Introduction / History The Zhilvu (also spelled Jilvu) people along with the Kəryə, Konzəl, Madzara, Vin, Huli, Ɓwin, and Menta are part of the Fali people in Adamawa State, Nigeria. Although there are several languages spoken amongst these groups, all of the people consider themselves to be Fali people socially and culturally. Most Zhilvu have learned to understand the Madzara and Ɓwin, though their young children still have difficulty understanding them. Unlike other Fali people, the Zhilvu report that they did not originate from Bagira (Ɓwin) or Cameroon. The elders say that they have always lived in the very same hills that they live in today.
The Zhilvu farm in the hills of Adamawa State and follow a more traditional way of life. They are known for building stone embankments on the mountain sides for terrace farming. Major crops include guinea corn, maize, ground nuts, bambara nuts and beans.
While most schooling is conducted in English, sometimes Hausa, the language of wider communication in the area. One teacher says that given the opportunity, he would like to teach in the local language. He says that it would help the children to better understand what they are learning.
What are their beliefs? They report that they would be eager to have the Bible in their own language because although many speak Hausa, there are still some that do not. Having the Word of God in Zhilvu would mean that all the people in their villages would have access to the Bible. The gospel of Luke has been drafted, checked by consultant and is being prepared for publication.