Truth in Translation is about how difficult it is to forgive, and the ways language fails us all the time. How do we speak of the unspeakable? How do we recognise our own lies? The piece takes place in the 1990s during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, set up to examine the crimes of apartheid. It focuses on the interpreters who, day after day, listened to the terrible testimony of those who suffered at the hands of the state - and sometimes at the hands of their neighbours too. These were the people who never found out what happened to their vanished husbands, wives, sons and daughters. As one mother says: "To look for your child and find nothing. Not even a speck of ash."

The Norwegian minister was being interviewed by two Ghanaian editors, Asare Otchere-Darko and Kweku Baako, during their visit to Norway to investigate matters involving evidence before a Norwegian court that top people under the National Democratic Congress government received bribes of more than $4 million from Scancem with the purpose of consolidating the then Norwegian-owned firm's hold in the local cement industry. When it was disclosed to Mr. Solheim that ongoing investigations by the Auditor-General in Ghana suggest there could be underhand dealings in very recent payments totalling $22,555.7836 ( 209.4 million) made by Ghacem from 2002 to 2004 alone, his answer was swift: "If any Norwegian company or individual is caught in malpractices in Africa or elsewhere we will not accept it. We will clamp down on them," adding that the country's anti-bribery law, enacted in 2003, will be allowed to take its course.

What it does not make clear is that the bill did not abolish slavery itself, which would persist in Jamaica and other British colonies for another 30 years. When younger and more militant abolitionists pressed Wilberforce to enter legislation to that effect, he replied that because of the effect “which long continuance of abject slavery produces on the human mind…I look to the improvement of their minds, and to the diffusion among them of those domestic charities which will render them more fit, than I fear they now are, to bear emancipation.” In other words, the slaves were not ready for their freedom. In the 1960s, the call was for “Freedom Now”, something the Kennedy brothers shrank from just as did William Wilberforce.

This movie is part of the self-congratulation of the English ruling class excusing itself for the most odious and reprehensible crimes in history. This self-congratulation is accomplished with all the charm that money can buy, with cute production values of costume, scenery, English character acting, and camera work. If you want to see how that self-congratulation works, go to the movie and watch the gentry and the politicians, row upon row of them, wearing their powdered, white wigs clapping their fair, uncalloused hands: you'll hear the sound of humanitarian hypocrisy. The name of William Wilberforce became a by-word for liberation in the Caribbean islands thousands of miles away, but at home in industrial Yorkshire his name was a synonym for prudery and political repression. Say his name with a West Indian intonation - William Wilberfarce.

Kenyan family, but the university has others, she said. Hampton has more than 90 remaining in its collection. Asked what institutions such as Hampton should do with vigangos in their possession, she said, "I think they should return them because nobody owns them but the Gohu people," referring to a semi-secret fraternal society within the Mijikenda. "Nobody can buy them," she said. "They should return them — all of them." Each sculpture has its unique style and pattern.

The Rev Richard Kirker, chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) said: “It would be perfectly consistent for Archbishop Akinola to start an English version of his Church, and while I am saddened by his divisive intentions there are some few who will find comfort under his brazenly homophobic creed.” Kirker declared: “It has been clear for some time that under the guidance of Peter Jensen (the Archbishop of Sydney) the Nigerian Church has been distancing itself from the Church of England and particularly the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

Yeni, Fela's oldest child, is sitting upstairs, somewhere in the warren of rooms above the stage. "My father was a very charismatic person," she says. "For someone like me, it was easy to follow his ideology because, as a black person, he made me proud. Fela's father - my grandfather - was a pastor, but he was still a radical; he was very outspoken. And my great-grandfather was responsible for taking Christianity to Abeokuta [a city north of Lagos]. He used music to get people to believe, so in his way he was a radical as well. And my grandmother was an activist. So we come from a long line of revolutionaries.

Knowledge Project

Africa Knowledge Project is an academic resource that offers journals and databases. Check them out at AKP.

Upcoming Deadlines

CALL FOR PAPERS

Columnists

LivewireRasta Livewire is a leading blog that provides in-depth viewpoints from Rastas in Africa and African Diaspora.

Africa Knowledge Project (AKP) publishes peer-reviewed journals and academic databases.

Ojedi is an online retailer of fine art and exceptional handcrafted pieces from around the world.

Africa House is an Africa and Diasporian gallery. Africa House accepts proposals for submission on a rolling basis.

African Event Posters show posters of events at Africa House.

African Gourmet Dinners shows images of African gourmet dishes.