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  • Karen Visser

Compelled By Courage – Dudu’s Story

Meet Dudu: a woman, a mother, a business-owner, living in eSwatini, Africa.

No one who sees Dudu’s huge, beaming smile would guess the amount of adversity, hope, determination, love, heartbreak and hard work that has woven her life together.

Born in the mountains of eSwatini in the early 1980s, Dudu was the kind of student teachers remember many years later. “She was a brilliant learner,” says Ms Mamba*, who taught Dudu at St John’s Primary School. “She was so eager to learn new things, so easy to work with, and always a hard worker…She is still a hard worker.”

Dudu is indeed, but many hardships have beset her since those days.

Dudu smiling brightly at her market stall.

Dudu’s Story 

Dudu’s husband died while they were both still young, leaving her with a baby boy. Her second husband was abusive, and he abandoned her with two small sons when she began to experience severe vision impairment. When Dudu became blind she had no choice but to return to her family, but catastrophe struck once more when their home collapsed. Dudu’s grandmother allowed her to live with her, but the space was so small Dudu’s sons were separated from her. At times she was mistreated, and the hard-earned produce she sold in her tiny market stall was often stolen. Conditions were so unsanitary she was constantly contracting colds and flus. Above all, Dudu’s boys were deeply distressed to be living without their mother. 

Dudu outside a previous home that wasn’t suitable for her to live in.


CBL together with our partner Operation Hope, came alongside to empower change in Dudu's life, by providing a secure, well-built home with a store-room for her business. Hope comes from the family’s mental wellbeing, sense of dignity and confidence, now that they have the peace of mind a secure home provides. 


It is almost impossible to describe the transformation this newfound security and dignity has brought to Dudu’s life. 

Dudu in front of her new home.

Today, Dudu celebrates, full of renewed hope. She is dreaming up plans to strengthen her business and grow edibles around her home to sustain her boys and herself. Most of all, she eagerly anticipates her sons’ return. They will go to primary school nearby. Dudu and her children are finally safe to learn, grow, and fulfil their potential.

We love having the opportunity to be part of empowering people like Dudu - join us, together we can really make a difference. 

*Teacher’s name has been changed for privacy. 

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