CSM Adds Another Language in West Africa

By Tom Castor | March 7, 2024 |

We have many things for which we are thankful. One of those “things” is a person named Diedonné Somé. Dieudonné is a pastor and passionate evangelist from Burkina Faso who travels and speaks frequently in neighboring Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Cote d’Ivoire. He is a Dioula (Jula) speaker but is passable in multiple languages in both the Gur and Mande language families.  Over the past years, he has been the champion for putting our books into multiple languages, printing, and distributing in places where the gospel is not heard or where existing churches do not have adequate tools to help them reproduce.

The Southern Nuna, one of the two main Nuna dialect groups in Burkina Faso, live primarily in Leo, a town about 10km from the border with Ghana. They are subsistence farmers, relying on crops like millet, maize, sorghum, peanuts, and yams, thanks to the annual rainfall. Cotton is also grown for cash. Many Southern Nuna have been on the move in recent years, seeking job opportunities in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

The Nuna hold strong beliefs in traditional religion, which involves appeasing spirits and divinities through sacrifices. Islam and Roman Catholicism have gained followers. In both cases, however, the people have continued to practice traditional beliefs. Protestant churches have fewer adherents and are sparsely scattered in the region.

In the past decade, the Southern Nuna have made progress in developing their language, Southern Nuni (Gurunsi), with primers and reading materials available, although there is some reluctance to learn to read and write. The New Testament in Southern Nuni has been printed, and work on translating the Old Testament is starting.

Dieudonné has been influential in helping church leaders among the Nuna to teach their people and encourage them to reach their neighbors. This new book, Cɩ́gá cɩcɩ lìù tə nə sɛ́ Yɩɩ dʋra Yɩrɩ (Simple Truths for the New Believer) is one of the catalysts to help them do that.

Here is a sample from the new book (English) Q. 13. Can you see God? A. No, I can not see God, but He always sees me. Psalm 33:113-15; Proverbs 5:21; John 1:18; 1 Timothy 1:17

Here is that same question in Nuni.

BWIƏ.13 N wàá Yɩɩ n nɩ də n yii naaa ?

LIU. Ɔn ɔn, à wàrɩ̀ Yɩɩ à nɩ də à yii, yá ʋ na nə máŋá mama wuuu.

Gwaran 33 :13-15 ; Zwansɩsarɩ 5 :21 ; Zwan 1 :18 ; 1Timote 1 :17

Please pray that God will use this book to encourage his people among the Nuna in Burkina Faso and Ghana. And pray that God will protect Dieudonné as he works in Burkina Faso, an increasingly unstable country.

Tom Castor

Thomas Castor, founder of Clear and Simple Media Group, is a seasoned writer and communicator who has been delivering content with clarity and simplicity for 30 years.