The Ndali people believe a Ndali Bible would make a major difference in their spiritual and church life and would help this third generation Christian community in discipleship and teaching. The church leaders expressed that they see a lack of depth of understanding of the faith and their congregations are not able to make sufficient use of the Swahili Scriptures. Church leaders believe that the greatest challenge in the Ndali church is that people do not have a depth of Christian commitment. Therefore they believe that a meaning-based translation of the Bible in today's language will be needed.
The Ndali live in a area which crosses the Tanzanian-Malawi border. Much of their homeland is mountainous and the Ndali have perfected farming on very steep slopes. They love their language and want to see it developed. The people have been praying for years to have the Bible in their own language and are excited about how translated Scriptures will make a difference in their lives.
Location within country: The Ndali live in the Mbeya Region, Ileje District, to the northwest of Lake Malawi, and also in Malawi, between the Lambya and Nyakyusa peoples.
Other countries where these people live: Malawi
Population: 370,000. About 300,000 live in Tanzania while 70,000 live in Malawi.
Cultural Information: The Ndali are farmers, cultivating maize, millet, beans, cassava, bananas. They also own cattle, goats, sheep and poultry.
Alternate language names: Chindali, Kindali
Language Group Information: There was a sociolinguistic survey of the Ndali area done by the Language Assessment team in 2002. The Ndali consider their language very vital and use it in all contexts of their lives. Children and youth are perceived by the adults to speak good Ndali. There are a significant number of Ndali people who do not know Swahili at all.
The dialect situation seems to be quite clear apart from some influence by Nyakyusa or Lambya in the areas bordering these languages. The villages Kapelekesi, Isoko, Malangali and Ibeta are in the heartland of Ndali. The Ndali spoken in Malawi is considered the same as that spoken in Tanzania. There is one language in Malawi, the Sukwa, who reportedly are able to understand Ndali well. The Penja are also reported to speak a language that is between Nyakyusa and Ndali.
The Ndali community is in general very industrious and hardworking as can be seen by numerous development projects that they have themselves instigated and completed. There is widespread support for developing Ndali literature both within and outside the church. There are quite a few well-educated Ndali who have a strong interest in seeing their language written down.
Religion: Christian, traditional religion. Christianity has been in the Ndali area for about one hundred years. The communities are largely churched and close to 100% of the Ndali would identify themselves as Christians. There are many educated as well as theologically educated Ndali.
The Ndali formed their own language board years before the Mbeya-Iringa Cluster Project was started. Understandably, they are more than happy to get the help they need to develop their language. The church leaders in the area recognize the need to translate the Bible into their language. They have been praying for a long time to receive the Scriptures so partnering with them is truly an answer to prayer. They frequently use Ndali in church functions and preaching.
The Team: The team has members of Moravian, MEC and Baptist churches. The team is made up of Safari M. and Kenan P. as translators, Pitrosi K. as Literacy/SU coordinator, Wiliadi S. and Asungwile U. as Language Area officers.
The Ndali Church: Christianity has been in the Ndali area for about one hundred years. The communities are largely churched and nearly all of the Ndali would identify themselves as Christians. There are many educated as well as theologically educated Ndali. The Moravian Church is the largest denomination in the Ndali speaking area, followed by the Roman Catholic Church. These two denominations account for about 90% of the Ndali speakers.
The church leaders in the Ndali area recognize the need to translate the Bible into their language. They have been praying for a long time to receive the Scriptures so partnering with them is truly an answer to prayer. They frequently use Ndali in church functions and preaching. An Ndali Bible would make a major difference in their spiritual and church life!
History: For the past one hundred years the Ndali have been expanding southwards into northern Malawi and westwards into neighboring peoples' homelands in search of good farming land. Christianity has been in the Ndali area for about one hundred years as well.