Kenyans on social media are pouring tributes following the demise of award winning Kenyan author and LGBT activist Binyavanga Wainaina.
The passing of the acclaimed African literary giant and founder of the Nairobi-based journal Kwani was confirmed by his family.
Darling Binyavanga, Love you always. pic.twitter.com/uxyGIJYlqG
— Lọlá Shónẹ́yìn (@lolashoneyin) May 21, 2019
Binyavanga, who came out of the closet as a homosexual on January 14, 2014 passed away aged 48. He cut a niche not only as a distinguished Author but also as one of the most prominent Africans to publicly announce their sexuality, a bold move that sparked international debate.
I've known you since we were teenagers Ken. A great author; a great friend. Rest in Peace Binyavanga Ken Wainaina pic.twitter.com/EXa2XdiuaC
— Carol Radull (@CarolRadull) May 22, 2019
The 2002 winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing was named by the Time 100 among the “Most Influential People in the World” in 2014.
In describing himself, he once wrote on africasacountry.com blog.
“I can be selfish. I masturbate a lot, and never allow myself to crack and grow my heart. I touch no men. I read books. I love my dad so much, my heart is learning to stretch. I am a homosexual.”
On December 1, 2016 during World Aids Day, Binyavanga came out once again, revealing that he is HIV positive. In 2018, Binyavanga announced plans to wed his lover whom he had dated for over 6 years.
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
He broke the news via social media where he added that they will be living in South Africa where his partner will be studying.
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 acclaimed author heaped praise on his lover saying he was a “gentle” person with the “most gorgeous heart” and promised a grand reception in Nairobi.
Here at Kenyan Report, our heartfelt condolences.
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