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Binyavanga Wainaina Quotes
Every human being has a bit of gangster in him.
I believe in, and will to the best of my ability fight for, equal rights and freedom of opinion for everyone, regardless of colour, religion, nationality, orientation - you know the rest.
There is no country in the world with the diversity, confidence and talent and black pride like Nigeria.
I like the idea of readers feeling a familiarity, whether it's with Africa or childhood.
I'm extremely optimistic about rapid transformation and change of things in Africa in general.
I, Binyavanga Wainaina, quite honestly swear I have known I am a homosexual since I was five.
I am quite excited that Moi is leaving. Kenyans have changed. We have a free press, and it is no longer a situation of 'follow in my footsteps.'
People reach an age... where somebody else's platform is no longer yours.
All people have dignity. There's nobody who was born without a soul and a spirit.
I love playing with words and texture.
Living in South Africa and periodically coming back to Kenya, my relationship with officialdom in Kenya was just insane.
In kindergarten, we had this Irish Catholic headmistress called Sister Leonie, and I remember she would tell us, say, to put the crayons in the box. I remember thinking, 'Why is everyone finding this so easy? Why should the crayons be in the box?'
We are a mixed up people. We have mixed up ways of naming, too... When my father's brothers and sisters first went to colonial schools, they had to produce a surname. They also had to show they were good Christians by adopting a western name. They adopted my grandfather's name as surname. Wainaina.
Every one, we, we homosexuals, are people, and we need our oxygen to breathe.
It's like I was always not quite sure even how to move in space somehow; I would watch people and then copy them. I found it really hard to walk straight. My brother was always on at me for walking off the pavement. I guess I always expected people to bring me back into line.
There's no point for me in being a writer and having all these blocked places where I feel I can't think freely and imagine freely. There just really is no point.
When I went to live in South Africa, I immediately began to understand what went wrong. Because here was a place supposed to be under apartheid - I arrived there in 1991 - but here a black person had more say and had more influence over his white government than an average Kenyan had over the Moi government.
I knew I didn't want to come out in the 'New Yorker'; it just felt wrong. It needed an African conversation.
I want to be fighting for a society accountable towards its citizens.
I'm not even sure I want to use the term 'coming out.'
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.
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