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: Oct 2019 - Aug 2022
Translation Phase: 1
Translation Goals: Oral Bible translation of 50 narratives from Creation to Revelation
Source Languages: Central Makhuwa and Potuguese
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 got going at the end of 2019, and the team have already seen significant impact. In the first two weeks before the lockdown, Andre Raul (Project Coordinator) reported that, “the Scripture was being listened to by a wide range of people in the communities where our translators live. The impact was huge among the people.” Despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the consultant and team still managed to host all the planned workshops, and have met the translation goals set for this period. For the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19, the team had a face-to-face translation workshop with the consultant on site from 19-30 October 2020.


  • For the language communities yet to hear God’s Word in their heart language.
  • For the Church in Mozambique to continue to be led and strengthened by God as they follow His mission.
  • Safety for the translation teams as they work through these uncertain times.
  • For the displaced people who have no food or shelter

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