Yao in Zambia

Photo Source:  The I Am Yawo Project 
Map Source:  Anonymous
People Name: Yao
Country: Zambia
10/40 Window: No
Population: 5,700
World Population: 3,752,700
Primary Language: Yao
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 3.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Bantu, Makua-Yao
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Large Yao kingdoms came into being as mighty Yao chiefs took control of the Niassa province of Mozambique in the 19th century. During that time, the Yao began to move from their traditional home in today's Malawi and Tanzania, which resulted in the Yao populations they now have. The most important result of the great chiefdoms was the turning of the whole nation to Islam around the turn of the 20th century and after the 1st World War.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Yao people are generally agricultural. Growing a good corn crop has everything to do with how a family makes a living. Their level of production is mostly subsistence and therefore they basically eat what they grow. When they produce a good corn crop, they sometimes will sell some of it on the local market in order to buy things that they do not produce themselves such as soap, salt and bicycles.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Islam is a central part of Yao identity, especially in a location where they are surrounded by Christianized peoples. Yao people wear charms in a vein effort to protect themselves from ill health. They often use folk cures rather than modern medicine.

What Are Their Needs?

There are all kinds of Christian materials in the Yao language that can be distributed to their community leaders.

Prayer Points

Pray that Yao people in Zambia will put their full trust in the God of the Bible rather than in the spirit world and charms.
Pray for Yao believers in other countries to take the gospel to the Yao people in Zambia.
Pray for a Disciple Making Movement to emerge among Yao communities in Africa.
Pray for the Lord to give the Yao people a record-breaking crop as proof of his power and love.

Text Source:   Joshua Project