Iramba / Nyiramba

Iramba / Nyiramba / Waniramba / Nilamba / Niramba / Lambi

The Iramba or Nyilamba are a Bantu ethnic and linguistic group based in Kishapu District of Shinyanga Region and Iramba District of Singida Region in central Tanzania.

The Nyiramba of Tanzania are numbering 1,160,000 (, 2023)

Iramba People

The Irambas are a prominent Bantu-speaking people who live in Central Tanzania.

Included in the Iramba cluster of peoples are the Irambis and the Izanzus.

Their particular Bantu language is known as Kiniramba.

The majority of the Irambas living in rural areas are hoe farmers, raising sorghum, raillet, maize, cattle, sheep, and goats. A few of the Irambas also raise peanuts and castor oil plants as cash crops.

The political system of the Irambas revolves around independent councils of elders in each village or general settlement area.

Until the early 1970s, most Irambas lived in isolated homestead settlements in the miyombo bush country of the north or the thorn scrub región of the south. In 1974, Tanzania officially launched its ujamaa program, gathering the Irambas into larger villages where education, commercial agriculture, and political control would be easier to implement.

Islam first reached the Irambas in the nine- teenth century when slave traders carne into central Tanzania; today more than half of the Irambas identify themselves as Muslims - Sunni Muslims of the Shafi school. Nevertheless, strong elements of their traditional animist faith particularly worship at rain shrines survives, and relatively few people conduct their daily Islamic prayers or observe Ramadan.



A group of Bantu speaking family of Clans called thc Anilyamba migrated from what is now Rwanda/Uganda borders (area called Bahima west of Lake Victoria) along the southern shores of Lake Victoria (which they called Nanza) until they carne to settle in the eastem coast of Lake Victoria which is now Mara Region near Musoma. This happened 100-200 years ago. The exact localities where they inhabited have villages and areas which are called: Iramba, Isanzu. Ruruma, Kirumi, Shemschem. Makalama. etc, which are still used in the areas in which they stopped. These names are also the same names which are used in the Iramba district in Central Tanzania....quite far from the Mara región.



They Nyiramba tribe has several clans, the major ones being:

  1. Anakumi- Kitundu + his sister Musua
  2. Anikycli - Msengi + his sister Kyeli
  3. Anambua - Makala +Jymuuya (also spelled Kyunyu)
  4. Anamgele - Shilla + Mwile
  5. Anaushora (mixtures of anakumi with the Nyamwezi/wakimbu tribe) due to the migration through the two tribes.
  6. Anankale - Gyunda + Mwani (clan of "leopards" live a long time)
  7. Anambala
  8. Anishungu - Mkumbo + Kelie
  9. Amishanzu - mixed up with the Nyatvvu through intermarrages until their language incorporated most of the Naturu pronounciations in the altered Nyiramba vocabulary