DAVAR’S PLANS IN CAMEROON
16 audio bibles for Cameroon in 2023
The Republic of Cameroon is in west-central Africa and is about the size of California in square miles. Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, and Gabon border the large country. The name comes from the Portuguese word for shrimps, camaroes. A Portuguese sailor le Fernando Poo in 1472 gave the country its name based on the abundance of shrimp in the Wouri River. Before becoming an independent nation in 1984, Cameroon had spent time under German, French and British rule.
English and French are the official languages of Cameroon. According to a 2017 research article, 12% speak French and English, but 29% speak neither. Ethnologue reports there are 260 different indigenous languages spoken in Cameroon by the 25 million inhabitants.
Public education in Cameroon is free and covers ages 6-12. Most schools teach and speak English and French with some indigenous languages taught as well. Quality concerns and corruption continue to plague most levels of the education system, while access to secondary and higher education remains out of reach for many of the country’s most indigent communities. The indigenous people groups generally have a lower literacy rate, with a notable literacy gap between the men and women, hence the great need for audio bibles to reach these unreached communities.
Our ministry partners at Faith Comes by Hearing have recorded the New Testament in many Cameroonian languages, and we are coming alongside to record the Old Testament to provide a full Bible. Production Manager, Riaan de Lange, who is working with the local Bible Society on these projects, shared, “Judging how relatively easy it was to secure the various recording teams, it shows a high level of eagerness to participate in the projects.”
Here is a brief overview of some of these indigenous people groups and their languages.
Over 5 million people speak Fulfulde Adamawa globally. The language originated in Ghana but due to migration eight African countries speak the language, including Cameroon. The primary religion practiced by the Fulfulde Adamawa is Folk Islam, a syncretistic belief system that blends traditional elements of Islam with superstitious practices such as warding off spirits with incantations and magic amulets, and reciting verses of the Qur’an to bring about miraculous healings.
The Bamun language has 200,000 speakers, primarily in northeastern Cameroon. The original script for the Bamun language hovers on the brink of extinction because French colonials destroyed schools and forbade the teaching of the script. As a result, an audio Bible is key to reach this people group. Praise God that a local group is now teaching Bamun to combat illiteracy and preserve the language.
Cameroon is the only country with Medumba speakers who number close to 500,000. They practice an ethnoreligion that is deeply rooted in their ethnic identity and equates to cultural assimilation.
Completed May 2023
The Ghomala Old Testament translation will be available this year, which will provide Davar with the opportunity to record it later in 2023. Ghomala speakers, or Bamileke people group, total 1 million and live in central Cameroon. The Bamileke are known as excellent farmers and businessmen. Only 8% of the Ghomala speakers are believers in Jesus Christ, while 23% follow ethnic religions.
Pray With Us
We hope you will join us in praying many fruits come from their new partnership in Cameroon and that His Word in audio will reach many for the Kingdom.