Classic DACB Collection

All articles created or submitted in the first twenty years of the project, from 1995 to 2015.

Mulutu, Madari

Anglican Communion (Church Missionary Society)

Little is known about Madari Mulutu other than that he was originally from Chamuhawi and served as a teacher at Kongwa and Kiboriani from 1904 onwards. His significant contribution, which is mentioned only very briefly in archival sources, is that of translating the Bible and other materials into Kigogo. For example in 1904, with Henry Cole (an Australian missionary working for the CMS mission) they compiled the translation of a Kigogo-English Dictionary. With Thomas Westgate, Madari Mulutu also translated Leviticus, I and II Samuel, I Kings, most of II Kings, and the fifth book of Psalms before the First World War. They started work on the translation of other Old Testament books, a prayer book and hymnbook in the Kigogo language shortly before the First World War, but this work was disrupted by the war. Indeed all manuscripts and copies of the completed translations were destroyed at Kongwa and Buigiri by the German army. Though his name is not mentioned in connection with other Kigogo translations, it is possible that he took part in the translation of other books of the Bible [1], namely, Luke (1887), Matthew (1891), Epistles (1899), Ruth (1893), and John (1904). [2]

Raphael Mwita Akiri


  1. Madari Mulutu’s translation work in Ugogo: Several books of the Bible were translated into Kigogo as follows: Luke (1887), Matthew (1891), Epistles (1899), Ruth (1893), John (1904), Exodus and Numbers (1910); and the whole New Testament was completed in 1911. See The Church Missionary Review (CMR), Vol. LXI, 1910, 488; Proceedings of the Church Missionary for Africa and the East (PCMS) 1912, 45). As for Ukaguru, by 1891, translations of worship and hymn books, and parts of the New Testament, e.g. Luke’s Gospel had already been made into Kaguru language. See Minutes of the Executive committee of the CMS Mission (EC), 18, 19, 21/12/1903, G3 A8/0/1904/12, Birmingham University Library (BUL) (unless stated, all subsequent references starting with G3 A8/0 are from BUL); Minutes, EC, 6/4/1900, G3 A8/0/1900/20; Rees to Baylis, 16 August 1900, G3 A8/0/1900/37; Minutes, EC, 6 & 7/6/1901, G3 A8/0/1901/25.

  2. These biographical notes on Mulutu are based on information obtained from Yohana Muhimili, oral interview, 2/7/1997; PCMS, 1904-1905, 90; T. B. R. Westgate, In the Grip of the German, n.p., Belfast, 1918, 12-13.

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.