Memory, Exile and Identity: A Negotiated Post-Apartheid South Africa in John Kani’s nothing But the Truth (Published)
Memory, exile and identity are part of the psychical configurations that embody the experience of man within the spatial location he occupies and that in which he achieves rigmarole of the performances of different activities akin to the idea of the ‘Waiting for Godot’. Exile has precipitated memories which invariably mould and reconstruct identities, rendering them fluid and malleable. This paper examines the invention and reinvention of memory in John Kani’s Nothing But the Truth (2002) as it affects how justice is perceived and how reconciliation and forgiveness are issued. It also investigates how Kani’s characters navigate the murky waters of a conflated experience in dual identities, informed by exile, and how shifts and adjustments are made to accommodate the products of crossed borders to achieve a resounding reconciliation, having blurred, repressed, or better still, obliterated the dictates and vestiges of the wounded past. It is inferred, therefore, that the reconstruction of the unpalatable past will engender concrete cohesion beyond all existing divides in a new South Africa provided remorse is shown for past deeds and individual identity subsumed under the national identity.