Be frank, they say, be candid. InAfrica ceased to exist. Among your characters you must always include The Starving African, who wanders the refugee camp nearly naked, and waits for the benevolence of the West. One autumn afternoon, Sheila Ruiz and her colleagues at the Royal African Society met with the former editor of the African Writers Series, James Currey, along with the new editor Lynette Lisk, to discuss the creation of a festival.
In this age, all local knowledge is carried by aid organisations. He advises writers to feature "naked warriors, loyal servants, diviners and seers, ancient wise men living in hermetic splendor," and warns against including any "ordinary domestic scenes, love between Africans unless a death is involvedreferences to African writers or intellectuals, mention of any children not suffering from yaws or Ebola fever or female genital mutilation.
A year or so later, another Granta editor called.
All an African president needed to do was suggest that he was crossing over and have love and Smarties dropped over his house by Nato planes. Avoid having the African characters laugh, or struggle to educate their kids, or just make do in mundane circumstances.
But do not be too specific. She can have no past, no history; such diversions ruin the dramatic moment.
Or corrupt politicians, inept polygamous travel-guides, and prostitutes you have slept with. Inthe publisher Heinemann started the African Writers Series. They speak or grunt while tossing their manes proudly and have names, ambitions and desires. Market capitalism is shaking, and all of a sudden the vast grassroots has oil and copper, and willing, driven and ambitious hands.
Africa is the only continent you can love—take advantage of this.
Hyenas are fair game and have vaguely Middle Eastern accents. But do not be too specific. The other persons more important than animals comprise celebrity activists, aid workers and conservations, after all Africa must be helped.How to Write About Africa II The revenge Binyavanga Wainaina.
“How to Write about Africa” grew out of an email. The issue came out, my article went online. It became the most-forwarded story in Granta history.
I started hearing from friends, from strangers; started getting my own words forwarded to me with a cheerful heading, as. How to write about Africa Binyavanga Wainaina some tips: sunsets and starvation are good Always use the word 'Africa' or 'Darkness' or 'Safari' in your title.
warm virgin forests. If you are a woman, treat Africa as a man who wears a bush jacket and disappears off into the sunset. Africa is to be pitied, worshipped or dominated. Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed.
InAfrica ceased to exist. The world was safe, and the winners could now concentrate on being caring, speaking in aid language bullet points.
If there was a new map, Africa would be divided into three: 1) Tiny flares of horribleness – Mugabe, undemocratic, war, Somalia, Congo; 2) Tiny flares of wonderfulness – Mandela, World Cup, safari.
How Not to Write About Writing About Africa Binyavanga Wainaina has updated his famous Granta article How to Write About Africa in the Wainaina continues to attribute the framing of. Ahead of this year’s Africa Writes festival, which takes place at the British Library and Rich Mix from Friday 29 June to Sunday 1 July, we’ve invited the Royal African Society to take a look back at the history of their annual celebration of contemporary literature from Africa and the diaspora.Download