Samuel Thewo was born in 1905 at Mpala village, Chief Chanje, Chipata district in the Eastern Province of Zambia. He was a Chewa by tribe and married to Daina Thewo.
When he was a young man, Thewo joined the Scottish Livingstonia Mission at Tamanda, northeast of Chipata. The missionary education he received helped him to speak English in addition to his local language of Nyanja. After this mission station was taken over by the Dutch Reformed Mission Church as a result of the First World War, Thewo became a member of the Reformed Church in Zambia (which was then the Dutch Reformed Church in the Orange Free State Mission in Northern Rhodesia). In 1924, Thewo was recruited by the DRCM as an outstation teacher. In 1940, he was selected to attend the evangelist school at Nsadzu Mission. He served for three years as an evangelist before he was sent to Nkhoma Mission in Malawi where he trained as a minister for two years.
After his ordination in 1947, Rev. Thewo was sent to Wankie (now Hwange) in Zimbabwe. There he served the church until 1950 when he was posted to Livingstone in Zambia across the Zambezi. He was to be responsible for the two congregations - Livingstone in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe. As a result of this arrangement, the two congregations came to be known as “Mpingo wa Phatikizo” which referred to the fact that the two congregations were put together. He served Phatikizo from 1950 to 1953. In 1953, he was transferred to Kabwe, north of Lusaka, where he served until 1958. That year, he was transferred to Madzimoyo where he served from 1958 until 1964. While at Madzimoyo, Rev. Thewo was appointed part-time teacher at the Theological School where he taught practical subjects. In 1964, he was transferred to Nyanje congregation in the Petauke district, which he served until 1968. In 1968, he was transferred to Tamanda near his home village of Mpala. He served the Tamanda congregation until his retirement in 1972. He died two years later at Mpala.
F. D. Sakala and J. J. van Wyk
F. D. Sakala, notes on Rev. S. Thewo in possession of J. J. van Wyk.
This story, submitted in August 2003, was prepared by Dr. Jurie Van Wyk, DACB Regional Coordinator for Southern and Eastern Africa.