Daudi Kija Gisayi was born in 1934 in the small town of Lalago Maswa in Shinyanga. He received Jesus as his master and Savior in 1949 when he was working with Mwadui Mining Company. But soon afterwards, he went astray, falling into immorality and traditional practices. In 1952, he married a Muslim girl named Khadija. By the grace of God, he came to repentance with his wife in 1955 and both were baptized soon after their confession, Khadija taking on the new name of Martha.
They immediately started testifying that Jesus was the Messiah. In 1956, Daudi devoted himself exclusively to preaching. He went to the small village of Itinje in Shinyanga, preaching to the Wasukuma that Jesus was Lord and Redeemer. He worked there until 1958.
While he was in Mwadui from 1948 to 1952 working with the mining company, he also attended evening classes. That program helped him reach an adequate educational level, but he was not satisfied. In 1959, he shortened his mission in Itinje to attend the Kolandoto Christian Training Center (KCTC) for middle school studies.
With the continuance of his studies in Kolandoto, Daudi felt the desire to go to Katunguru Bible School for Biblical Studies. In 1961 his desire was fulfilled and on December 3, 1963, he graduated with a certificate. The church sent him to Igegu Bariadi as a missionary to the Banantuzu, an unreached ethnic group among the Wasukuma in Shinyanga. In Bariadi, Daudi planted three churches. Although he faced difficulties, such as persecution, lack of support, criticism, and culture shock, he didn’t despair. I was an eyewitness to what was confronting him in his ministry, because I’m one of his twelve children. He told me that his struggles made him grow.
In 1969, the AICT selected Daudi to be an ordained pastor. Consequently, he went back to Katunguru for a one-year pastoral course. After his ordination he was sent to Imalaseko to work as a pastor. During his pastorate, he planted fifteen churches before his cruel retirement caused by a severe stroke which left him paralyzed on the entire left side of his body to this day.
Daudi remembers that those who guided him to Jesus and also took care of him: Yohana Gisayi (his older brother), Ezekiel Masalu, the late Rev. Andrea Midetelo, retired evangelist Reuben Kayanda, and the retired Pastor Batholomew Bupamba Ihema.
Aside from being an evangelist and then a pastor, Daudi worked as a primary school teacher for several years while he was in Bariadi. The government employed him on a part-time basis. He also taught under the Education Program,–a program formed by the Tanzanian Government to help reduce the illiteracy rate.
His ministry involved planting churches in Meatu District in the Shinyanga region in these locations: Isangalyabayege, Natta, Ng’wakipopo, Ng’wandoya, Nzanza,Sakasaka, Ng’wangudo, Ng’wagwila, Paji, Ng’hoboko, Iyogelo, Imalabupina, Ngeme, Malwilo, Ndoleleji.
Today, pastor Gisayi is retired and lives a poor life in a small hut with soil-roofing (an itembe) in the Minyanda village, seven kilometers east of Itinje. This is where he heard the calling to the ministry of the King of Kings. He now stays there without church assistance, but does not blame anyone for anything, and is not bitter. He remains a man of prayer, and always says, “We ought to wait for God’s will in order to achieve safety.”
Joseph N. Gisayi
Daudi Gisayi’s autobiography notebook “Nimo gwane na Seba wane” (“My Work for the Master”).
Daudi Gisayi, interview by the author, July 12, 2002, Meatu, Shinyanga.
Eyewitness observations by the author (his son).
This article, submitted in 2003, was written by Rev. Joseph N. Gisayi, 2003-2004 Project Luke fellow, a minister in the AICT for the past twenty-four years, as well as a member of the Africa Inland Executive Council and chairperson of the AICT Mission and Evangelism Department. This article was reviewed and approved by AICT bishop Peter Kitula, David N. M. Nghosha, historian of the Africa Inland Church Tanzania and by Stephen Kapongo, coordinator of AICT Department of Mission and Evangelism.