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Because of his father’s recent passing, Mena has found comfort talking to Blackie (his father’s favourite well-fed cattle) than to human beings. His world turns into a tailspin when Blackie gets ill and finally dies and gets secretly buried by him and his herding buddy. Unfortunately, the burial doesn’t go as planned and Blackie accidentally tumbles over sacred bones and miraculously comes back to life with new abilities – he can speak a human language (as his father). With time, Mena develops a deeper emotional and humorous relationship with Blackie but has to prevent permanent separation that is threatened by the conclusion of his brother’s lobola negotiation.

Biblical connection

This story is inspired by 2 Kings 13:21 detailing how a dead man came back to life after his lifeless body made contact with Elisha’s bones. I chose this particular story to humorously yet sensitively explore the process and stages of mourning/grief, and every human’s innermost desire to communicate with a passed on loved one. The story is about letting go of the past, finding peace in the present and discovering reasons to look forward the future.



  • Writer: Evidence Sello Magaga