Interview: Hlompho and Bruce Vivian

February 2024

You recently moved from South Africa to the US. What do you want to share about your home country.

South Africa (or SA as we like to call it) is known as the rainbow nation because of our culturally diverse population of approximately 60 million vibrant people. We have 11 official languages!


Situated at the southernmost tip of the African continent, SA is renowned for its stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity, and pleasant climate. The country boasts well-developed cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town, and is a blend of African, Asian and Western culture.


We love our sport, which unites us. When we won the Rugby World Cup for the fourth time last month with a team that reflects the diversity of the rainbow nation, we all celebrated as one!

As you adjust to life in the US what has been your biggest challenge so far?

Adapting to a new environment can be challenging, especially when faced with different social norms, financial systems and weather. It is also a lot more expensive to live in the tri-state area than in SA! We are adapting, but it is a proces 🙂

What surprises you most about day-to-day life in America?

We’ve been most intrigued by the diversity of nationalities in the area we live in, the efficiency of services, like the public transport network and online shopping, and the ability of people to adapt to the different seasons. We were also pleasantly surprised by the extent of community building and the way people come together to support causes.

What brought you to FUMC?

We have been members of the Methodist Church in South Africa our whole lives, and felt that finding a local Methodist Church would help us feel at home!

Can you tell us about your professional background?

Hlompho: In South Africa, I worked for not-for-profit companies, including multinationals, that support public sector climate change projects in Africa.

Bruce: I am a Chartered Accountant by training (similar to a CPA in the US), with experience working in private and public sector auditing. In my current role I work with the global accountancy profession to advance accountancy education.

What is your perspective on the current state of the Christian church and its impact on the world today?

The Church is at an important moment in history, where we need to maintain our relevance in a transforming world. As the world tackles massive issues like climate change, growing inequality, and conflicts, the Church needs to be a voice of hope and wisdom.


The Methodist Church of Southern Africa shares its roots with the United Methodist Church. Much of our mission, outreach and traditions are similar. But the SA church has played an important role in the rebirth of our nation having played a prominent role in the fight against apartheid. Many prominent leaders, including Nelson Mandela were Methodists! And South African Methodists reflect the diversity of our society.