Ndengereko language

Ndengereko, also known as Rufiji (Fiji, Ruihi) after the local river,[4] is a Bantu language of the Matumbi hills, near Kibiti, and near Mchukivi and Bungu, Tanzania.

Native toTanzania
Native speakers
72,000 (2013)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
ndg – Ndengereko
rui – Rufiji (duplicate code)
P.11, P.12[3]


  1. ^ Ndengereko at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Rufiji (duplicate code) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ndengereko". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ Harald Hammarström (2013) Review of the Ethnologue, 16th Ed.
Ndengereko people

The Ndengereko are an ethnic and linguistic group from Coast Region, Tanzania. In 2000 the Ndengereko population was estimated to number 110,000

The ndengereko people are scattered around of southern coast of coast region in what is known as Tanzania. From south of Dar es salaam to the northern suburbs of Kilwa district. They are the natives of Rufiji and Kibiti districts. Also they are expanded to some small islands and even they reached Mafia.

They are divided in some tribal groups such as warufiji, wamagongo, waluhingo and wanyagatwa.


According to some legends,

this tribe is mostly formed by immigrants who immigrated

from other areas of Tanzania, for fishing and agriculture activities. It is also said that most of those people were matumbi. That is why even the ndengereko language is almost the same with matumbi language.

There are some legends which asserts that some clans of this tribe are of hehe origin. Such names as Makuka, Mneka, Mwinge, Mlawa, Mlanzi, Sule etc are believed to have been immigrated from Iringa via udzungwa mountains.

There is also a legend of nunukoma(leprosy lady) who is believed to have been living in Rufiji in ancient time. This lady happened to be the mother of twelve clans in ndengereko people. It is reported that the lady was abandoned by her brothers from the unknown land because of her illness. She was married by the leader of the immigrants from heheland and she bore to him twelve sons.

Those twelve sons are considered to be the ancestors of twelve clans known as vining'ina vya nunukoma(descendants of leprosy lady)


Official languages


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