Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Thursday, 1 March 2012

My fictitious second wedding

It is interesting how easy it is to fabricate a lie using a photograph without even using Photoshop.

More than a decade ago I was best man at my cousin's wedding. As is custom with contemporary Tanzanian weddings, it is not only the bride and the bridegroom who step up to take a slice of the wedding cake; the maid of honour and the best man also have their turn at cutting the wedding cake.

The edited photo (below) showing me cutting the wedding cake with the maid of honor could easily pass off as a photograph of a bride and bridegroom.

The original unedited photo (below) reveals that the newly-weds were actually observing us a fews steps behind.

I am reminded of a photograph that appeared in some of Tanzania's Internet forums in which President Jakaya Kikwete was shown in the United States, on stage, with the American R&B vocal group, Boyz II Men. In the discussions President Kikwete was accused of traveling to the United States to attend the group's concert and wasting public funds. The truth, never revealed by the person who introduced the subject, was that the president had traveled to the United States for a meeting and the performance by Boyz II Men was concluded at the end of that meeting.

They had not lied about President Kikwete having attended a concert; they just did not bother to mention the meeting. The impact of excluding some information distorts the actual facts.

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