Mwani literally means ‘beach’ and life is tied to the ocean. They live along the coast of northern Mozambique and were influenced by sea-faring Arab merchants centuries ago.
The Mwani live along the coast of northern Mozambique. Influenced by sea-faring Arab merchants centuries ago, their culture is defined through fishing and folk Islam, Mwani literally means ‘beach’ and life is tied to the ocean. Most Mwani are very poor, those who don’t make their living through fishing, transport people by sea as well as through trading, baking, and some farming. They value peace and harmony,relationships and family bonds and respect the elderly. However, divorce and polygamy is common and many women have been married several times, so family units are difficult to discern.
They have an awareness of God and are very aware of the supernatural world, believing in spirits and magic, and fearing demons. Though fiercely Islamic in name, their worldview is strongly influenced by the animistic world of ancestors and the use of mediums such as witchdoctors. Women are more connected to the spirit world, holding ‘punge’ (séances) which can last all night. Many ceremonies are tied up with protecting the rice harvest from demons.
Most Mwani are illiterate in the Kimwani language and speak only a bit of Portuguese but many love to listen to ‘Radio Nuru’ a Christian FM radio station broadcasting in Kimwani. Various teams have gone to the Mwani to reach them with the gospel. Now, three couples are seeking new ways to support Mwani believers and continue to reach those as yet unreached, with the gospel.
If you are organising a prayer meeting or just looking for material to help you pray with more insight for some of Africa’s unreached people, why not download a printable Prayer sheet on the Mwani of Mozambique