“You will now be tried in this fifth heaven for five crimes committed in the Herebefore. First, mass murder; second, racism; third, grand theft of Africa’s natural resources and land; fourth, exploitation and enslavement of African workers; and fifth, egotism and a vainglorious quest for immortality.”
Set over five days in an African Hereafter called “After Africa”, this story revolves around the British South African imperialist, Cecil Rhodes, awakening in an After African Limbo after being asleep for 120 years. Guided by Ghanaian writer Efua Sutherland, he is taken on a tour of After Africa’s five heavens, experiencing Africa’s great civilisations, its Nobel laureates, its writers, its musicians and its sporting legends. The novella centres on the grand trial of Cecil Rhodes in the fifth heaven for five crimes committed in the Herebefore.
Two Counsel for Damnation – Olive Schreiner and Stanlake Samkange – face off against two Counsel for Salvation – Nelson Mandela and Harry Oppenheimer. The seven judges from Africa’s five sub-regions and its North American, Caribbean and South American diasporas are also well-known figures: Ruth First, Wangari Maathai, BoutrosBoutros-Ghali, Patrice Lumumba, Taslim Elias, Maya Angelou and Toussaint l’Ouverture.
“Many people want Rhodes to fall, and his statue is definitively toppled by Adekeye Adebajo.” – Ken Barris, award-winning writer
“[…] The Trial of Cecil John Rhodes can become the most powerful drama on all theatre stages of Africa […]”– John Kani