binyavanga wainaina medical fund

Remember when we shared the news that Binyavanga Wainaina had suffered a stroke? [Read here if you missed it.]

Binyavanga was in critical condition and needed money to receive medical care in India. His family, friends, and colleagues reached out to the African literary community, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. [See photos from the Lagos fundraising event here]

You’ve probably wondered about the status of Binyavanga’s health and what became of the money donated.

In a press release shared on, the committee set up to help raise funds for Binyavanga’s treatment issued a statement last week with updates.

You’d be delighted to know that Binyavanga is recovering well. Until January 26, he was at BGS Global Hospital in Bangalore India receiving treatment. He is now back in Nairobi and is, thankfully, at a point where he “no longer needs round-the-clock medical supervision.” But, “he is currently on routine consultation with doctors as part of the recommendations from his doctors in India” and undergoing physical and speech therapy.

Before the stroke, Binyavanga had been awarded a one-year writing residency in Germany. Seeing that he is responding so well to treatment, he still plans on traveling to Germany for the residency. Of course, treatment will continue during his stay in there.

For those who are curious about the money donated and how it was spent, the committee offers detailed information.

Thanks to donations sourced from fundraising events in Lagos, London, and Nairobi—in addition to online and mobile donations—a total of $73,346 was generated.

So far $49,773 has been spent on medical expenses, which includes Binyavanga’s time at the hospital in India, plus other related costs such as travel and insurance. This leaves a balance of $23,573. What’s happening to this left-over sum?

The committee says it is being “administered by Kwani Trust and is solely for any related further medical costs.” The committee is willing to answer any questions you might have about the finances. Send an email to [email protected]  or call +254 711 467 072.

The committee thanked the global community of friends and well-wishers for their donations and support. A special thank you was addressed to Chimamanda Adichie, Wangechi Mutu, Lola Shoneyin, Yvonne Oduor, and others—who are close friends of the author.

Kudos to the medical committee—which includes Billy Kahora the Managing Editor of Kwani?, Binyavanga’s family members, and others—-for working so hard to keep Binyavanga well and in good health. We also would like to commend them for being transparent about the whole process.

Read the official press release here.



Image taken from Binyavanga Wainaina’s Facebook page.