It’s Afro Vibes Festival down at Stratford Circus this month and when I got there I was welcomed by the sound of The Soil, with talented support from a youth choir. It was an energetic start, and I joined in with gusto, if not grace. Rhetorical takes a retrospective look at the political career of Thabo Mbeki, a key player in the ANC and Mandela’s successor. The piece is a series of separate pictures, based around three of his speeches and sewn together in a broad tapestry illustrating some of the many perspectives of the South African people. The poor still desperately poor, still waiting for the change they have been promised while the rising middle class cling to their newfound freedom. We are brought into family life and political arenas and on to the streets and slums, to witness the state of a society still recovering from the many wounds of apartheid as well as some more recently inflicted.