By Stanley Nyirenda

Kinesics or kinesiology is the interpretation of body communication such as facial expressions and gestures, non verbal behaviour related to any movement of any part of the body. Body language is the range of non verbal signals that one uses to communicate feelings and intentions. This include one’s posture, facial expressions and hand gestures. One’s ability to understand body language can help pick up unspoken issues or negative feelings in others.

Pheluna and Milton Hatembo’s first positions in the video show them hugging their bodies. This has several meanings. Hugging one’s self is both defensive and a closed body position. The Hatembos appear to be combative and also shielding themselves from a distant enemy who they can’t see, but who they want to deliver a message to.They first appear timid and distressed and the reasons for this, unfold as they talk about the threats of being beheaded and how a disabled child has been left without care.

Pheluna is the first to talk and her attempt to communicate in English is thwarted by the brother who firmly advises her to speak in their native Tonga. This action underscores Milton’s desire to ensure the message is delivered wholly, clearly and concisely. When Pheluna stops speaking, there’s a brief moment of silence afterwhich she nudges her brother in the ribs to take up his turn. This is a further affirmation that Pheluna has the same concern that nothing should be left unmentioned. This cannot a choreographed script.

If it had been a choreography, a director behind the cameras would have prompted it. If it was a memorized speech, Pheluna wouldn’t have been reminded by the brother to speak in Tonga, she would have simply followed instructions from a prompter behind the camera.

Both siblings demonstrate a troubling sign of a ‘knife across the throat’ signifying beheading. This appears to have touched a raw nerve as emotions of the pair explode, prompting Milton to stand up from his comfortable position, sending both of them in wild gesticulations as they now talk simultaneously. This is an action of aggresion against the enemy, as well as solidarity. This cannot be guided by choreograph or prompting.

They speak with chins lifted up and appear to be closing in on cameras. These are subliminal messages they are sending declaring their readiness to die for a cause or belief.

From this brief explanation, I personally believe the Hatembos were speaking freely and in a free and friendly environment which is far from being conditions of captivity or abduction.


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