In a previous post announcing the #naija4binyavanga fundraising event in Lagos, I noted that I didn’t know enough about Wainaina Binyavanga’s condition to say much. [Read here if you missed it.]

I was waiting on the official public announcement. I just received it and have cut and pasted it below. Scroll down to read. It details what he is going through and what help he needs.

[If you are in Lagos, click here to see how you can help.]

Binyavanga has inspired us for years. He is one of the centers of our wonderful literary community. Let us celebrate him and his work through our generosity.


Friday 20th November 2015

On October 31st 2015, Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina, suffered a stroke at his home near Bomas Of Kenya. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Karen Hospital. His speech was affected, and he needed to undergo MRI and CT scans, in addition to round the-clock observation. The doctors recommended medicinal treatment and specialized speech therapy. Binyavanga was discharged on Friday 6th November.

On Friday 13th November, he developed some physical difficulties arising from the stroke. Following a scheduled appointment with a neurosurgeon, Dr. David Oluoch Olunya, it was decided that he be admitted to Nairobi Hospital for further observation. He was immediately checked into ICU for 24 hours and upon stabilization, he was moved into the general ward. Nairobi Hospital doctors advised that Binyavanga has a chronic condition that affects the blood vessels to the brain making him susceptible to blockages and strokes. They also stated that an immediate intervention is required before extensive therapy beyond first-stage treatment.

Binyavanga’s family and friends are now working to avail the best medical care possible for him. Through consultation, it has been agreed that the best medical care is in Bangalore, India where further tests will be conducted with the possibility of surgery. This will be followed by rehabilitation, recuperation and basic care. We are currently working on his hospital-to-hospital transfer to India.

This is an appeal for assistance to his extended family, large network of friends and professional colleagues. Medical fund accounts (banking and mobile banking) have been established in Binyavanga Wainaina’s name under Kwani Trust where all financial donations can be sent.

From a preliminary assessment of the costs of travel (for him, an accompanying family member, doctor and nurse with their equipment), tests, medication, basic care, speech

therapy and a period of recuperation, it is estimated that $25,000 is needed immediately, and a further $20,000 in a month’s time. These costs may rise and we are also eventually going to seek a longer-term insurance solution given this pre-existing condition and the need for ready access to world-class care.

We would appreciate your pledges and donations as soon as possible. Please see account details for the BINYAVANGA WAINAINA MEDICAL FUND below and feel free to seek further information on the following issues from the contacts below:

Bank Name: Commercial Bank Of Africa (CBA)
Account Name: Binyavanga Wainaina Medical Fund
• KES (Kenya Shillings) Account: 6564760155
• USD (US Dollar) Account: 6464760168
Bank Transfer Information (Applicable to both accounts) SWIFT CODE: CBAFKENX

For additional payment options (Paypal – Visa, Mastercard, Discover or Amex) please visit bit.ly/binyamedicalfund
If you want to make a mobile money donation from Kenya, please text BINYA to 22231 and follow directions.

For further Information, please contact:


James Wainaina


Kwani Trust

Billy Kahora, Managing Editor

Angela Wachuka, Executive Director

CONTACT: medicalfund@kwani.org



Image by (c) Msingi Sasis for Bokförlaget Tranans pressrum via Flickr.


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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.


  1. Let’s Save Binyavanga! « ktravula – a travelogue! - 2015/11/26

    […] this month, Kenyan writer and all-round brilliant mind Binyavanga Wainaina suffered a stroke. We didn’t know this until he himself wrote about it on a Facebook post that he has since […]

  2. That’s Love! | Lagos Literary Community Troop Out to Raise Funds for Binyavanga’s Treatment | Brittle Paper - 2015/12/02

    […] the news came a few days ago that Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina had suffered a stroke, [read here if you missed it], Lola Shoneyin, Victor Ehikhamenor, Toni Kan, and others swung into action and […]

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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