Even though a humble teacher, Andrea Lungwa of Mvumi played a key role in the conversion of Yohana Malecela to mission Christianity at Mpwapwa. At that time, it was common for CMS missionaries to take Wagogo and Wakaguru Christians with them whenever they opened a new mission station or district. Andrea Lungwa who lived and worked at Mpwapwa (but was probably a Kaguru by origin) was undoubtedly one of the few “baptized Christians and catechumens” who followed John Briggs to commence a new station at Mvumi in 1900. He later became one of the teachers who taught at Mvumi with Javan Haji , and was appointed a quasi-pastor there. Ernest Doulton, then secretary of the CMS mission, described Lungwa as “one of the very best in the Mission.” Lungwa died in the influenza epidemic that swept Ugogo at the end of 1918.
Several years after his death, the pastor’s house was built and named after him at Mvumi in the 1960s. The house is called “Lungwa House.” With the exception of Andrea Mwaka and Andrea Lungwa, hardly have church buildings or institutions been named after prominent indigenous ministers (lay and ordained, men and women) who made substantial contributions to the establishment of the church in Tanzania. That a house was named after Lungwa shows the impact his life and ministry had, not only on the Wagogo among whom he served, but also on the CMS missionaries. And surely naming the house after Lungwa would have required the authorization of the expatriate diocesan bishop.
Raphael Mwita Akiri
Esta Chali, oral interview, 26/6/1997.
Dan Mbogoni, oral interview, 11/6/1997.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from “The Growth of Christianity in Ugogo and Ukaguru (Central Tanzania): A Socio-Historical Analysis of the Role of Indigenous Agents 1876-1933,” unpublished Ph.D. thesis (University of Edinburgh, 1999) by Raphael Mwita Akiri.