Africa’s prolific writer, Binyavanga Wainaina outs himself about his sexuality saying, ‘I am homosexual’ in his recent article, One Day I Will Write About This Place. This statement is also in response to the recent outbreak of Anti-gay laws in Nigeria and Uganda. Binyavanga 43 years old, who won the Caine Prize for his short story “Discovering Home” is fearless and ready to strike hard at any discrimination towards his sexual preference.
Wainaina, emphatically said he would continue to travel to Nigeria and Uganda, as you may recall that a recent bill was passed declaring the arrest of all gay and lesbian groups including individuals caught in the act of homosexual practices are to be sentenced, 14 years in prison. Also in Uganda, a bill imposing life sentences to homosexuals acts has just been licensed. He strongly opposed to the Anti-gay law in Nigeria saying, ‘It shames us all’.
He released the lost chapter from his book, One Day I Will Write About This Place on his 43rd birthday on the 18th of January.
Find out more about Binyavanga Wainaina in his recent interview with BBC World.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/130762940″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Excerpt from his article, ‘I am homosexual, mum.’ below;
Hey mum. I was putting my head on her shoulder, that last afternoon before she died. She was lying on her hospital bed. Kenyatta. Intensive Care. Critical Care. There. Because this time I will not be away in South Africa, fucking things up in that chaotic way of mine. I will arrive on time, and be there when she dies. My heart arrives on time. I am holding my dying mother’s hand. I am lifting her hand. Her hand will be swollen with diabetes. Her organs are failing. Hey mum. Ooooh. My mind sighs. My heart! I am whispering in her ear. She is awake, listening, soft calm loving, with my head right inside in her breathspace. She is so big – my mother, in this world, near the next world, each breath slow, but steady, as it should be. Inhale. She can carry everything. I will whisper, louder, in my minds-breath. To hers. She will listen, even if she doesn’t hear. Can she?
Mum. I will say. Muum? I will say. It grooves so easy, a breath, a noise out of my mouth, mixed up with her breath, and she exhales. My heart gasps sharp and now my mind screams, sharp, so so hurt so so angry.
“I have never thrown my heart at you mum. You have never asked me to.”
Only my mind says. This. Not my mouth. But surely the jerk of my breath and heart, there next to hers, has been registered? Is she letting me in?
Nobody, nobody, ever in my life has heard this. Never, mum. I did not trust you, mum. And. I. Pulled air hard and balled it down into my navel, and let it out slow and firm, clean and without bumps out of my mouth, loud and clear over a shoulder, into her ear.
“I am a homosexual, mum.”