Difficult to Read Yet Amazing Story to Hear

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In the novel, Baho!, but Roland Rugero is about a boy, Nyamugari, who is mute and is framed for a crime he did not commit. Nyamugari simply asked a young woman for directions but she assumed he was trying to rape her. Because he is a mute and cannot explain himself, he is guilty for his “crimes” according to the young woman’s community.

Honestly, my favorite thing about this novel is that it talks about the rape culture and how women are being treated in Burundi. The author speaks about how women are treated as property and the men are ranked higher than women. For example, in the book, they explained that there was a lot of raping going around so the women need to be more cautious with their surroundings. As a woman, I would have gotten scared as well if a random guy came up to me, but it should not be like that. There is a quote on page 14 that states, “Suddenly, the young girl recalls the descriptions of the rape her friend a few weeks ago. Her friend had spoken of a fixed and burning gaze, of the folds in his forehead, the hands that seized her without warning in violence and desire. Her friend told her to yell if she were ever assaulted.” This quote is important to me because it is showing how if a girl thinks she is getting assaulted, she must scream because that way, she could get help. In reality, that is what girls do nowadays too. What I did not like about this novel is that it was honestly really complicated to read. Reading a few chapters for homework was hard because it took me three hours to read a few pages. The reading was complicated because of the different terms that were being used and some were in Burundian.

Overall, this novel was something I am not use to reading. It was more difficult but it was something I was willing to continue to read because it was so good.

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