Botswana: Thimbukushu / Humbukushu Translation Project

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Picture 2: Pr Johannes Kamwanga (right) and Pr Meke Ntemogang
We network with people from Botshelo Trust in Botswana to coordinate this project
Pastor Paulus Chapi in Shakawe, Botswana, coordinates this project
A Hambukushu lady and her toddler

Thimbukushu - Look, Listen & Live 1-8

Need: Record the Thimbukushu LLL1-8 in Northwestern Botswana.
People Group: Hambukushu
Strategy: With Dr Eben Le Roux and coworkers from Botshelo Trust.
Original Budget: P16,550.00 (R22,508) (1,984.55 AUD)

Picture 1 (above): Recently Hambukushu pastors and chiefs from Namibia and Botswana got together with GRNSA's coworkers from Botshelo Trust in Botswana and Wycliffe personnel in South Africa to discuss the possibility of translating the Bible and Bible stories into Thimbukushu. At the end they decided they want to translated the Look, Listen & Live 1-8 Bible story sets from GRN, followed by the whole Bible in Thimbukushu.

Need for Old Testament: "There is a Thimbukushu New Testament, but why did they not start with the Old Testament?
Are we not good enough to have the Old Testament like the other languages?
We can't teach people the new things if they don't even know the old. We have to start at the beginning."
Also, "Many Hambukushu are educated and in important positions but in rural areas it is not like that."
And "children do not understand. Preachers don't understand and don't preach clearly because they are using some else's words."

GRN's Old Testament story sets will help the people very much until the Old Testament has been translated. Plus the content will be available in written and in audio for those who are not able to read. In other areas more people seem to be able to read, but there is yet another obstacle: SHORTAGE OF EXISTING NEW TESTAMENTS:

Pr Meke Ntemogang: "Thimbukushu in Botswana is diluted by Setswana. I love the way they speak it in Namibia. I usually preach in Setswana and English. Once at a burial I read from the Thimbukushu New Testament. People loved it so much, they wanted to hear more and have their own Bibles. But unfortunately even the one I had, I had borrowed. There are no Bibles. If we have it in hand we'll draw many Hambukushu to the Lord and build His Kingdom. Many in my church cannot read English or Setswana but can read Thimbukushu. But there are no Bibles.

Through this project GRN hopes to make the Message of the Bible available to more people, in the mother tongue, in a style they understand and in a form that makes the Bible content accessible to all.

September 2017 - The final proofread translation of the LLL1-8 in Thimbukushu has been received! This is the project funded through GRN Australia last year. We are thankful to the sponsor of this task. The translations are now done. Now work will begin with each script to do a structural check, make sure all the bits are there: titles, picture announcements, Scripture references. This needs to be done before anyone can make arrangements for recording. Please pray for Dalene to be alert and sharp as she undertakes this.

October 2016 - Dr Eben le Roux acknowledged the safe arrival of scripts and accompanying picture materials in Maun, Botswana. Evaluations of draft scripts and checking can hopefully start soon.He also received demo picture sets which GNM sponsored for us. He wants to start to evaluate programs that already exist in several Khoe and San languages, which means that we may see the above project fusing with this one.

Important development: Knowledge of this project has spread cross border into Namibia and the interest in it has grown extensively. The Humbukushu is a widely dispersed people group and more Humbukushu speakers from other areas are requesting to join this translation project. If they help with translation issues such as terminology, vocabulary and dialectic terms used, this could double or triple the impact of this project and end-product.

The Humbukushu is also showing interest in this project because they've been seen as the oppressors of other people groups in the areas where they live. They're used to being treated antagonistically. They start to see this project as "somebody actually cares about them too".


The P16,550.00 (R22,508) (1,984.55 AUD) has been provided and paid over for the first workshops.

The passion we share with Eben is to empower and equip the local believers to share the Message of the Bible with their own people and neighbouring peoples.

If the Lord leads you to contribute towards this project, you can donate by clicking the link below, designating your gift 'Botswana, Thimbukushu / Humbukushu Translation Project'.

You can help to make the Living Water available to the Hambukushu of Botswana and Namibia