I guess what I would say here is that they are very happy to have him back and they react in a way that shows that. You can find this early on in Chapter 30.
As soon as word gets out that he is back, all sorts of people come to welcome him back. The people who see him start making a fuss, calling to others that he is back. Kids come up to him and start to talk to him. They tell him all the stuff that has happened since he let that they think is important. Someone tells him that the new priest they've had in the mean time is not as good as him and that they have missed him.
So clearly Kumalo is a loved and revered figure and he is treated that way when he gets home.