
* Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a disciple making movement among the Bussawa people.
* Pray for Bussawa families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness through Christ alone, and to understand the adequacy of Christ’s work on the cross. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.
Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association (NEMA)