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Kenyan author and gay rights activist Binyavanga Wainaina dies

Prize-winning Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina has died after a short illness at the age of 48.

He won the Caine Prize for African writing in 2002 and was best known around the world for his satirical essay How to Write About Africa.

Wainaina was also named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2014 for his gay rights activism. He “demystified and humanized homosexuality”

Wainaina was one of the first high profile Kenyans to openly declare he was gay and “he felt an obligation to chip away at the shame” that people felt about being gay.

Last year he announced plans to marry his long time partner at a wedding in South Africa. The announcement divided opinion in Kenya where gay marriage is illegal.

He suffered a stroke in 2015.

His brother James Wainaina has said that his family wants to celebrate his life.

“We are in a life celebration mood, we’re looking at this from a human level; it’s a human story.

“Allow that humanness to shine, people are hurting,” he said.

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