In the story, Baho! by Roland Rugero, a young man called, Nyamuragi is prosecuted for attempting to rape a young woman. For Nyamuragi is a mute and was only trying to ask for directions. A key question that surfaces throughout the novel – Is justice possible?
“Speech is no longer carved in stone; it has become a simple veneer, readily abused when a little gust of wind comes…” (Rugero 43). The tone of this passage is unsettling. The community of Kanya has a poor justice system. Women are especially vulnerable when the men in this community sees them as sexual objects. It is difficult to know when the truth is being told; truth is taken like a grain of salt due to the selfish and grotesque nature of men in the story.
The men in the novel cannot see how their actions are wrong because it has become such a norm. This causes distrust between the people and their environment. And the one-eyed woman in the story acts like a metaphor of wisdom, in which she has partial sight. Partial sight where the men in the community only see what they want to see. Which means they will ultimately, want to save themselves in the end. Along with the one-eyed woman, Nyamuragi, too, acts as a metaphor. He represents miscommunication. He was set up to die for the purification of the community. Because he doesn’t die in the end, this shows that the community hasn’t changed.
It’s a sad truth to know that the men in this society won’t change their ways because they can use Nyamuragi as a scapegoat to save their reputation since he is mute. Jonathan, Nyamuragi’s uncle, manipulated the system to help save his nephew, unfortunately, this did not change the justice system. The lack of trust in the community caused by language barriers makes it so justice cannot be possible.