Celebrated author and gay rights activist, Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina, succumbed to a stroke on Tuesday night while receiving treatment at Aga Khan National Hospital. The author, who won the 2002 Cane prize for his African writing, died at 48.
Here are a few things that you may not know about the late Binyavanga.
1. He discovered he was gay at the age of five
Though he went public about his sexuality in 2014, Binyavanga knew about it when he was five.
“I was five when I closed myself into a vague happiness that asks for nothing much from anybody. Absent-minded. Sweet. I am grateful for all love. I give it more than I receive it, often,” he revealed on www.africasacountry.com blog.
2. He worked for Chinua Achebe
Binyavanga was once a director at the Chinua Achebe Centre at Bard College.
3. Binyavanga declined an award
When he was nominated by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, in January 2017, he declined the award.
“The problem here is that I am a writer. And although like many, I go to sleep at night fantasizing about fame, fortune and credibility, the thing that is most valuable in my trade is to try, all the time, to keep myself loose, independent and creative,” he said.
“It would be an act of great fraudulence for me to accept the trite idea that I am ‘going to significantly impact world affairs,” Binyavanga wrote to the organizers of the forum.
4. He was HIV positive
In December 1, 2016, on World’s Aids Day, Binyavanga disclosed on his Twitter page that he was HIV positive.
5. He was a commerce graduate
Although he was writer, Binyavanga studied Commerce at the University of Transkei in South Africa.
However, later on, he went to acquire a Master of Philosophy in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in 2010.