Inspirational Quotes from Binyavanga Wainaina

Every human being has a bit of gangster in him.

Binyavanga Wainaina

There is no country in the world with the diversity, confidence and talent and black pride like Nigeria.

Binyavanga Wainaina

I believe in, and will to the best of my ability fight for, equal rights and freedom of opinion for everyone, regardless of colour, religion, nationality, orientation – you know the rest.

Binyavanga Wainaina

I want to be fighting for a society accountable towards its citizens.

Binyavanga Wainaina

I love playing with words and texture.

Binyavanga Wainaina

I knew I didn’t want to come out in the ‘New Yorker’; it just felt wrong. It needed an African conversation.

Binyavanga Wainaina

Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel prize.

Binyavanga Wainaina

In kindergarten, we had this Irish Catholic headmistress called Sister Leonie, and I remember she would tell us, say, to put the crayons in the box. I remember thinking, ‘Why is everyone finding this so easy? Why should the crayons be in the box?’

Binyavanga Wainaina

It’s like I was always not quite sure even how to move in space somehow; I would watch people and then copy them. I found it really hard to walk straight. My brother was always on at me for walking off the pavement. I guess I always expected people to bring me back into line.

Binyavanga Wainaina

When I went to live in South Africa, I immediately began to understand what went wrong. Because here was a place supposed to be under apartheid – I arrived there in 1991 – but here a black person had more say and had more influence over his white government than an average Kenyan had over the Moi government.

Binyavanga Wainaina

Living in South Africa and periodically coming back to Kenya, my relationship with officialdom in Kenya was just insane.

Binyavanga Wainaina

I am quite excited that Moi is leaving. Kenyans have changed. We have a free press, and it is no longer a situation of ‘follow in my footsteps.’

Binyavanga Wainaina

People reach an age… where somebody else’s platform is no longer yours.

Binyavanga Wainaina

I, Binyavanga Wainaina, quite honestly swear I have known I am a homosexual since I was five.

Binyavanga Wainaina

I’m extremely optimistic about rapid transformation and change of things in Africa in general.

Binyavanga Wainaina

I’m not even sure I want to use the term ‘coming out.’

Binyavanga Wainaina

There’s no point for me in being a writer and having all these blocked places where I feel I can’t think freely and imagine freely. There just really is no point.

Binyavanga Wainaina

We are a mixed up people. We have mixed up ways of naming, too… When my father’s brothers and sisters first went to colonial schools, they had to produce a surname. They also had to show they were good Christians by adopting a western name. They adopted my grandfather’s name as surname. Wainaina.

Binyavanga Wainaina

All people have dignity. There’s nobody who was born without a soul and a spirit.

Binyavanga Wainaina

Every one, we, we homosexuals, are people, and we need our oxygen to breathe.

Binyavanga Wainaina

I like the idea of readers feeling a familiarity, whether it’s with Africa or childhood.

Binyavanga Wainaina