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BREAKING: Binyavanga Wainaina dies aged 48

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Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina

Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina, a renowned Kenyan author, gay rights activist, blogger and 2002 winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, has passed on aged 48.

Wainaina, an acclaimed African literary giant and founder of the Nairobi-based journal Kwani, died after suffering a stroke, according to his family and sources at his Kwani Trust.

Kwani Trust Chairman Tom Maliti on Wednesday told the Nation that the writer died a few minutes past 10pm at a Nairobi hospital.

GAY

He is one of the most high-profile individuals to announce their gay sexuality in Africa having made the bold move in 2014 after publishing an article titled I Am a Homosexual, Mum that got Kenya, Africa and the world talking.

An excerpt from the piece relieved him his closely guarded secret as he let the world know through a re-imagination of his mother’s last days as she lay on her deathbed.

“Never, mum. I did not trust you, mum. And. I. Pulled air hard and balled it down into my navel, and let it out slow and firm, clean and without bumps out of my mouth, loud and clear over a shoulder, into her ear. “I am a homosexual, mum.”

He later tweeted that “I am, for anybody confused or in doubt, a homosexual. Gay, and quite happy,” putting to rest the debate the article stirred.

That same year, Time Magazine named him as one of the “Most Influential People in the World” in its annual TIME 100.

The celebrated author first had his eyes set on a lucrative accounting career before settling on literature.

He moved to South Africa after transferring his credits from the University of Nairobi, where he was studying for a Bachelor’s of Education degree, to the University of Transkei to study commerce.

TIMID, SHY

However, he never completed the degree. Struggling to make ends meet as a young man in a foreign country, he began to run a restaurant business.

Later, he started writing food and travel articles for the Weekend Argus.

“I was fortunate to reside in a country that is very annoying to live in,” Binyavanga says of South Africa.

Born in Nakuru’s Milimani, Binyavanga says he was a timid and shy child.

“But I feel like now my season is beginning, in this continent called mine, and I am an African; I want no space to not welcome me,” he said while speaking at TED Talks in 2015.

His confession of being homosexual caught many by surprise.

“I am not afraid to talk. In fact, I am doing a documentary on it because this thing must be discussed.

“Kenyans should discuss it in all platforms but not before they hear the full story.

BOOK LOVER

“I know you called me over this matter of coming out. I will talk but I don’t want the media to manage my story,” he said during an interview.

He added that he knew he was gay from age five.

“I was five when I closed myself into a vague happiness that asks for nothing much from anybody. Absent-minded. Sweet. I am grateful for all love. I give it more than I receive it, often,” he wrote on africasacountry.com blog.

“I can be selfish. I masturbate a lot, and I never allow myself to crack and grow my heart. I touch no men. I read books.

“I love my dad so much, my heart is learning to stretch. I am a homosexual.”

STROKE

“Look out for an essay I’m writing in January.”

In 2016, he dropped another bombshell: that he was HIV positive!

The prolific author, who was in Germany, used the occasion of the World Aids Day to reveal his status, adding that he was happy.

In November 2015, he appealed for help after suffering a stroke.

He was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit at Karen Hospital and got discharged three weeks later.

And in June 2016, he claimed to have been viciously assaulted by a taxi driver in Berlin, Germany, as a crowd watched while a Daad Fellowship.

His short story Discovering Home scooped the 2002 Caine Prize for African writing and in 2003 he was given an award by the Kenya Publisher’s Association in recognition of his services to Kenyan literature.

source:nation.co.ke

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Blogger Robert Alai arrested

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Police have arrested the controversial Nairobi-based blogger Robert Alai for allegedly sharing pictures of policemen who were killed in Sunday’s terror attack in Wajir. Alai has been reportedly driven to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Headquarters for questioning.

On Monday, Police Spokesman Charles Owino warned internet users against circulating the images terming the act unpatriotic and supportive of the actions of Al-Shaabab.

A statement from the police read in part: “The unfeeling act of posting pictures of our fallen heroes is online by one blogger is very unfortunate and inhuman. This is glorification of terror which is tantamount to supporting the same. It is also a cold-hearted display of insensitivity to families of the deceased, the NPS fraternity and the entire nation of Kenya.”

This was then followed by a warning by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission which called on Alai to pull down the graphic pictures of the dead police officers.“Whereas Mr Alai has the freedom of expression, such publications can be interpreted as propaganda for war which is not protected under the Constitution of Kenya,” The NCIC noted.

However, Alai  yesterday accused the government of neglecting the police. He vowed not be silenced by the criticism.He tweeted: “I will continue to speak out for the poor police officers who are neglected and their allowances taken by “wakubwa.” We must give our men and women who die wearing uniform, respect, dignity and honor they deserve. We shouldn’t treat our cops like dogs. I am angry!!”He also slammed the NCIC for not fighting for the plight of the police officers.“Ever seen NCIC condemn ethnic appointments in govt? Even seen them address the real issues preventing cohesion like the now fights in Marsabit? They are after silencing people addressing real issues. Police officers have asked me to help highlight their issues,” he added.

Alai burst into fame after he published graphic pictures of people making love in Kakamega’s Muliro Gardens. Over the years, Alai and has stepped on many toes through his fearless exposure of social evils.At one stage, his uncompromising tenacity compelled State House to rope into its communications whereupon he became a familiar figure during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s open forums at the big house on the hill, awarding him Head of State Commendation for raising pertinent social issues.

Source:Standard.co.ke

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Diaspora

US announces new approach to reduce Green Card, Citizenship applications backlog

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a new strategy it says will decrease processing times of green card and citizenship applications in some locations.

USCIS on Monday said it will shift caseloads between different field offices in a bid to decrease processing times in some locations. USCIS says with the new strategy, some applicants may be scheduled to appear for an interview at a field office outside of their normal jurisdiction. Biometrics appointment locations will not change, and applicants will still be scheduled at their nearest application support center.

The new strategy of scheduling applicants to a field office outside their jurisdiction affects Form N-400, Application for Naturalization and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

USCIS says an increase in processing times at some locations has been caused by an upsurge of the volume of applications received, with FY 2017 applications received being up 15.6% from FY 2016. FY 2016 receipts were 25.5% higher than FY 2015. Since the increase in volume has not affected all field offices equally, this has “resulted in some disparity in the processing times among field offices.”

SOURCE: Mwakilishi.com

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Larry Madowo pens emotional message to his late dad on Fathers’ Day

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Celebrated media personality, Larry Madowo joined many other Kenyans in the Father’s day celebration marked on Sunday 16 June with an emotional message to his late dad.

Taking to his Instagram, the BBC Africa Business Editor expressed how his dad loved them despite the short time he spent with his family, while hoping that his father would be proud of what he has become.

“It’s been 25 years since my dad left this world. I was just a little boy but I knew he loved us and he spoiled us rotten. It was almost as if he understood that he wouldn’t be with us for long. The years after weren’t always easy but I think we’ve made him proud #HappyFathersDay,” he wrote.

The former NTV journalist’s fans joined in to help him celebrate his late father with messages of condolence and encouragement.

Bucketlistcess He’s smiling from heaven, you’ve definitely made him proud. Happy father’s to the dads in heaven too.

Briankisuke 25 years so short for a loved one not to be around. You have never let his light dim.

Eva_soila So sad,take heart.A time like that is the hardest. Lost my Dad 3 months ago and still in denial. Hoping il recover soon.

Joemacha_ Happy father’s day to the handsome dad, he still had his thick hair haha

Dorothykinyakir I thought u should be sending happy father’s day to him cuss i trust he s still watching over you. But all in all sorry for that you arr not the only one take heart we r many in this…sorry again larrys

Warria.teddy You come from a strong stock! May you keep his fire alive and well. Peace and Blessings. #HappyFathersDay

Marabisimon You have turned out great…Your dad looked like that guy of Uko flani…wanafanana sana.

Source:Mpasho

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