A notable instruction in this piece advises: Avoid having the African characters laugh, or struggle to educate their kids, or just make do in mundane circumstances. As such, it reads like nothing I have read before, crackling with the energy of a writer who delights in revealing the multi-cultural, multi-national, multi-ethnic world of his middle-class Kenyan upbringing. It is also an overtly political work, in the sense that Wainaina means to say something profound about Africa.
Aug 22, KenyanBibliophile rated it really liked it This was a fun read. A ridiculously fun read. A few posts down my Instagram feed I went on a long rant about African literature focusing on the same generalizing themes.
Wainaina tackles stereot This was a fun read. Wainaina writes that Africa is worth romanticizing but not deeply thinking about. Compromises of three stories. So, yeah, three short essays but packs a punch. Do you know Africa, or are you still stereotyping it? To view it, click here.
It was only three stories long, and fit on A6 size pages. In general, a forty minute read worth of tongue-in-cheek reflection about Africa and the people who write about Africa or want to be a part of it. He takes low swipes at the colloquial language that many writers use when describing what Africa is.
A theme that runs through the short story is the apparent distinction between real black Africans and non-black Africans.
The device seems minimalistic but says a lot about how classes and racial stereotypes are perpetuated.
The stereotypes that he brings to note are numerous. For example, Africa cuisine consists of monkey brain and not rice and beef; Africa is one large country and not many countries in a continent; Africa is worth romanticizing but not deeply thinking about. She is a land of naked breasts and rotting bodies.
He also talks about characters when writing about Africa. The mindless loyal servant, the Ancient wise man who only comes from specific tribes, the modern African who is highly educated and works a government job which he uses either to keep white people out or to enrich himself.
You can clearly see how Wainana has shown the boxes Africa and her people have been put in. You must fit characters in these boxes for your book to be considered about Africa. What is indeed laughable and embarrassing is how animals are to be taken more seriously than people.
In fact animals must be more human in your story than the African native. The other persons more important than animals comprise celebrity activists, aid workers and conservations, after all Africa must be helped. But these were not her concern.
She was in Kenya to teach the people of some peri-urban location how to use a condom. The fact that when a pop-star or conservationist garners attention on the basis of Africa, receives numerous amount of assistance to go live in Africa expensively as they try to fix some African issue, the world interprets it as love.
The collection asks some very hard questions while taking no prisoners.
Do you know Africa? Or are you stereotyping it?In his essay "How to Write about Africa," published in Granta in , Binyavanga Wainaina, 40, offers satirical advice to Westerners writing about Africa.
This is How to Write About Africa Binyavanga Wainaina is most famous for How to write about Africa – an essay published by Granta in that formed a cynical guide to all the clichés writers generally employ when writing about the continent. A notable instruction in this piece advises: “˜Broad brushstrokes throughout are good.
Jun 07, · Wainaina offers advice of how to increase sales: mentioning the light in Africa, the sunset, having a photo of “a heroic looking conservationalist” on the front cover, describing how one has come to love Africa, and cannot live without her etc. This was a fun read.
A ridiculously fun read. Under "irony" in the dictionary, there's a little picture of Binyavanga Wainaina. It's a very short, tongue-in-cheek reflection about Africa and the people who write about Africa. A few posts down my Instagram feed I went on a long rant about African literature focusing on the same generalizing themes/5.
Binyavanga Wainaina’s essay, “How To Write About Africa,” published in , remains the most forwarded article in Granta’s history. The laugh-out-loud-funny satire captured every recorded.
In his essay "How to Write about Africa," published in Granta in , Binyavanga Wainaina, 40, offers satirical advice to Westerners writing about Africa.
In doing so, he points out the clichés and simplifications of much of Western media's coverage of the continent.