Baho! By Roland Nugero is a story heavily framed by women and the conditions of women in Africa. We become familiar with the stories of women who have been beaten by their husbands, run out of their homes, and worse. The storytelling around and during Nyamuragi’s trial are in large part framed by womanly themes, being that the basis of this trial surrounds Nyamuragi’s accusation for rape of a young girl. We come to find that the reason the men in this region are so furious is not solely based in good character, but in the way they have been conditioned to think of these women: as property. Raping a woman would be to devalue a man’s property; dowries would be withheld, marriage proposals withheld, and there would be no compensation to be had from these women. “Their honor must be avenged because their domain has been desecrated … Excuse me! Him! That unfortunate freak of nature. He has desecrated their domain and sullied their wealth …” (26). We come to understand that men are protective of the women here only because they see them as possessions. Furthermore, men here, give themselves a bad name and seem to be completely oblivious to their own faults. We hear of men who are drunkards, who are adulterers, rapists: “The country is being purified of abominable vices like rape and infidelity” (38) crimes perpetuated by man. However, some of these men stand around acting like innocents.
The contrast in the way in which men and women here reacted to this trial is stark. For many women, the near rape of Kigeme brings back painful memories of their own hardships, and for some men it brings to their minds their own faults which they are not particularly ashamed of. It seems the men here are uncertain of their futures because obviously there is no future without their women as possessions in they way in which men here envision themselves and see their place in the world alongside—or above of—these women. It is sickly ironic this way of thinking, in which every man has been painstakingly grown and carried into this world by a woman and now thinks he owns her. Man would be nothing without woman, and it is high time that men work to raise women up, not tear them down.