The Digo

Coastal Tanzania and Kenya

Located along the Indian Ocean in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, Digo families live in small village units called kayas, with the chief having the most prominent hut. They are mainly subsistence farmers of maize, beans, cassava, sweet potatoes, mangoes, bananas, and coconut. Some who live right on the coast are fishermen, and others have attended school to work in Kenya’s coastal tourism industry.

Hundreds of years ago, when the Arabs arrived on the shore, the Digo were introduced to Islam, and they now incorporate Islamic beliefs into their own ancestral worship. Africa Inland Mission has been working with the Digo people for decades, but they still remain an unreached people group with less than 1% of the population accepting Christ as their Savior. “If they are truly going to become Christians,” a long-time missionary to the Digo says, “the ancestors do not have a place. The spirits do not have a place. The magical charms do not have a place. Because of their strong group solidarity, it’s awfully hard for an individual to make a decision on his own. Christians are often hassled for their beliefs. So when they come to Christ, they do so one-on-one.”

Ordinary People: Wayne and Joyce

Wayne and Joyce started their life on the Kenyan coast among the Digo people back in 1987, and now they are spreading their passion for missions to a younger generation.

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