Makhuwa Cluster

Languages: eMakhuwani, eSaka, eMarrevoni, eXirima
People Group: aMakhuwa
People Group Size: 4,400,000 eMakhuwani, 812,000 eSaka, 917,000 eMarrevoni and 2,500,000 eXirima
Location: Mozambique
Lifestyle: Subsistence farming

Translation Time-frame: October 2019 to September 2022
Completed in Phase 1: 264 Bible stories (66 stories in each of the 4 languages)
Translation Phase: In transition (phase 1 to phase 2)
Translation Goals: Oral Bible translation of Genesis, Luke, Acts and Romans
Source Languages: Central Makhuwa and Portuguese
Managing Partners: Wycliffe SA / Nampula Roman Catholic Church

Spread out across the northern provinces of Mozambique is the eMakhuwa language group. This is the largest Bantu language spoken in Mozambique, covering about 1/3 of the population. eMakhuwa is classified into 11 variants, of which some are close to each other and others are distant. This cluster project is working with 4 variants. Since they are from the same root language, clustering brings a sense of unity and collaboration for some linguistic and cultural aspects. 

The need for Bible translation was determined when the Catholic Church, together with other Evangelical churches, began conducting outreach programs. They came to realize that what they needed, both to elevate life transformation in the communities and to follow God’s mission, was to have relevant Bible narratives in their own languages. This would open up God’s Word and provide opportunities to reach out to all people.

Phase 1 of translation started at the end of 2019, and the team have seen significant impact since the translation started. Andre Raul (Project Coordinator) reported that, “many people walk long distances just to go and listen to the stories; we can see that they are absolutely thirsty for the Word of God.” Despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the consultant and team managed to host all the planned workshops, and have exceeded the translation goals set for this period. When this cluster moves into the next phase, each language will become a stand-alone project rather than operating as a group.


  • Praise that the team have met and exceeded all their translation targets for this phase.
  • Praise for the impact the translation is having, and that hearts will be ready to receive the Word in the communities that have not yet heard it.
  • For funds to be raised to start the new phase and for God to prepare the hearts and minds of the translation teams as they transition to stand-alone projects.

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