WayeyiNew Testament Translation

The Wayeyi live near the Okavango Delta, living as fishermen and hunters. A finalized and printed Gospel of Mark has increased demand for the Wayeyi New Testament.

Bible Translation


  • Botswana


  • Southern Africa

Language Population


Community involvement is key to translation success

The Wayeyi live in villages along the Okavango Delta. Fishing and hunting provide a living for the Wayeyi, as well as some tourism activities, such as tracking. Using the reeds from the river, the Wayeyi were among the first in the world to employ basket weaving for ongoing use.

The Wayeyi people speak Shiyeyi, and they are eager to have Scripture in their language. Knowing that God speaks their language brings a new sense of dignity and self-worth to a people that has often been forgotten or ignored.

An important part of every translation project is community review; the community is asked if they can understand it. This helps the translation team make edits and adjustments that will ensure the completed manuscript is clear and accurate. Both team check and community check of the Wayeyi New Testament are underway.

Empower Local Leaders to Engage Neighbors

We believe that every community should have the chance to read the Bible in the language they understand best. Your financial gifts and prayers equip leaders in Botswana to translate the Bible into the Shiyeyi language spoken by the Wayeyi of northern Botswana.

Program Goals

  1. Team checking will be the primary focus for 2024.
  2. Hold two community checking sessions in 2024. Plan to develop better connections in the villages that conduct community review.
  3. Work on a monthly basis with a consultant.

Program Plan

Step 1

Promote use of Scripture in worship and evangelism.

Step 2

Dive heavily into the team checking phase throughout 2024.

Step 3

Deepen engagement with the community as translation work moves forward.

Meet the Local Team

Partner Organizations

Honoring the Language

Wayeyi people speak Shiyeyi, a click language.

Mix of Khoesan and Bantu languages, borrowing pieces from each. 

Instead of nouns being masculine or feminine, they belong to a noun class – there are around 17 noun classes.

Program Progress

  • The completed Gospel of Mark has been printed and distributed.
  • Churches continue to request bulk copies to distribute during their evangelism activities.
  • An energized project advisory committee continues to encourage Scripture use in church and community life.

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