BURUNDI (**)

Roland Rugero — Baho! (2012)

Context: A poetic, stream of thought sprint through contemporary, post-war Burundi

What it’s about: A short story about mob justice thwarted. The story tackles a society traumatised by conflict but intentionally rejects any mention of race.

A young blind boy asks a girl where he can go to the toiler, she misunderstands and thinks he is trying to rape her. A chase ensues. When he is caught, a sudden intervention against rough justice saves the day. During the chase, the boy remembers his life: “His memories flow peacefully as the stream’s water.” (The same could be said for Rugero’s wonderful prose)

Within this simple plot, Rugero simultaneously provides a story written with light, joyful prose, serious in theme and also a photographic snapshot of an entire community.

Why you should read it: It is the first book from Burundi translated into English!

Rating: **

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