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Binyavanga Wainaina quotes (showing 1-8 of 8)

“I have learned that I, we, are a dollar-a-day people (which is terrible, they say, because a cow in Japan is worth $9 a day). This means that a Japanese cow would be a middle class Kenyan... a $9-a-day cow from Japan could very well head a humanitarian NGO in Kenya. Massages are very cheap in Nairobi, so the cow would be comfortable.”
Binyavanga Wainaina
“International correspondents with their long dictaphones, and dirty jeans, and five hundred words before whiskey, are slouched over the red velvet chairs, in the VIP section in the front, looking for the Story: the Most Macheteing Deathest, Most Treasury Corruptest, Most Entrail-Eating Civil Warest, Most Crocodile-Grinning Dictatorest, MOst Heart-Wrenching and Genociding Pulitzerest, Most Black Big-Eyed Oxfam Child Starvingest, Most Wild African Savages Having AIDS-Ridden Sexest with Genetically Mutilatedest Girls...The Most Authentic Real Black Africanest story they can find...”
Binyavanga Wainaina, One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir
“When art as an expression starts to appear, without prompting, all over the suburbs and villages of this country, what we are saying is: we are confident enough to create our own living, our own entertainment, our own aesthetic. Such an aesthetic will not be donated to us from the corridors of a university; or from the Ministry of Culture, or by the French Cultural Centre. It will come from the individual creations of a thousand creative people”
Binyavanga Wainaina, Kwani? 01
“It is a pink and blue feeling, as sharp as clear sky; a slight breeze, and the edges of Lake Nakuru would rise like the ruffle at the edge of a skirt; and I am pockmarked with whole-body pinpricks of potentiality. A stretch of my body would surely stretch as far as the sky. The whole universe poised, and I am the agent of any movement.”
Binyavanga Wainaina
“There is an ache in my chest today, sweet, searching, and painful, like a tongue that is cut and tingles with sweetness and pain after eating a strong pineapple.”
Binyavanga Wainaina, One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir
“It is an aspect of Kenya I am always acutely aware of - and crave, because I don't have it all. My third language, Gikuyu, is nearly non-existent; I can't speak it. It is a phantom limb...”
Binyavanga Wainaina, One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir
“You stop in front of a woman who, in that fat Ndirangu novel, is somebody who wears a thing called a chignon, which is a vague thing to you, but you know it involves hair that manages to face the sky and stay in place, and you know it smells like this: like crisply unwrapping paper and hidden machines that let you stand still and dream while they propel you to where you need to go.”
Binyavanga Wainaina
“Or airport welcoming procedures...
Dancing girls in grass skirts singing, 'A-wimbowe, a-wimbowe...'
Dancing men singing, 'A-wimbowe, a-wimbowe...'
Giant warrior with lion whiskers and shiny black make-up walks on all fours towards clapping German tourists, flexing his muscles and growling, 'A-wimbowe, a-wimbowe...'
In the jungle...”
Binyavanga Wainaina, The Granta Book of the African Short Story


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