Introduction / History The Zinza people live on the remote south-western shores and islands of Lake Victoria in northwest Tanzania.
What are their lives like? Many are fishermen, working at night and tending towards a semi-nomadic lifestyle. The remainder are agriculturalists growing a variety of crops such as millet, beans, plantains, and a wide range of tropical fruits. They also raise cattle, sheep, and goats.
During the late 1940s, the government successfully eradicated the tse-tse fly problem in the area on and around the Lake. This led to large-scale migration of neighboring people groups into land traditionally dwelt by the Zinza, who were scattered around the southwest corner of the lake and live in a heterogeneous situation among the Sukuma, Haya, Kerewe and Jita peoples.
Although Swahili is used as the main language of communication between the different people groups, the Zinza are proud of their mother tongue and interested in learning to read and write in Echizinza (the language of the Zinza people).
What are their beliefs? Response to who Jesus is has been varied. Some see Jesus as the Son of God. Others see Him as a prophet; teacher; a good man, but not God's Son. Many have never heard His name.
Today, with the heterogeneous situation in which many Zinza live, there are several churches with Zinza members. These churches use Swahili, the national language of Tanzania, and Sukuma, a large neighboring language. Scripture portions were translated into Echizinza, but some of these portions were done as early as 1930 using an alphabet which has been very difficult to read. Significant language research has been completed and a revised alphabet is now in use. The "Way of Salvation" tract is completed and being distributed. They are a part of a translation cluster of 9 language groups in a region around the north east side of the Lake Victoria) that is moving forward together translating the book of Luke. The book of Genesis was completed in September 2009 and is being distributed.
Prayer Points * At the time of writing there was 1 pastor or evangelist for every 10,000 persons, 1 missionary for every 14,000 persons and 1 believer per 200.
* There is a need for literature development, literacy and health care. * Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.