Location map needed (pending to replace all)

Population: 14,000

Location: Mara Region (northwestern TZ)

Altitude: 1220 metres (4000 feet)

Alternate names:  Kikabwa, Ekikabhwa

Published Scripture:  Luke, Ruth, Jonah

Recordings:  JESUS film, Jonah

Browse our stories from the Kabwa project

The Kabwa have a population size that is smaller than many other surrounding language groups, many of them are uneducated, and they have a strong dependence on agriculture which leaves some quite poor during the tougher years.  The lifestyle they live results in many children staying around home and supporting their families.  As a result, the Kabwa language is still often carried down from generation to generation.

Location within Country:  The Kabwa live in the middle of Mara Region in the northwestern corner of Tanzania.  They populate a small area very near the eastern edge of Lake Victoria, but removed from the lake by a few kilometers.  They are surrounded by the Kwaya, Zanaki, Kuria, and Simbiti language areas. 

Geography and Climate:  Temperatures are consistently warm throughout the year, and humidity is generally low.  Seasonal rains are essential for good crop production.   The rolling terrain is peppered with large, round rocks which are characteristic of the region. 

Economic Status:  Agriculture is a critical source of sustenance and income for the Kabwa.  Common staple crops are corn, cassava, millet, and sorghum.  Some who live in village centers have shops or run small hotels.  

Most villages home primary schools, and some have secondary schools.  Of those who leave the Kabwa area for further education, many don’t return.  Those who stay in the area tend to be poor. 

Language Group Information:  The Kabwa language is closely related to some of the other languages spoken nearby, such as Zanaki and Kiroba, but the Kabwa have a strong sense of independence from these other groups and don’t feel they’d be able to use a different language for literacy purposes.  

Religion:  A high percentage of the Kabwa are Christian, and most of these are affiliated with the Roman Catholic or Anglican church.  There are a small number of Kabwa who are Muslim.  People who don’t see themselves as religious are strongly influenced by African traditional religion, which also influences many Christians to varying extents.

Browse our stories from the Kabwa project