It’s rare to see a father in the CURE Malawi ward. Malawi is an extremely patriarchal society. This means that it is the fathers that generally earn the money to provide for their family, and it is the mothers who are responsible for caring and raising a child. An aunt or grandmother will often step up in trying times long before a father does. Because of this, it is unusual to see a father in the CURE Malawi ward, but then again, Kingsley is not a usual father.
Kingsley is originally from a very remote village in Mozambique. It’s so remote it takes a day of traveling just to get to the nearest small town. It’s in this little village where he had carved out a life for himself, gotten married, and had seven children. His sixth child is a boy by the name of Josephy and who Kingsley describes as “the child for whom his heart beats.”
Unlike Kingsley’s other children, Josephy was born with feet that curve in on themselves, a condition called clubfoot. With no medical facilities and no knowledge of the condition, Kingsley was at a loss as to what he could do for his son. Josephy grew and learned to walk, but has to do it by walking on his ankles. It’s a painful process that slows Josephy down and makes him an easy target for the local bullies and the village gossips. Kingsley has done his best to shelter Josephy from the cruelties of people, but he knows he cannot do this forever.
Even worse, Kingsley fears Josephy may even feel discrimination within their own family. “It’s been a struggle every day since Josephy was born. He wakes up sad, and it’s like he doesn’t believe we love him and care about him. It’s like he doesn’t believe he’s part of our family.” Kingsley shares, a heartbroken look on his face.
At one point several years ago, Kingsley couldn’t take it anymore and moved the entire family from their village in Mozambique to a new home in Malawi with the hope they would be able to find help for Josephy. “As a father, I am responsible to protect my son,” Kingsley states matter of factly. It’s a big deal moving a family of nine from the only home they’ve ever known to an entirely different country. But Kingsley was determined to take whatever steps necessary for a better chance to find help for his son.
CURE Malawi does a good job of getting our message of hope and healing out to the people. We operate mobile clinics around the country and do our best to spread the word of our services around hospitals and health clinics. Thankfully, our previous patients are often able to spread our message even further than our clinics and networking can accomplish. In fact, it was through a complete stranger that Kingsley first heard about CURE Malawi. “It was very hard to believe someone who I had never seen before, telling me my heart’s desire,” Kingsley remembers. Ultimately, his desire to see Josephy treated won out over his fear of being lied to by a stranger.
Traditionally, it would have been Kingsley’s wife who would come to CURE Malawi with Josephy while Kingsley continued to work and earn money for the family, but as Kingsley said before “I am responsible to protect my son.” Kingsley wanted to be at CURE Malawi with his son because as he told us, “a father leads by example.” Kingsley went on to say, “It was a bit awkward when we first arrived at CURE Malawi to find most of the parents there were ladies, but the awkwardness does not compare to the joy knowing Josephy is getting treatment.”
Kingsley is living proof that love can drive us to overcome obstacles and to take risks. Kingsley’s love for Josephy transcended borders and cultural norms. He loves his son without conditions which is a beautiful example of our heavenly father’s love for us.
As for the future, Kingsley tells us, “When I see Josephy ten years from now, I see him as an amazing father as well as a responsible and God-fearing parent.” We think that Kingsley has modeled just that for Josephy.
Original Story from Cure.org and authored by Thandy Dzimbiri.