Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Saluting my Brother and Mentor Binyavanga Wainaina

Binyavanga Wainaina
One of my earliest memories about my brother is me telling on him to Baba after the bathtub was left running and it flooded and messed up part of the house. There was serious damage on the parquet floor near the bathroom; it was easy to accuse him, he used the bath last and was kind enough to draw me a bath as I was next in. In the ways I was known to be absent-minded and fleeted off to say hi to the dogs outside promptly forgetting about bath-time.

When I got back into the house, it was disaster galore when the flood was discovered. And Baba who could be sweet, could also be a loud thundering force when he got pissed. Blaming Binya was easy and I could not look him in the eye after that when he got a major spank and was asked to mop up the mess. He took that hit for the team without so much as a squeak, and he never justified himself or tried to explain.

 Filled with guilt, I wanted to help him clean the mess but dare not as he had this silent sullen shield he withdrew into and that particular silence terrified me.

All the same, I must have loved him much much more that day.

My brother is one of the major motivations that drove me to work with my imagination and my heart. His writing inspired me to dream and live and reach for the stars.

I greatly love and admire him and I believe that in the wake of so much hate and oppression he is a beacon of light for those who are in dire need of a glimmer of hope.

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