Jessie came to Mutemwa in 1947 from Mozambique when she contracted leprosy. She was expelled from the farm she was working on. She believes that leprosy came to her as a curse after she refused to marry a village headman when she lived when she was very young.
Her disease started to appear with black spots on her hands, that later developed over her entire body. There was no medical treatment at that time, so the leprosy progressively deteriorated. Her father brought her to Zimbabwe so she could be treated for her leprosy.
Unbeknown to her, on her entrance into Mutemwa, she was already pregnant. After the birth of her first daugher, her illness worsened and her limbs became mutilated.
She met her husband whilst living at Mutemwa. They married and went on to have 7 more children.During her time at Mutemwa, she has worked as a nurse aid, cleaning the clinic and patients room’s and also worked in the gardens.
“Leprosy has been hard to accept and live with, especially the pain. But I have begun to accept the reality and thank God that I am still alive.” Jessie.