Stephen Kumalo
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Stephen Kumalo

Cry, the Beloved Country

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About Him

Living… in Ixopo, a small village in South Africa's Ndotsheni. With his wife, Stephen lives in a modest but cozy home. They are quite poor, but they manage to scrape together enough coin for Stephen to take a journey to Johannesburg.

Visiting… the city of Johannesburg, where all roads lead. It's a chaotic place, full of all kinds of people and clashing cultures— a place where a person can easily lose himself. Between the alien traditions and foreign dangers, it’s completely different from Kumalo’s home in the country, and he finds it difficult to adjust.

Profession… an Anglican priest, beloved to the people of his village.

Interests… besides religion, helping others. A true Christian, Stephen dutifully loves his neighbors and God. His faith, however, will be sorely tested by the chaos and conflicts of Johannesburg.

Relationship Status… married, with one grown son no longer living with them. 

Challenge… finding his sister and his son, both of whom went to Johannesburg and never came back. Locating lost people in the mess that is Johannesburg is nigh impossible— and yet, that is the task Kumalo has accepted. Though people look at him with pity, he will not leave until he’s tried.

Personality… humble, pious, and passive. Kumalo is a follower, the kind of person who would let a stranger lead without questioning it. Naive, he knows little about the world outside his little parish: “‘Truth’? But how can he have truth on his side and not God?” But behind his peaceful demeanor, Kumalo has a quiet strength fed by religious belief. 

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