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Short description: Supreme deity in Bantu religion

{{Infobox deity | type = Bantu | god_of = God of Creation | venerated_in = Bantu mythology | symbols = Sun, Sky | image = | ethnic_group = Bantu | roman_equivalent = Jupiter | equivalent1 = Nzambi Mpungu | equivalent1_type = Bakongo | equivalent2 = Chukwu | equivalent2_type = Igbo | equivalent3 = Amun-Ra | equivalent3_type = Egyptian Nyambe (also Nyambi, Nyembi, Nzambe, Nzambi, Nzemi, Njambe and Njambi) is the Supreme God, Sky Father, and God of the Sun across numerous traditional Bantu religions.

Central Africa

Bakongo people

The Bakongo people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and the Republic of the Congo believe in the Supreme God Nzambi Mpungu and his female counterpart Nzambici. They are the only people who recognize Nzambi as both male and female, with Nzambi Mpungu symbolizing the Sun and Nzambici symbolizing the Moon and Earth.[1]

Bassa people

The Bassa people of Cameroon believe the Supreme being Ngambi/Nyombe is the revealer of secret truths, present and future. After the Bible was published in the Bassa language in 1922, Ngambi became seen as the Creator God. Due to their great respect of elders in their society, Ngambi is also seen as the greatest Elder.[1][2]

Chokwe people

The Chokwe people of northeast Angola believe in the Supreme God Nzambi (similar to the Bakongo god, Nzambi Mpungu), who they also call Kalûnga and Samatanga; the latter meaning "the creator." The king, or Mwanangana, is said to be a representative of Nzambi. They have the ability to connect the physical world to the spiritual world of the ancestor and seek guidance from nature spirits.[1]

Fang people

The Fang people of Cameroon and Gabon believe in the Supreme God Nzeme, also called Mebere. In Fang cosmology, Nzeme created everything in the world and blew life into the Earth and the first ancestor, or Zambe. Nzeme is also said to have created three spirits: Nzame with strength; Mbere with leadership, and Nkwa with beauty.[1]

Lele people

The Lele people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo believe that the Supreme Being Njambi created all things, including the forest, which supplies them with most of their needs from fish, salt, corn and medicinal plants to firewood, meat from animals, oil, etc. Njambi is said to have created water spirits called mingehe, which are similar to bisimbi spirits in Kongo religion.[1]

East Africa

Toro people

The Nyoro and Toro people of Uganda referred to their Supreme God as Nyamuhanga.[1]

Southern Africa

Hambukushu people

The Hambukushu people of Botswana, also known as the "Rainmakers of Okavango," believe in the Supreme God Nyambi, who is said to have created the universe, animals, and man, placing the Hambukushu in the hills of Tsodilo. This place is considered a sacred place to their people. Nyembi is also believed to bless those who do good by sending them to heaven, or Diwiru, when they die and punish those who do evil by sending them to his messenger of death, Shadapinyi.[3][4]

Herero people

The Herero people of Namibia believe in the Supreme God Njambi Kurunga, whom they also refer to as Omukuru. Like many of depictions in other cultures, Njambi creation the universe, spirits and humans, and then retreated into seclusion in the sky.[1]

Lozi people

The Lozi people of Zambia and Zimbabwe believe that the Supreme Being Nyambe created all things, including his own mother, his wife and man. Because the sun is seen as a great force that powers everything in the universe, the Lozi also see Nyambe as the Sun God. Their oral traditions state that the first humans that Nyambe created were the Kamura people. After seeing how destructive his creation could be, he retreated to a mountaintop and never interacted directly with man again.[1]

West Africa

Akan people

The Akan, Fante and Asante people of Ghana and Burkina Faso believe Nyame (also Oyame) created all things, including Heaven, or Osoro, and earth, or Asaase, and is continually adding to and redesigning the universe. His other name Onyankopong means "the Supreme Being," while Odomankoma means "Infinite beings whose Beginning and End are unknown to humans."[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Scheub, Harold (2000) (in en). A Dictionary of African Mythology: The Mythmaker as Storyteller (1st ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. xxiii, 90, 108-110, 165-166, 185, 260-261, 288, 379, 430, 464-467, 747-748. ISBN 9780195124569. 
  2. "Des dieux et divinités et des ancêtres" (in fr). 
  3. Larson, Thomas J. (1984). "Nyambi, The High God of the Hambukushu". South African Journal of Ethnology 6 (2): 9–13. 
  4. Larson, Thomas J. (1985). "Death Beliefs and Burial Customs of the Hambukushu of Ngamiland". Botswana Notes and Records 17: 33–36. ISSN 0525-5090.