The English novelist George Eliot paid a beautiful tribute to the people who are rarely in the public eye for the work they do, and said, “They make their way upward, rarely as geniuses, most commonly painstaking, honest (people), with the skill and conscience to do well the tasks that lie before them.” Every institution needs these type of people. The ones who will give their all to the work that lies before them because, however small it may seem, it fits to the overall vision of the institution. As much as they are hardly noticed, Eliot said, “You are almost sure to find some good piece of road, some building, some application of mineral produce, some improvement in farming practice, some reform of parish abuses.” It is the combination of such seemingly ordinary acts that make an extraordinary achievement. Sikhumbuzo Matisa is such a person we have here at African Christian College.
For the past seven years he has solidified himself as a faithful and trustworthy servant. He currently works as the Assistant Operations Manager, under the Tree of Life (TOL) Department. “My works is about making sure that the workshop and machinery is working efficiently,” he says. Time, in his world, does not inform the work, but the work informs time. Matisa is a fixer, something that he says he loves best about his job. Fixing things makes it possible for others to work effectively. He says that when he cannot figure something out, he gets troubled to the extent of having sleepless nights. His humility is evident in the way he acknowledges the leadership of Sydney Mhango. These two men enjoy a healthy working relationship, and is the reason the TOL is functioning successfully.
Skhumbuzo is family man of one wife, Rosebell, and two beautiful children, Nhlakanipho and Zwile. The Matisa family loves being at ACC. Although the children commute every day to school, it is not an inconvenience at all. On the cultural differences, Matisa believes that the willingness to learn from others is what makes it easier for him to relate to people. He pours out his wisdom and says, “There is much you can do to change yourself, than to change someone else.” This principle drives his relations with people. Learning to live better with yourself allows you to realise that not everyone is like you, thus the need for tolerance and adaptation.
Sikhumbuzo is not shy to admit that he is not an eloquent preacher. This acknowledgement enables him to find other ways of helping those who can preach and bring people to the kingdom of God. He sees his work here as one of those means. Through the TOL, ACC is able to train women and men for excellent service in the kingdom. The small acts the he does enable these people to be adequately trained and sent out into the field. He concludes by saying, “I love Christianity…if I can do these things I do, those who have the gift of preaching can also do their tasks too.”