In Memoriam: Binyavanga Wainaina

This week, the talented Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina passed away. His writing was both confronting and spot on, discussing the existing stereotypes in articles about his continent. Among others, the award winning writer wrote an essay called How to write about Africa wherein he challenges the wrongly used language by authors and writers from around the world.

Binyavanga Wainaina (Nakuru, 18 januari 1971 – Nairobi, 21 mei 2019)

‘Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Drum’, ‘Sun’ or ‘Bygone’. Also useful are words such as ‘Guerrillas’, ‘Timeless’, ‘Primordial’ and ‘Tribal’. Note that ‘People’ means Africans who are not black, while ‘The People’ means black Africans.’ 

[…]

You’ll also need a nightclub called Tropicana, where mercenaries, evil nouveau riche Africans and prostitutes and guerrillas and expats hang out.

Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. Because you care.

 

Read the full article here