Banyala Bible Translation has began

BSK has commenced translation of the Banyala Bible so that the Banyala community can have access to the great message of the Bible in the language they understand best. The [...]
Guests having a meal during the Banyala fundraising event

BSK has commenced translation of the Banyala Bible so that the Banyala community can have access to the great message of the Bible in the language they understand best.

The Banyala community do not have their own Bible. They are currently struggling to use the logooli language which in many instances is unclear and conveys a different meaning in Banyala. The community has a population of over 273,198 thousand who live in Navakholo Constituency, Kakamega County around the Kakamega Forest. Without the Bible the growth and depth of Christianity will remain stunted among the Banyala Community. The Nyala speak Lunyala and occupy Budalang’i. Other Nyala (Abanyala ba Mukamba) occupy the north western part of Kakamega County.

Banyala translators during a working session

The Banyala of Kakamega are said to have migrated from Budalang’i with a leader known as Mukhamba. They speak nearly the same dialect as the Banyala of Budalang’i, but with differences in pronunciation. The Banyala of Kakamega are sometimes referred to as Abanyala ba Ndombi. This is because of a powerful colonial chief, Ndombi wa Namusia who reigned with an iron fist. He was succeeded by his son Andrea Ndombi.

Although originally one people with the Abanyala ba Maero (Busia), Abanyala ba Mukhamba (Kakamega) have since acquired a new cultural identity and phonology. To distinguish between the two Nyalas, they are generally known by their ancestry of Maero and Mukhamba. They migrated eastwards from Busia centuries ago fleeing interclan wars and floods to first settle Eutieri and spreading through the Navakholo area of Kakamega. They share the constituency of Lurambi with the neighbouring Abatsotso. According to recorded genealogy, Mukhamba was their earliest known ancestor although his son Munyala founded the sub-nation.

Banyala’s economic activities include farming and hearding.

Below are some testimonies on how the Lunyala Bible will be helpful;

Testimony from a pastor

There will be no need to translate certain words or phrases from other dialects to Lunyala when preaching. God’s word will be readily apparent to the congregants as the vocabulary, idioms and sayings use in the Lunyala Bible will be from his day to day usage

More members of the congregation will be encouraged to read/study the word of God on their own in the course of the week

Testimony from a young person

My name is Emmanuel Uluma. I am 23 years old. I am a P1 primary school teacher. Lunyala is my mother tongue. I communicate mostly in Lunyala when interacting with my parents and their age mates in the village. As a primary school teacher, I have developed a good rapport with school going children in the village and when interacting with them outside school, the language of communication is mostly lunyala. A Bible translation to Lunyala will greatly help me to communicate better in Lunyala since I will be able to read the Bible in the language that I mostly speak. Preaching and witnessing will be made easier and clearer because there will be no need of struggling to find a suitable word or phrase in Lunyala to clarify a point as is the case now. Also as a congregant, I will be able to share clearly with others, who are not regular church goers, the Sunday message.

Testimony from a teacher

The challenge we face as teachers is at biblical experience stage of the lesson. Here, the Bible used is the Kimaragoli one. Although Kimaragoli and Olunyala language use the same alphabets and vowels, glaring differences are notable in syllables, vocabulary and sayings. The CRE teacher has the task of studying the scripture in Kimaragoli and make a verbatim translation into Olunyala before the lesson. When he gets to the stage for biblical experience during the lesson, he must read the Bible verse in Kimaragoli, translating phrase by phrase into Olunyala. Then he reads/drills his Olunyala translation so as to build harmony with the rest of his lesson. If the whole Bible was translated into Olunyala language, it would make a lesson presentation for the teacher easier and simpler. He/she would not have to grapple with subjective translation every time he/she has to prepare a CRE lesson. His/her learners would quite enjoy CRE learning sessions as the scripture reading/message would be grasped on first reading in their vernacular language 

BSK is inviting you to partner with us in this noble initiative of availing the Bible in Lunyala language by supporting the translation of a verse, chapter or book of your choice. Each verse costs approximately Kshs 1000.


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