Silence is Golden



    “It concerns likenesses as well, and its effects extend even to men’s destinies (Baho! 32).”  Could it be imagined that the silence of people helps them, or that they are trapped in a never ending struggle to speak up for themselves? Do you think that these problems exist? In the novel Baho! written by Ronald Rugero those very ideas are being questioned with his character Nyamuragi. Nyamuragi is a mute man who has seen things that have made him lose trust in people. When Nyamuragi is having problems finding a place to use the restroom he is mistaken for a rapist and is brutally apprehended. Nyamuragi has understood that he can’t communicate with the people around him because of being mute and he is facing an internal struggle. While in our world silence can be golden it is also a cry for help of someone who has been hurt. In the world of Nyamuragi language is what will keep you alive.


“One must expand vocally, occupying the entirety of the space reserved for both to speak (Baho! 37).” It is known that the people in Kanya have respect for each other’s communication and in Nyamuragi’s case he can’t have a fair trial. In his desperation he mumbles words and the people misunderstand his mumbling. Once again silence in Kanya is not seen as strength but a way to hide one’s guilt and Nyamuragi is seen as a rapist. Nyamuragi is seen as guilty for his silence and his attempt to speak is seen as a way to distract the people from wanting to kill him. In reading Baho! The reader sees that Nyamuragi can speak to himself internally and he is aware that they will kill him. Again his desperation is shown as he continues to speak but no one can hear him. That little voice that we all hear in our head about what is right and wrong is circling Nyamuragi’s head. Unfortunately he can’t speak up for what he did. The people of Kanya are done with the violence around them and Nyamuragi is a staple for purification. The fatigue and anguish of the people caused by war have made the people distance themselves from trying to understand each other.


When Nyamuragi is a child he is already judged in school, despite all that he learns to read and write which could help him. Perhaps Nyamuragi will be allowed to write something in his defense. The struggle of communicating will be the downfall of humanity.




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