Writing about Subarus is not for the faint at heart. It is probably for the best, since the foremost Subaru expert is apparently Njoki Chege, closely followed by Jim Subaru Baraza and neither is known for their subtleness.

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Binyavanga Wainaina who died on May 21, 2019, at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, left behind an indelible oeuvre of a memoir, short story, a catalog of travelogue and satire, that will be remembered for their brevity, wit, and kaleidoscopic prose.

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Grandmaster Masese, a Kisii folk singer, famous for his Obokano, remembers how a chance encounter with Binyavanga Wainaina opened the door for his craft, in a city where it is rarely celebrated. But with Kwani, all creative endeavors were welcome.

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In February 2013, I was commissioned by Kalyan Mukherjee (now deceased), editor of Millennium Post, a New Delhi based newspaper, that was running a section called African Rising. A novelist and short story writer, Mukherjee was interested in African literature and had identified Ferdinand Oyono’s novel Houseboy as a masterpiece. He asked me to write about the African literary studying the past and the present. He also wanted me to focus on what was hot in the Kenyan literary scene. There was only one choice I looked up to, Binyavanga Wainaina, and the literary movement he founded a decade earlier. I asked Binyavanga for an interview and he gracefully acquiesced to, inviting us to his home in Karen, myself and an Indian researcher for the Millennium Post, Aman Ramrakha. In a lengthy interview in that brisk, brilliant mid-morning, Binya was his boisterous self; optimistic of the African continent, its languages, and an ongoing renaissance. Only a section of this interview was published in the Millennium Post.

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The Congo River can be the bloodstream of Africa, powering the entire African continent, if the African governments can raise $80 billion. But it is not a good idea, writes Simon Onyango.

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He restored Kenya’s literary glory when he won the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing for his autobiographical short story, Discovering Home. Did he use the proceeds of the prize to help set up Kwani? a literary platform that has defined the Kenyan literary scene in the last two decades. From the seed of his exuberance in the aughts, Kenya has won two more Caine Prizes, witnessed world-class literary fests and several creatives found a home, as many stars were born, and old canonical writers venerated. His coming out seems to have jeopardised his literary star and his death at 48, has seen his person brought to trial, less about writerly abilities, more about his homosexuality.

Kevin Mosigisi examines his literary legacy and his life as an LGBTQ rights' activist. 

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