Introduction / History The Nggwahyi or Nxwaxi are a small people group who live in northeastern Nigeria near the Cameroon border. In Nigeria the Hausas and Fulanis have merged to become the most powerful people in northern Nigeria. Smaller people groups like the Nggwahyi are merging with them. As that process continues, the Nggwahyi people are in danger of losing their own language and culture and adopting folk Islam like the Hausa-Fulani. Young people prefer to speak the Hausa and English they learn in school. Many of the Nggwahyi are unable to read and write so the gospel will need to be presented to them in audio and visual forms. No Christian resources are currently available in the Nggwahyi language.
Where are they located? The Nggwahyi people are located in Askira Uba LGA of Borno State in northeastern Nigeria.
What are their lives like? The majority are Muslims and the influence of the Hausa/Fulanli culture is obvious among the people. Their communities have been badly affected by the Boko Haram led insurgency. Some of their children have been kidnapped and their villages burned. The Nigerian government has been unable to protect many peoples like the Nggwahyi.
The primary occupation of the Nggwahyi is agriculture. They grow rice, yams, maize, millet, beans, melons, and vegetables. Peanuts, kola nuts, and palm oil are cash crops, which the Nggwahyi sell to obtain money to buy things they cannot make for themselves such as cell phones and appliances. Most families own some goats and a few cattle for meat, milk and hides. Chickens provide meat and eggs. Village elders settle legal disputes and promote their interests.
What are their beliefs? The Nggwahyi people are Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. They 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 Nggwahyi 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. A small fraction of the Nggwahyi is Christians.
What are their needs? The Nggwahyi people need abundant 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. Solar panels can bring electricity for charging cell phones and running appliances. The Nggwahyi need protection from Boko Haram. Most of all the Nggwahyi need to hear and understand the message of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and get them right with the one, true God.
Prayer Points * Pray for the Lord to raise up a strong disciple making movement to saturate the hearts and minds of the Nggwahyi people.
* Pray for God's blessing, strengthening, and healing of Nggwahyi families and communities within this people group.
* Pray that the Lord sends Nigerian believers to share the gospel with the Nggwahyi.
* Pray for the Lord to multiply the reception and influence of His Word among this people group, leading them to love Him with their whole being. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people. * Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.
References Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association (NEMA)