Binyavanga Wainaina, Kenyan author of “One Day I Will Write About This Place,” has died at the age of 48.
Binyavanga, or Binj as he was fondly known by friends, won the Caine Prize in 2002, was named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2014 (with praise written by his friend Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), and is best known for his 2005 essay How to Write About Africa. His memoir “One Day I Will Write About This Place” was selected to the Oprah Book Club.
The outspoken author suffered a stroke in 2015, and announced plans on his Twitter to in 2019 marry his lover in South Africa.
I knelt down and asked my love for his hand in marriage two weeks ago. He said YES. We will be married in South Africa early next year. I am beside myself with excitement that he has agreed to spend the rest of his life with me.
— Binyavanga Wainaina (@BinyavangaW) May 2, 2018
Tributes have poured in for the writer, who has been described as kind and loving.
Darling Binyavanga, Love you always. pic.twitter.com/uxyGIJYlqG
— Lọlá Shónẹ́yìn (@lolashoneyin) May 21, 2019
The BBC just asked me what Binyavanga's legacy would be. I wish I could have said this more articulately – to me his most important legacy isn't even the writing per se. It's that he made room – he published us, invited us into the platforms, shouted down the walls of Jericho.
— Nanjala Nyabola (@Nanjala1) May 22, 2019
The course that Binyavanga Wainaina set for Kenya's (and yes, African) literary space! My goodness.
Now that is a casket too heavy.
He fought hardest at the end. I hope he rests now. I hope he finally breathes.
— Magunga Williams (@theMagunga) May 22, 2019
“The sun is drowned suddenly, and it is dark.” Binyavanga Wainaina.
Go ahead and give them hell in heaven with your beautiful mind bro!
— victor ehikhamenor (@victorsozaboy) May 22, 2019