Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | September 24, 2009

Weekly Read-Along—September 25, 2009: How to Write about Africa

Material for the Stout-Hearted Reader to Ruminate

♦ Essays, Lectures & Speeches ♦

—   —   —

Binyavanga Wainaina (1971 – ) is a Kenyon author and journalist. He also is the founding editor of Kwani?, an East African literary magazine.

This week’s text is Wainaina’s satirical article, “How to Write about Africa”, published in Granta magazine in 2005. It collects together stereotypes and clichés that many Western writers have been too prone to use when writing about any topic related to Africa.  For example,

“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. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.”

Join others from around the world in this weekly reading event! You can find Wainaina’s text at this website:

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: