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Twenty-five years younger than her brother, Stephen, Gertrude Kumalo lives in Johannesburg with her small child. It is her poor situation (she has been in jail for brewing liquor and works as a prostitute) that prompts Msimangu to send a letter to Stephen Kumalo requesting that he save his sister. Although Stephen intends to bring her home to Ixopo, Gertrude retains her errant ways even after moving in with Mrs. Lithebe. Instead of returning to Ixopo with her brother, Gertrude instead leaves her family, presumably to become a nun.