People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Somali Bantu in Kenya

Somali Bantu

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Send us a map of this people group in this country.
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
113,000 Maay Islam 0.05 % 0.05 % No   

Somali Bantu in Kenya

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
Over 200 years ago Arab traders took people from their homes in Mozambique and Malawi to become slaves in Somalia. This slavery persisted until the 1930s, but the Bantu remained severely oppressed, rejected by Somali society. The Somali Bantu refer to themselves as Bantu and have low status in Somalia. Most of them speak Af-Maay. They are mostly farmers who eat their own produce.

The Somali civil war of the 1990s was used as an excuse to steal land and property from the Bantu. Many were raped, beaten, and killed during this time. Fleeing to Kenya, many Bantu found refuge in camps where a sizable number remain waiting to find a permanent home.

Where are they located?
Most of these refugees in Kenya are either in the Dadaab Refugee Camp in northeastern Kenya or the Kakuma Refugee Camp in the northwest.

What are their lives like?
They mostly marry among themselves and there are few marriages between them and the Somalis. Bantu Somalis in Kenyan refugee camps live in dire poverty and squalor. Some have tried to start small businesses. Women are often raped and men beaten if they go outside the camp to find firewood. Many of them are being relocated to Tanzania or the United States.

What are their beliefs?
Most of them are Muslims but some became Catholics and some are animists.

What are their needs?
The Somali Bantu people in Kenya need a permanent home where they can earn a living and find education for their children.

Prayer Points
* Pray that the troubles the Somali Bantu have had will lead them to Jesus Christ.
* Pray for a Bible studies and disciple-making movements to start in refugee camps.
* Pray that the Somali Bantu will encounter the generosity and love of Christ through His followers in Kenya and the United States.
* Pray that their hearts will be opened to the gospel as their physical needs are met.
* Pray for peace and prosperity for the Somali Bantu, and that this displaced people will soon find their Heavenly Father.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.


View Somali Bantu in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: Kenya
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
Persecution Rank:49 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Dadaab, Kakuma, Nairobi.
(Source: Field worker)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Somali Bantu
People Name General: Somali Bantu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 103458
Joshua Project People ID: 20784
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 113,000
Population all Countries: 963,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Bantu, Swahili
People Name General: Somali Bantu
Ethnic Code: NAB57
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Maay
Language Code (ISO): ymm    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Somali (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.05 %(Evangelical: 0.05 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam99.95 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 2006-2007
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Maay
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Somali Bantu in Kenya

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Bantu, Swahili     Africa, East and Southern    
      Somali Bantu Kenya    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Somali Bantu in Kenya          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Maay  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: