Binyavanga Wainaina

http://www.granta.com/Magazine/92/How-to-Write-about-Africa/Page-1


This is satire at its best… and inspired “How to write about Pakistan”. Checking the wikipedia  entry on Wainaina, I found this…

In January 2007, Binyavanga Wainaina was nominated by the World Economic Forum as a “Young Global Leader” – an award given to people for “their potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.” He subsequently declined the award. In a letter to    Klaus Schwab and Queen Rania  of Jordan, he wrote:

“I assume that most, like me, are tempted to go anyway because we will get to be ‘validated’ and glow with the kind of self-congratulation that can only be bestowed by very globally visible and significant people,” he wrote. “And we are also tempted to go and talk to spectacularly bright and accomplished people – our “peers.” We will achieve Global Institutional Credibility for our work, as we have been anointed by an institution that many countries and presidents bow down to.

“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…it would be an act of great fraudulence for me to accept the trite idea that I am “going to significantly impact world affairs.”


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