How to write about africa binyavanga wainaina analysis of poems

I mean, what would the world be without a couple of chuckles in between; a couple of smiles to make the frowning moments seem worth it? From page 5 all the way through to page 48 you will just have a smile on your face and occasionally it will burst, at those moments you will be laughing. The book by the founding editor of Kwani is a compilation of 3 satirical stories that show you Kenya from a serious but hilarious perspective. The three stories How to Write about Africa, My Clan KC and The Power of Love Tell the story of several misconceptions about Africa and how the people who are meant to be helping to solve this situation are really not helping and in fact are even propagating the issue to a whole new level.

How to write about africa binyavanga wainaina analysis of poems

There are regular flights to the nearest genocide, and there are green lawns, tennis courts, good fawning service. If you work for one of the major newspapers, or television and radio services, chances are you live in Nairobi or Johannesburg. To make your work easier, you need, in your phone, the numbers of the country directors of every European aid agency: Oxfam, Save the Children.

To find these numbers is not difficult: Because you are a good person, who believes in multiculturalism, and that politicians are evil.

You are a child of the human rights age. A post-cold war child. In this age, which has no ideology, brown and black places are flat issues: In this age, all local knowledge is carried by aid organisations.

How to Write about Africa | Binyavanga Wainaina | Granta Magazine

These organisations speak human rights, and because they do so, we know that they are good, objective and truthful. So, if a foreign correspondent needs to know what exactly is going on in Sudan, their weekly lunch with the Oxfamy guy will identify the most urgent issues.

Since, in your world, big history died with the Berlin wall, there is only little history left to report on Africa. Little history is full of many small flares of wonderfulness and many small flares of utter horribleness that occasionally rise in a flat and benign world: He has a good smile.

Osama bin Laden or one of his peeps bombed trains, planes and innocents — and you slept safe that night, all of the flat world slept safe that night. There are five or six places that have not been fully pacified inside the vision of the world as run by the victors of the cold war: North Korea, Gaddafi that has been dealt withSomalia, Afghanistan, the women of Africa, and the poor poor people of China, slaving away under the most terrible conditions doing confusing things like refusing to evolve into Europe.

Big places where history is still alive — like Russia, China, the Middle East — are to be feared and demonised. In the 80s, your newspaper probably had correspondents in many African countries. Now there are two: Africa, based in Johannesburg.

how to write about africa binyavanga wainaina analysis of poems

Some African countries were on one side of power, some on the other side of power. They could not be ignored. As nobody had won, the big powers had to fight for the hearts, minds and minerals of all.

All an African president needed to do was suggest that he was crossing over and have love and Smarties dropped over his house by Nato planes.

how to write about africa binyavanga wainaina analysis of poems

Margaret Thatcher visited Zimbabwe. InAfrica ceased to exist. The world was safe, and the winners could now concentrate on being caring, speaking in aid language bullet points.

How to Write about Africa, by Binyavanga Wainaina | African Heritage

My favourites are clitoraid. This part of Africa is run by nameless warlords.


When the warlords fall, these places are run by grassroots organisations that are funded by the EU and provide a good place to send gap year kids to help and see giraffes at the same time.

Grassroots Africa is good for backpacking because it is the real Africa no AK47s to bother you, no German package tourists. But what cannot be said is that history came surging to the present. Market capitalism is shaking, and all of a sudden the vast grassroots has oil and copper, and willing, driven and ambitious hands.

The continent is ripe for new partnerships, new capital — new strong handshakes. China is no angel — but we are, for them, an essential part of the way the world will be. They are in it for their future, not ours; we are in with them for our future. We are real to them, and we have a platform to talk.

It is not a surprise that, in these days, there is a vast and growing new middle class across the continent: We fly Emirates and Kenya Airways.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. 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. How not to write about Africa in – a beginner's guide Binyavanga Wainaina The booming continent is ripe for new partnerships, but with those who address us as equals not in aid bullet points.

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. When writing about the plight of flora and fauna, make sure you mention that Africa is overpopulated.

When your main character is in a desert or jungle living with indigenous peoples (anybody short) it is okay to mention that Africa has been severely depopulated by Aids and War (use caps).

Clarke's Bookshop (established in ) is situated in Cape Town, South Africa and carries both new and second hand books on Southern Africa.

How to Write about Africa by Binyavanga Wainaina