He won the Caine Prize inawarded annually to a writer in Africa for a work published in English, and used his winnings to cofound the literary magazine Kwani? He is a cannibal who likes Cristal champagne, and his mother is a rich witch-doctor who really runs the country.
Part of the goal with the magazine was to bring attention to writers that larger organizations might not notice. Throughout the book, adopt a sotto voice, in conspiracy with the reader, and a sad I-expected-so-much tone.
Often a book cover with a heroic-looking conservationist on it works magic for sales. One of the challenges for African writers, says Wainaina, is getting funding. African characters should be colourful, exotic, larger than life—but empty inside, with no dialogue, no conflicts or resolutions in their stories, no depth or quirks to confuse the cause.
Elephants are caring, and are good feminists or dignified patriarchs. Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed. And especially rotting naked dead bodies.
Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. And sunsets, the African sunset is a must.
He imagines all of the millions of people who might be reacting to the win, "some living in musty dormitories in Moscow; tired and drunk Describe, in detail, naked breasts young, old, conservative, recently raped, big, small or mutilated genitals, or enhanced genitals.
Just call her Mama. Or any kind of genitals. Hyenas are fair game and have vaguely Middle Eastern accents. His writing is full-bodied and rich, describing a present-tense world in sensual, emotional, and psychological detail.
Big cats have public-school accents. Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. Bad Western characters may include children of Tory cabinet ministers, Afrikaners, employees of the World Bank.
Among your characters you must always include The Starving African, who wanders the refugee camp nearly naked, and waits for the benevolence of the West.
In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. But do not be too specific. Avoid having the African characters laugh, or struggle to educate their kids, or just make do in mundane circumstances.
He is an enemy of development, always using his government job to make it difficult for pragmatic and good-hearted expats to set up NGOs or Legal Conservation Areas. Her children are all delinquent. She must look utterly helpless.
The Modern African is a fat man who steals and works in the visa office, refusing to give work permits to qualified Westerners who really care about Africa. Make sure you show how Africans have music and rhythm deep in their souls, and eat things no other humans eat.
It is always big and red. Also be sure to include a warm and motherly woman who has a rolling laugh and who is concerned for your well-being. In the first year, Kwani? We get an influx of images and sensations, a multifaceted view of a country, a continent, and, above all, a person.
Each writer blogged about the experience and used the trip as the basis for a 30,word travelogue to be published in four African countries in She can have no past, no history; such diversions ruin the dramatic moment.Jul 10, · I think ejs was making a meta joke, In that Toto's "africa" is about a white boy wanting to write a song about africa, but he only knows what he's seen on TV.
posted by Dr. Twist at AM on July 11 [2 favorites] And the books all have the same cover photo (used with the article, too). —How to Write About Africa, Binyavanga Wainaina. Say the words ‘Kenyan Literature’, and you might instantly think of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, or perhaps Meja Mwangi.
Both are luminaries of contemporary African literature who are published worldwide, and their success is, of course, entirely deserved. In his essay "How to Write about Africa," published in Granta inBinyavanga Wainaina, 40, offers satirical advice to Westerners writing about Africa.
In doing so, he points out the clichés and simplifications of much of.
If you are a woman, treat Africa as a man who wears a bush jacket and disappears off into the sunset.
Africa is to be pitied, worshipped or dominated.
Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed.
warm virgin forests. If you are a woman, treat Africa as a man who wears a bush jacket and disappears off into the sunset. Africa is to be pitied, worshipped or dominated.
Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed. Binyavanga Wainaina's essay 'How to Write About Africa' uses humor, satire and irony to expose the many clichés and stereotypes used by Western writers in their treatment of Africa.
Under the guise of offering advice to such writers, the essay instead exposes the problems inherent in condescending Western attitudes toward Africa.Download