On October 31st 2015, the Nigerian literary community was shocked when Kwani trust announced that Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina, suffered a major stroke at his home near Bomas, Kenya.
Binyavanga was in critical condition and needed money to receive medical care in India. His family, friends, and colleagues reached out to the African literary community, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
A fundraising event was organized in Lagos by novelist Lola Shoneyin to help generate at least 10,000 dollars to help with medical expenses.
And thankfully a substantial amount was raised which enabled Binyavanga’s medical transfer to the BGS Hospital in Bangalore, India.
Kwani.org, the committee set up to help raise funds for Binyavanga’s treatment issued a statement last week with updates.
They announced that the author of How To Write About Africa and One Day I Will Write About This Place is recovering well.
"While he no longer needs round-the-clock medical supervision, he is currently on routine consultation with doctors as part of the recommendations from his doctors in India. This is to treat the underlying circumstances that led to his stroke."
The statement added that "His rehabilitation is ongoing with physical and speech therapy as part of the course in months to come and in general, he is responding well to this. He will be travelling to Germany shortly, where he plans to spend a year in Berlin at a writing residency secured before his stroke. While in Berlin, he will continue with treatment (including surgery), and further therapy."
The committee thanked the global community of friends and well-wishers for their donations and support. A special thank you was addressed to Chimamanda Adichie, Wangechi Mutu, Lola Shoneyin, Yvonne Oduor, and others—who are close friends of the author.
Binyavanga won the Caine Prize in July 2002 for his short story “Discovering Home”. He is the founding editor of Kwani?, the first literary magazine in East Africa. He published his first novel, One Day I Will Write About This Place, in 2011.
Watch his 'we must free our imaginations' video below.