Muganda Ezekiel Kaneja (1910-1974)

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While serving as evangelist at Mugango Mission, Muganda, b. December 1910, d. 4 January 1974, completed upper primary grades with his oldest son. In 1938 and 1939 he studied at Bukiroba Bible School and in 1962 to 1965 at Mennonite Theological College. He first tried Islam while working in Mombasa, Kenya; then he identified with the Salvation Army. Back home he was baptized in the Africa Inland Church in 1933. After making a full commitment in the 1942 revival that moved through the emerging Tanganyika Mennonite Church, he began to experience victory over sin. A diligent Bible reader, Ezekiel became a popular preacher. Even during the ferment of national independence, he was faithful to his calling. The chief of Majita relaxed, knowing that this cousin was no threat to his throne.

Muganda had two children, Josiah and Nyabise, from a preconversion marriage. In 1930 he married (Raheri) Nyaburuma Machumu, mother of Mukama, Rhoda, Bernard, Esther, Perucy, Samuel, Alexander, Emmanuel, Anna, Nellie, and Elam. Ezekiel and Raheri made their family their first responsibility; each day began and ended with family worship. The children remember answered prayers, e.g., milk for a sick child, the birth of another son (Samuel), and receiving each year sufficient funds to pay the fees for secondary and college education. They experienced judgment for wrongdoing and forgiveness because of Jesus's death. These children later served in responsible positions in Tanzania and internationally.

As a churchman Muganda served in Mennonite congregations for 15 years as an evangelist and elder and 23 years as pastor. Besides ministering in his congregation, he taught the Scriptures in the schools, the hospital, and the prison. Churches called him to preach in Bible conferences. When Tanganyika Mennonite Church first built a boarding school, he walked 18 miles (30 km.) with his parishioners to help for a week. In 1960 he participated in bringing the Tanzania Mennonite Church (TWC; Kanisa la Mennonite Tanzania) to autonomy. With Zedekia Kisare he was invited to North America in 1961. When asked to speak he responded: "Frequently I saw your wealth. Sometimes my attention was distracted by the disunity of your church. Occasionally I was troubled by your too busyness. I needed to confess wrong attitudes to the Lord, and again he would show me only Jesus at work among you." When Kisare was chosen bishop of TWC in 1966, Muganda was designated vice-chairman. The close fellowship between these brothers helped their congregations overcome traditional tribal rivalries.


Hess, Mahlon M. The Pilgrimage of Faith of Tanzania Mennonite Church, 1934-83. Salunga, PA: Eastern Mennonite Board, 1985: 36-37, 44, 47, 57-58, 91, 93-95, 97, 98, 104-5, 111-12, 119, 127-28, 141.

Kisare, Zedekia M., Elam W. Stauffer, and Josiah M. Muganda. "In Memoriam: Ezekiel Kaneja Muganda." Missionary Messenger (June 1974): 6.

Gospel Herald (17 October 1961): 916-917 (19 February 1974): 152 (17 July 1951): 686-687.

Muganda, Ezekiel K. "Evangelism." Gospel Herald (26 July 1949): 748.

Muganda, Ezekial Kaneja. "The Witness in Musoma." Gospel Herald (17 July 1956): 686-687.

Wenger, W. Ray. Letter in Missionary Messenger (11 May 1941): 11-12.

Author(s) Mahlon M Hess
Date Published 1987

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MLA style

Hess, Mahlon M. "Muganda Ezekiel Kaneja (1910-1974)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 24 May 2018.

APA style

Hess, Mahlon M. (1987). Muganda Ezekiel Kaneja (1910-1974). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2018, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 605. All rights reserved.

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