Binyavanga photocredit: The Guardian

Two weeks ago, a friend shared with me a Youtube video of the Kenya author and founder of Kwani?, Binyavanga Wainaina. I was moved by his message and so I transcribed some of it. If you love Africa and you want to make it home for you and generations to come, then you should read this! Time to put our differences aside and unite, says Binyavanga.

‘…I think Egypt is a big lesson to learn. Egypt had its revolution, but the revolution failed badly. But Black Lives Matter has had a revolution and the revolution has succeeded very much. 

So the most recent one, Black Lives Matter, is the way to take things forward.

I’m calling on upright people, upright people, upright people. If you’re an African who cares about Africa, you’re an upright person. I don’t care if you’re Christian or a Muslim, you’re an animist. We need all energies we can get. 

You’re a capitalist, you’re a mafioso, you’re not like me at all, and you hate me, you’re welcome to the land of the upright people. You believe homosexuals should be killed? Welcome to the land of the upright people. So long as you love this continent, you’re welcome to the land of the upright people. If you love your continent, you’re welcome to the land of the upright people. If you’re white and you love the continent, welcome to the land of the upright people. If you’re Jewish and you love this continent, welcome to the land of the upright people. If you’re American and you love the continent, welcome to the land of the upright people.

If you’re African American and you love this continent, or, you hate this continent because of what it did to you, you’re welcome to the land of the upright people.

If you’re from the Caribbean and you don’t know what the fuck this continent means, welcome to the land of the upright people.

I’ll travel to most of these places next year. I’ll travel to Caribbean, to Haiti, especially. Haiti is a very big important country to us. To all Africans. Haiti is a spirit of freedom. And I regret deeply what they’re going through now. I’m going to Haiti next year. 

What is going to happen here is that there will be a website, possibly started by Expound Magazine, where people can come and register as upright people. Everybody is welcome, the poorest of the poor. The richest of the rich. So long as you’re upright and you have what upright means. You love the continent.

What I want to do is if I go to Kano, I want to be welcomed in Kano. I want to be able to say that I am coming to Kano and people on Facebook or whatever, come forth and tell me, ‘come and stay at my house.’ I don’t mind if your house is very humble, so long as you take care of me and keep me safe because this journey is going to fall on dangers. Hidden dangers, I don’t know which one, but it is also an adventure. I hope to enjoy this adventure as much as possible. For the making of our continent. You know it’s not hard work, all we need to do is trust that our unity will work. 

Thank you very much. 

-Binyavanga Wainaina

Watch full video here

Jennifer C. Emelife is lead correspondent at Praxis Magazine for Arts and Literature.

 

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