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We must return

Black History Month Contest Runner-Up

CAS for Database

Sello Huma

Johannesburg, South Africa

Princess High School


We must return

We must return back to Mapungubwe

To trace our ancestral roots

We must return to the pyramids  and

animal kingdoms to know our origins

We must return to our hunting ways

And herding days where farming was the heart

Of our health and livestock the pride of our wealth

We must return to our calling of rain

to our beating of  drums

blowing of horns and trumpets,

We must return to our own rhythms and literature

to tell the future generation our own stories

music, art and poetry

We must return to Timbuktu to rediscover  our magic

We must return to the old  African dream of unity

with eyes that are brighter than house lights and

nostrils wider than windows

We must return to the  fires of Sophiatown

to bring the black love

We must return to  Lake Tanganyika

to the freshness of the marula tree

where the sun sets free

we must  return to our mountains,

hills, lakes, rivers

And forests of mystical powers

We must return to our initiation and meditation schools

We must return to our building of  castles, and mosques

We must return to our carot and healing consultations

We must return to our traditional herbs and medicines

We must return to our, carnivals and festivals

where love was our religion

We must return for the sake of the dead.

Note: This piece was previously published as “A Letter from the Dead” by Afritondo Media and Publishing.


[This] poem, dense and teeming with investigative language speaks for a collective; for restoration of things lost, traditions forgotten, and cultures written off. I found the retractive aesthetic of [this] poem to be highly powerful and evocative. The tone is urgent and the mood is resurging! Stunning piece of work!


Sello Huma is a talented, versatile and musically inclined poet and lyricist based in Johannesburg,South Africa. Some of his works have appeared in Brittle Paper, Tampered Press, Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology, One Klyntji and elsewhere.

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