Introduction / History The Kami are an agricultural, Muslim people who live in west central Nigeria. The Kami are very closely related to the Nupe people and their lifestyles/practices are very similar. Research reveals that they share an intertwined history. The Kami speak their own language of Kami. This language is endangered because young people prefer to speak the Hausa and English languages they learn in school. The only Christian resource that currently is available in Kami are gospel recordings. Unfortunately, many of the Kami are unable to read and write. The gospel will need to be presented to them in oral and visual forms. Many of the Kami speak Hausa. Many Christian resources are available in the Hausa language.
Where are they located? The Kami are found majorly in Ebo town and few villages in Lapai LGA, Niger State, central, Nigeria.
What are their lives like? The Kami live in rural villages surrounded by the land they farm. The grow yams, beans, maize, millet, bananas, melons, and vegetables. Peanuts, kola nuts, and palm oil are cash crop which the Kami grow to buy things they cannot make for themselves like cell phones and appliances. Most villages also have goats and cattle to obtain milk, meat and hides.
Most people groups in rural Nigeria like the Kami 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 Kami people would do well to use these art forms when presenting the gospel. Village elders settle legal disputes and deal with outsiders.
What are their beliefs? Most claim to be Sunni Muslims, the largest branch of Islam. They try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. They believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited to drink alcohol, eat pork, gamble, steal, use deceit, slander, and make idols.
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.
Like most indigenous Muslim people, the Kami’s Islam is strongly influenced by their belief in folk religion. They believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as trees, animals, rocks, rivers and the sky. Prayers, rituals and offerings appease the evil spirits, which can bring disasters on the community if they are not made.
What are their needs? The Kami 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. Solar panels can bring electricity for cell phones and appliances. Most of all, the Kami need to hear and understand the message of Isa or Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and delivers them from their fear of evil spirits.
Prayer Points * Pray for his kingdom to come and his will to be done among the Kami people.
* Pray for a movement of Kami households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
* Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Kami people to the arms of Jesus.
* Pray for Nigerian believers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Kami people. * 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.
Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association (NEMA)