Ololade Benson
speaks on ...
the challenges of working through an interpreter


Robert Utter: What’s the most difficult part of your ministry?
It’s the inability to communicate with the people. That breaks my heart because I have to work through an interpreter, most times. Most of them – here it’s Swahili. They don’t speak English. In Rwanda it was Kinyarwanda. Sometimes you want to speak like – the lady I bought the cow for, she was raped and she really wanted to share what she was going through with me.
And she was raped and I think two or three of her children were killed. Her husband too was killed and you know, there’s a lot of suspicion. Somebody wants to interpret and she wants to know if that person is a Hutu or that person is a Tutsi. She doesn’t know if the, the message is being conveyed properly. So, you know I’m not, I’m, I’m not able to communicate with them and that’s a problem.
I have a, my, the newest patient I have here, I think she’s Somalian. She’s in her late 50s and she finds it difficult to communicate with me because she doesn’t want anybody, you know. When you’re talking about HIV, AIDS and sex, it’s very, very private and very, very personal. People don’t want somebody – they don’t want to discuss what is happening in their lives.
They don’t want to go through an interpreter. And I would really love to touch their feelings and I’m unable to do that because I cannot speak directly with them. That’s one of the things that really hurts me. I’m unable to talk to them.
RU: Can you study . . .
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About this video

Country of Origin:
Interview Date:
October 23, 2008
Arusha, Tanzania
Donald J. Horowitz
Robert Utter
Nell Carden Grey
Excerpt From:
Part 7
Submitted By:
Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal team