Herbert Isaac Ernest Dhlomo (1903 – 1956) is one of Afrika’s greatest intellectuals. A poet, essayist, journalist, librarian, short story writer and playwright, Dhlomo received his education at what is now known as Adams college in KwaZulu.
Some of his most notable work includes his biographical plays about Nongqawuse, Ntsikana, Shaka, Moshoeshoe amongst others. He also tackled pertinent issues in works like The Pass: Arrest and Discharged and The Workers and Malaria.
His play on Nongqawuse was the first drama published in English by a black South African. One of his best known work is his elegiac poem The Valley of Thousand Hills written in 1941.
Dhlomo is regarded as one of the New Africans – those who had been missionary educated and had embraced modernity. According to Dhlomo, “the new African knows where he belongs and what belongs to him; where he is going and how; what he wants and the methods to obtain it…”