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Let’s Talk About It! Should Recipients of Charitable Health Donations Have Control to Use the Money As They Like?




A few days ago, Kenyan writer, Binyavanga Wainaina posted a series of messages on his Facebook page, tackling the Tom Maliti, the Chairman of the Kwani Trust.

Kwani Trust is “a Kenyan based literary network dedicated to developing quality creative writing and committed to the growth of the creative industry through the publishing and distribution of contemporary African writing, offering training opportunities, producing literary events and establishing and maintaining global literary networks.

For those who are not aware of what happens in the literary community. In 2015, Binyavanga suffered a stroke, and several bodies made public calls for donation of funds. Kwani was at the front and centre of the fund raising to help offset the medical bills.

In 2016, the Trust put out a press release giving account of how the funds were spent. {Click here to read the full story}

Since that time, we have not had any further updates on the monies; however, Binyavanga has been very active on social media. So, his messages on Facebook have raised some very pertinent questions.


Should the recipient of a fund raising have control over monies raised to do as he pleases?


We believe that this question is very vital – especially as we have BN Community Centre where we usually call for help, on behalf of Nigerians who are going through health issues. A lot of people do not like to respond to these calls because of the lack of accountability. However, where there is accountability, we find that donors have issues with the actual disbursement of funds.

For instance, we’ve read stories where funds are being raised to get treatment abroad, and in the budget, families include the costs for a loved one who will go along with the person who is sick. Sometimes, donors do not want to fund what they believe is not a justiciable use of the funds generated.

However, this is a subjective point of view, as it can be argued that the long term goal is to ensure the person who needs the money for full recovery, gets all the help he/she needs.

So, BellaNaijarians, what do you guys think? Do you think Kwani Trust owes Binyavanga any explanation on how they choose to spend the money on his health issues? Does Biyanvanga deserve to have a say in how money raised for his health is spent?

We reached out to Kwani Trust to ask for their position on the issue, but we’ve not heard back. In the interim, let’s talk about it!



  1. Que

    February 28, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    This brings to mind the girl who died of ovarian cancer whom Nigerians raised over 50m naira. Till date the family has not come out to explain how the rest of the family was spent. Seeing the girl died before treatment could commence. I remember how the family try to malign Tosin Aihmaku-Abraham and Aramide because of this money. Yet till date the family have gone quietly away with all the money donated. I think this things need an independent body to manage this fund so individuals would not pocket such money.

  2. Beard gang

    February 28, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    A donation is a voluntary gift or contribution for a specific cause usually given out of love and compassion ….so which one is the accountability? Is it tax? Or levy? Or fee? As long as the specific cause is achieved, I really don’t care about how the rest is spent…i remember people shouting mayowa’s family should have given account; let’s assume they needed 10 units and 50 units was raised, who should they have returned the 40units to? Donors were aware they needed 10 units yet they kept contributing, that sends a message about how they wanted their money spent…do we always ask the beggar on the road how the 500 naira we give is spent? People even labelled mayowa and her family fraudsters because they knew she didn’t have ‘long’ to live…***shakes head*** …the Nigerian manages to wipe off your dignity as long as you asked for help and it is being rendered

  3. Ajala & Foodie

    February 28, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Accountability and transparency are not limited to public funds or government activities. I have never understood why Nigerians (or Africans) believe accountability only relates to government entities. It is the same explanation we give with our places of worship. Don’t get it twisted accountability has to do with you and me. It has to do with our every day lives, It is why I keep saying that we are a reflection of our government. Do you think one who has not been transparent or accountable in their every day lives will suddenly learn to do so upon getting into office?? If you believe one is not required to be transparent and accountable in dealings such as the one presented above then forget about said individuals being accountable in other dealings. Even the Bible says “whoever is trusted with very little, can also be trusted with much”. Trust is only achieved over time by accountability and transparency and nothing tests the true character of an individual more than money and power.

    I remember being part of a once popular (Nigerian) group on social media and things had gone awry at one point. I had requested more transparency and accountability from the admins of said group, only for someone (she was friends with most, if not all the admins) came at me that said group was not a government entity and as such transparency and accountability was not required. (While I understand loyalty, I don’t condone blind and stupid loyalty). At the point I knew it was time for me to exit left because as far as I was (and still concerned) transparency and accountability is key in all of my dealings and what I choose to associate with.

  4. Ajala & Foodie

    February 28, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    On the other hand, I think the sick individual should be advised on how the money is spent, and the money should not be just handed over to the family or the individual. For said man to be active on social media, I want to believe, is an indication that he is doing better, i.e money was spent on his health. If there is an excess then yes the group needs to indicate how it was spent but from the sounds of it, it sure sounds like it was spent on his health just in a way he does not agree with.

  5. Ajala & Foodie

    February 28, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Dear BN, just curious as to what happened to my original post on accountability and transparency? I know people have been complaining about their posts going MIA and since I am not one to resort to insults I am just curious as to why my original post was skipped to only reflect my second post. I mean on the “other hand” looks out of place without my original post. This happened last week as well, I understand the need for moderating comments but I will be more than happy to know what the new criteria is for comments.

    • Atoke

      February 28, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      Just found it in the spam folder.

      All sorted now.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Deb

    February 28, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    @ajala and foodie,thank you. I wrote a lengthy comment on the post about mother in laws last week and I have vowed never to comment on BN again. My comment was about our African reality which BN wants to deny. Anyways as a lawyer and as to what I learnt in equity and trust,the proceeds should go to another charitable organisation with similar intent.

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