c. 1861 to 1896
Bernard Mizeki was a Mozambican catechist, Bible translator,
and martyr. Born in Ihambane, Mozambique, he trained as a
linguist while living as a migrant worker in Cape Town. G.
W. H. Knight-Bruce recruited him in 1891 as a catechist
for the new Anglican diocese of Mashonaland in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).
Based near Marondera, he translated into Chishona much of
the Bible and Prayer Book. During the war of resistance to
colonialism in 1896, Mizeki refused to leave his mission and
was stabbed to death. He is remembered as the "Mashonaland
martyr," and his shrine in Zimbabwe has become a place of
pilgrimage. In South Africa, the Bernard Mizeki Men's Guild
and numerous churches commemorate him as a symbol of black
Jean Farrant, Mashonaland Martyr: Bernard Mizeki and the Pioneer Church (1966).
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.