When we see the current climate of the people in Baho! by Roland Rugero, it shows the taut and seething alertness that has become part of the routine. So that when Nyamuragi was just trying find a bathroom to pee, he becomes the scapegoat for the sins of community they committed even before the war that’s been used to pass off the rape as a tactic for the enemy. The first image foreshadows what happens in the past:
“Tucked among Hariho’s hills, Kanya has bravely weathered this dry season’s sweltering onslaught…” (1)
This symbolizes the violation of women, which is a distortion of the Western mythos of original sin to shame their voices into repression, as the community has become hostile. It’s funny, in that it’s really not. This has come full circle out in our own society as it reels from the many allegations and accusations that are not reputed, but often tried to be passed off as something that can be brushed off, the boy-who-cried-wolf mentality that resonates to those who have affected them personally.
Or werewolf as it were…
“The owner of a white necklace doesn’t acknowledge its whiteness.”
It makes me think about how identity is erased whether individually or a community, it’s easier to ignore if you can’t attach a face to them or empathize. It’s easier to focus on their own plight than others, allowing for the men who want hang Nyamuragi not acknowledge in their complicity in their indecency, their sins being seen but not show with a harsh light. Which is why Nyamuragi does not care for humanity, because the scars have dug deep, physically and mentally, while he personifies food as his community instead of the actual community around him as it has his base desire met:
“Nyamuragi fears the past! He loves the present, which is why he loves to eat. Nature’s flavors on his lips, the communion of being: his tongue and dishes.” (23)
In a context of mistrust, the barriers are there to impede, halt, or just blockade communication as Nyamuragi disdains the relationship with the community. Because once trust is lost, it’s hard to get back or at all. Any supposed apologies become a token for the inherent betrayal of a people who are suppposed to protect and raise him.