How strange the grasshut schoolhouse seemed to Nomusa who was used to the simple shelter of the tsiko's But Nomusa is determined to become a nurse like her friend Buselapl. She is intrigued by the new magic contained in a hypodermic needle, so alien to the familiar magic of the Zulu witch doctor. Many of her tribe are suspicious of Nomusa's desires, especially young Damuel who journeys to the ""City of Gold"" (Johannesburg) to find his fortune. Under the expert tutelage of the schoolmaster and the experienced Buselapi, Nomusa becomes adept not only in the technique of nursing, but in the gradual process of administering to the primitive members of her tribe. The ""new knowledge"" brings healing and with it respect and admiration -- even Damasl sees the value of the written word in the end. Nomusa and are not the scornful rebels, but the ""avant garde"" of tribal living. They are as intricately bound to the customs and legends of the Zulus as their forefathers, with one essential difference -- they are willing to grow and change and to benefit as much as possible from the medical advances of the 20th century. The picture drawn from their perspective is a fascinating and authentic one. This has the same quality of compassionate understanding that characterized the prize-winning Thirty One Brothers and Sisters written for younger children in 1952.