Meet Dumsile

This is Dumsile.  I’ve known her for almost 2 years.  She is a tireless servant of God and a Christian woman with many faces and roles.  Let me show you just a few of them.

Dumsile in her Manyano uniform standing behind Mthokozisi during a prayer service blessing their grandparent's homestead and the house we moved them into in Auguest, 2009.

Dumsile is the Manyano CCS for the Lutfotja society’s.  In the role of the society’s CCS, she shares the concerns 9f people within the society with other members of the society and with the Circuit Manyano if appropriate.  She makes a plan for the other Manyano women in the Lutfotja society to visit and pray with people who are ill, have had a loved one pass away, are elderly and home bound or are going through a crises.  She is also an important part of the project that helps children from Lutfotja Methodist Primary School who are sickly or HIV+ to get the medical attention they need by accompanying them to the Baylor clinic at the RFM in Manzini.  Although we have a “Methodist Day” on the second Tuesday of each month at Baylor, if a child is sick or not doing well on their medication they may have to come back in between the regular monthly visits.  If they don’t have anyone to accompany them, Dumsile accompanies them and talks with the Doctor.  She is also the local contact if any of “our” kids need anything and she is responsible for holding the money we give her for transport for these children until it is time for them to go to the clinic.  Besides all of this, I give her transport money for Mthokozisi and his sisters to go to school each day.  I give it to Dumsile every two weeks and she gives it out to the children each week.  So in reality, she is no only an integral part of what Thoko, Thini and I do, but she is also putting herself at somewhat of a risk by being our “bank” because money is scarce in this part of the country.  I trust her completely with whatever I give her knowing that it will go to the proper person or family for the use it is intended for.

This picture was taken in August, 2009. Dumsile is on the left. We were cleaning up Mthokozisi's grandparent's homestead before moving Mthokozisi and his sisters there. Pictured here is: standing: Thoko, Mthokozisi, me, Jeri Front row: Dumsile, Mthokozisi's gogo and Mthokozisi's mkulu.

Dumsile doesn’t speak a lot of English, but we usually find a way to communicate the important things.  She is a make (mahgay – mother) and a gogo although she looks so very young.  She has the most precious smile and sparkle in her eyes.  Her homestead is near one of the main tarred roads in Swaziland, very near to where I turn when I am going to Lutfotja Methodist Primary School.   It is also a road I drive on many times on the way to other schools and it’s an alternate way to get to the border with South Africa.  I always look for her and when she sees my vehicle she always give me a huge smile and waves.  Talk about brightening up my day.

I don’t know if Dumsile is married or widowed.  It’s a question one doesn’t really ask in this country, but I have never seen a man at her homestead.  Her homestead is small with several block buildings for various family members including her mother or mother-in-law.  She makes and sells chicken “coops” (baskets) out of straw for money. As far as I know, this is the only way she makes money for her family.   Dumsile sells the baskets for E8 each which is a little over $1.00.  I don’t have any idea how many she sells, but it can’t be a lot.

She braides, weaves and intertwines each group of reeds as she makes the basket.

Dumsile sitting by the side of the road making her "chicken coops." Did I mention that she first goes and cuts down the grass/reeds?

She is so smart...she puts on a pair of yellow rubber pants like one would use in the rain to keep the reeds from scratching her legs.

I can only imagine how the reeds must cut her hands, though I'm sure between making baskets and working in the garden/fields her hands have become much tougher than mine are.

A finished chicken coop. They are placed in trees, and yes, the hen flies up and lays her eggs in the basket. Maybe this is where the term don't put all of your eggs in one basket really came from!

Join me in saying a prayer of thanksgiving for this precious, wonderful sister in Christ.

One thought on “Meet Dumsile

  1. Thankfully and with a humble heart I lift up in prayer Dumsile and each person who selflessly one moment, one act, one “child” at a time give of themselves to others. Smile with God’s love everyday.

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