Who are the Kenyan Digo?
The Digo are an East African tribe, concentrated on the southern coastal strip of Kenya between Mombasa and the border of Tanzania. They have gained income through trade with Muslim Arabs as well as farming and fishing. Their principal crop is ‘manioc’, a small shrub with thick roots that are eaten like potatoes. They also grow sesame, corn, rice, and beans. ‘Palm wine’ is a popular drink produced from the palm tree.
What do they believe?
Islam is widely accepted among the Digo but tied in with traditional practices, such as animism and ancestor worship. Blood sacrifices are very significant to the Digo, especially in the exorcism of evil spirits and witchdoctors are also consulted regularly. Most Digo people only have a superficial knowledge of Islam’s principles and doctrines. Although they know no religious significance for wearing the black veil, Digo women wear it to show respect for their husbands.
What is being done to reach them?
The entire New Testament was successfully translated into Chidigo, the language of the Digo people, in 2005, and now there is a need for literacy training to put the gospel in their heart language to use. An AIM Focus team has just ended among this people group. Some of the team are returning to carry on the work of reaching the Digo. There are several small churches of Digo believers meeting across different villages.