The “unofficial archive of Binyavanga Wainaina’s work” went live in 2017 and is an incredible resource and even a blueprint for Pan-African LGBT activists resistance .
It includes his very first published piece, “Black Mischief,” in G21 magazine. G21 also published his Caine Prize-winning “Discovering Home,” an autobiographical portrayal of urban and family life set in South Africa and Kenya that is one of the finest works—some say the very finest—to grace the prize’s shortlist. On the site, also, is a link to Binyavanga’s best-known, most-read work: How To Write About Africa, a satire on Western writing tropes stereotyping Africa, published in 2005 by Granta.
Arguably his generation’s finest crafter of the English prose in Africa, Binyavanga is also one of the most talked-about. This year, two memoirs by other writers centered on him: Hugo kaCanham’s piece in The Kalahari Review, “The Clumsy Binyavanga Wainaina in Johannesburg,” and Sada Malumfashi’s Kofi Addo Nonfiction Prize finalist in Enkare Review, “Finding Binyavanga.”
With this, it does feel like Binyavanga just got a planet of his own.
“Binyavanga Wainaina’s biggest legacy was challenging Africans to free their imaginations,” Quartz Africa.
Wainaina, died on Wednesday, May 22, after a short illness at age 48. For all his accumulated years, and especially in the last two decades, he stood out not just in his idiosyncratic dress habits but as a foremost witty contrarian, a sharp intellectual, and a beautiful writer with preternatural competence.
Through his short stories, essays, and award-winning memoir, Wainaina disassembled societal dynamics, parsed Kenyan social and creative life, and called all to political action. His death brought an end to one of the most storied careers in modern Kenyan and African literature.
Binyavanga Wainaina, a prize-winning Kenyan writer whose humorous, incisive books and essays explored themes of postcolonialism, gender and sexual identity, including his own decision to come out as a gay man in a country that long demonized homosexuality, died May 21 in Nairobi. He was 48.
Tom Maliti, the chairman of Mr. Wainaina’s literary organization, the Kwani Trust, confirmed the death to the Associated Press but did not give a precise cause. Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper reported that Mr. Wainaina had died at a hospital after a stroke, one of several he had suffered since announcing in 2016 that he was living with HIV.
Easily recognizable by his short-cropped, rainbow-dyed hair, Mr. Wainaina was considered one of the finest African writers of his generation and a pivotal figure in Kenya’s modern literary history.