The Banyang people who speak the Kenyang Language, live in a dense forest in the southwest of Cameroon , in large villages along the main roads from Cameroon to Nigeria . During the rainy season, these roads are often impassable. There are about 65,000 Kenyang speaking people living in this 50-square-mile area including 54 villages. Maybe as many as 30,000 speakers live outside the Kenyang area.
Most villages have churches of various denominations. Missions have functioned in the Kenyang area since around 1900. Because the Scriptures have never been translated into Kenyang, many people follow a form of Christianity, but are still tied to traditional practices of sacrifices and appeasement. They are yet to comprehended the freedom they can have through Christ?s atoning sacrifice for their sins.
Just the same, the Banyang people have demonstrated an unusual degree of motivation and commitment to the development of their language. Many of the villages created schools for teaching Kenyang literacy. They also offered land to CABTAL to aid in the funding and support of literacy program development.
The Banyang people participate in some trading with both the Nigerian and Cameroonian markets, however, the majority are subsistence farmers challenged to earn enough money to meet basic necessities. Land is abundant, but not fertile. Thankfully, recent efforts at agricultural research have opened up new possibilities. CABTAL hopes to promote these new agricultural ideas by printing literature about new technologies. CABTAL entered the project in 1993, and the projected finish date is 2007.
SIL personnel conducted a linguistic survey of neighboring dialects and began promoting the idea of literacy in Kenyang in 1982. They developed a phonology, and in 1986 local leaders organized the Society for Kenyang Literature (SKL). They and SIL finalized the Kenyang phonology and orthography in 1989, and began producing literacy materials and portions of the New Testament. CABTAL took over the project in 1993. Six hortatory texts were collected, transcribed and interlinearised for use in a Hortatory discourse workshop in February 2004.
In addition to Primers 1 and 2, we are producing a yearly Dairy with Bible readings for each day, and a newssheet is being produced from time to time. The Kenyang Cultural Calendar, The Kenyang Proverbs and The Kenyang Song Book, and 800 posters of selected verses have been selling like hotcakes. The reading and writing book has been reprinted, and we are printing new texts for Sunday readings. Some of these were funded by local contributions.
During 2004 the Kenyang Literacy Program maintained teaching in eight schools and extended to three more: Tinto, Ndekwai, Tali. A Literacy Teachers? Refresher Course was given in October which included four new teachers who had not yet been trained, but were ready to begin teaching where there were no teachers. Six churches have classes meeting regularly where they are using Bible studies prepared by the Ejagham team.
This project is experiencing a smooth progress in the area of literacy as there is a new strategy that has been set up to encourage the literacy teachers.
Informal teaching has been done in eight schools and there have been a number of intensive, short courses in various villages. SU classes have been held at the Methodist Churches in Sumbe, Defang and Akiriba. Efforts are under way to have greater participation in the several churches.
Pastor Tarh and Tabi Cyprian traveled to Lome , Togo , for the Chronological Bible Storying seminar. This teaching method starts with the creation and follows the blood line of redemption through all the Old Testament stories, finally ending with the resurrection of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Classes were attended at Bamenda including TPC I and computer training in the Center for the Manyu languages. Courses were given to provide publications which supplement the literacy program. A Writers? Workshop was given in September followed by a Publications Workshop in November.
In summary, during the last quarter of 2004 the consultant checked Matthew chapters 13-21 and the first half of I Corinthians; the back translation of the second half of I Corinthians is nearly complete; the translation team checked the last half of John; and Galatians has been drafted.
Pray that the Lord may help us to succeed in accomplishing our objectives for 2005.
Thank God for new insights gained from chronological Bible Storying.
Pray for the possibility of using the rural radio to broadcast Scriptures in Kenyang.
Thank God for our donors and pray for the Lord to bless them richly.
Pray for a good laptop for the project.
Pray that the Lord will provide a generator for the Center for the Manyu Languages.
Pray for the village communities to provide support for those who are teaching Kenyang in the schools.
?Ekirikak abhiki rop ebhe ndem,? is a Kenyang proverb which says that it is not without a cause that the gorilla has remained in the forest.? What this means is that a person cannot be isolated, hated, punished or treated abnormally. However, that may be by members of his family, friends, village, and so on without any cause whatsoever. In fact, our people generally call any person who does not behave well following the standards of the society, ?ekirikak.? We are people of the forest region and our people know that the gorilla very much looks like a human, but cannot behave like a human being.
Last modified: 2009-01-21