The 2002 Caine Literary prize winner and LGBT activist Binyavanga Wainaina died at his Langata home in Nairobi on Tuesday night
Controversial blogger Cyprian Nyakundi also tweeted and tagged some photos of the deceased: “Kenyan author and Gay activist, Binyavanga Wainaina dead aged 48 years. He was the 2002 Caine Prize winner for African Writing. The family says he passed on Tuesday at 8:48 pm after a short illness. Rest Easy.”
My condolences to the family and friends of acclaimed writer and activist @BinyavangaW who passed away after a short illness. Binyavanga won the 2003 Caine Prize for his book, 'Discovering Home' and challenged us to question stereotypes about gender and identity. pic.twitter.com/tXZLWfAtVA— Hon. Esther M Passaris (@EstherPassaris) May 22, 2019
The world of arts and literature also joined. Nigerian literary festival has hailed the writer as a literary icon who has left a big void. “Our hearts weep; Africa has lost another literary giant. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Binyavanga Wainana; words cannot express how much of loss this is to all of us. Our brother, our friend, mentor and idol, farewell,” Abuja Literary and Arts Festival. Text Book Centre Ltd also tweeted as follows:
Kenyan author and Gay activist, Binyavanga Wainaina dead aged 48 years. He was the 2002 Caine Prize winner for African Writing.— Cyprian Nyakundi Escobar (@CisNyakundi) May 22, 2019
The family says he passed on Tuesday at 8:48 pm after a short illness.
Rest Easy pic.twitter.com/Kf5DXpJ05w
Rest in Peace Binyavanga Wainaina, your contribution to the literary world was and still is exceptional. Our sincere condolences to the Family and Friends. pic.twitter.com/IhghSgmEeb— Text Book Centre Ltd (@TextBookCentreL) May 22, 2019
BBC journalist Larry Madowo waded into the matter insinuating that the deceased may have been subjected to harsh societal treatment he did not deserve. And, that Wainaina was battling for a noble course.
The BBC just asked me what Binyavanga's legacy would be. I wish I could have said this more articulately - to me his most important legacy isn't even the writing per se. It's that he made room - he published us, invited us into the platforms, shouted down the walls of Jericho.— Nanjala Nyabola (@Nanjala1) May 22, 2019
Aside from the glowing tributes, pictures of the deceased that he took before and after declaring that he was gay in 2014 have equally gone viral.
Binyavanga Wainaina was the public intellectual we needed but didn't deserve. The world is worse off today without him to challenge our prejudices & defend the humanity of everyone. And now his watch is ended— Larry Madowo (@LarryMadowo) May 22, 2019