Dutch Reformed Church: Chibi Mission

Dutch Reformed Church

Chibi Mission

The Berlin Missionary Society (BMS) established Chibi Mission near Chief Madhangove’s stronghold at Nyaningwe Hill (currently in Chivi District, Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe) in 1894 under the supervision of Reverend Diedricks. The mission was met with resistance from the local inhabitants, the Chivi people, and by 1907, only three “kraal schools” (outstation schools) had been established. Faced with lack of success, BMS made the decision to abandon Chibi along with its other missions in the territory in 1907, and transfer them to the control of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC).

DRC nearly closed Chibi Mission due to lack of a “European” missionary willing to serve at the station. It was saved from closure by an African evangelist, Joseph Mboweni, who continued run the mission until the arrival of Reverend Hendrik C. Hugo, his wife, Margaretha, and their two-year old daughter in 1911. The mission grew under Rev. Hugo’s leadership, including a significant increase in the number of kraal schools from 3 to over 58 by 1923. A women’s association created by Mrs. A.A. Louw called “Sungano Yamadzimai” was organized at Chibi in 1935.

Along with DRC’s other missions in Southern Rhodesia, Chibi was transferred to the local control of the African Reformed Church – later renamed Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) – in 1977. Today, the mission consists of Chibi High School and the Chibi Mission Clinic.

Facilities

  • Chibi High School
  • Chibi Mission Clinic

References

  • The Dutch Reformed Church in the Victoria Circle: Chibi Circuit, Mashonaland, 1874-1956 – Gerald Chikozho Mazarire
Contributors
  • Mark Loomis