The Tama people live in eastern Chad and western Sudan. Statistics vary according to source; reports include a population of anywhere from 170,000 to 300,000. The Kimr tribe, numbering 169,000, belongs to the Tama people group and speaks the same language.
Tama (also known as Tamok, Tamot, or Tamongobo) is a language in which tone, stress, and length can all change the meaning of words. It is the language spoken in homes. It is unknown if Tama has ever been written or is only spoken. There are no Scriptures in this, the people’s heart language.
The Tama are sedentary and most of them are farmers of an assortment of crops, including cereals. They also raise livestock such as goats and camels. Because Chad is a landlocked country, they do not always have a long rainy season which means that drought is a serious problem. Gardens are the main livelihood and source of food. If the rains do not come, they may not have any crops that year. This is compounded by fights with neighboring people over the desperately needed land. There is much unrest, and one never knows when bandits or rebels will strike.
Islam is the main religion of the Tama with 95% claiming to be Muslim. The other 5% is made up of ethnic and animistic religions. Because of their extreme poverty and sense of hopelessness, alcohol is a real issue for many Tama. When will they hear the great news of the Gospel? Who will bring them hope? Will you go?