With Justice comes Injustice

“Izobikora turns toward his brothers and summons them to respond to Nyamuragi’s affront. Sullying precious goods acquired with great value over many years (a dowry, a marriage proposal, and long nights to convince the shy girl)? No! That’ll be enough of that! By raping Kigeme, the cursed mute has defiled all the other women in the region, and the men of Kanya consider themselves all affected. It is time to crack down.” (26)

Justice will come swift and unrelenting for anyone who dares harm a woman. Even if Justice does not fully understand the situation, Justice will form a mob of people and come at the person possibly committing the injustice with full force. It makes it even easier to punish someone like Nyamuragi because he physically cannot speak back to defend himself, due to the fact he is a mute. This situation cannot get anymore unjust. This is just taking a misunderstanding and making it a reason to impress a Kigeme, the woman who was “almost raped.” The remark calling her, “precious goods” really must imply that she is a very desirable person. So these men see an opportunity to make themselves look good in front of her and dispose their form of justice.

This whole scenario prominently displays both Rugero’s meditation on justice and gender relations. Nyamuragi is a mute, therefore he already has a disadvantage in defending himself. He cannot communicate his side of the story or explain what he was actually doing opposed to what they thought he was doing. The angry mob treated him as guilty until he was proven innocent but the only person that could prove he was innocent was him. Everyone assumed that Nyamuragi was going to rape Kigeme and that is why they sprang into action but the way they handled it was not justice. To be just is to be fair. Beating a mute person for not explaining himself is not fair.

The men in the novel Baho! treat women as if they are objects. In the quote the act of raping Kigeme is referred to as “sullying precious goods.” As to say that she is very beautiful and the act of raping her would be tarnishing her beauty. The parallels between raping a human and making a valuable object less valuable is truly disturbing. Then the quote goes on to say that by Kigeme, Nyamuragi has “defiled all the other women in the region.” This is really just meant for amplifying the situation to make the men look more like heroes than they actually are. Every opportunity these men get to impress and “earn” these women is an opportunity they will take.

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