The unexpected death of Kenyan writer, LGBTQ activist and literary trailblazer Binyavanga Wainaina has given social media a lot to talk about since Wednesday. Tributes have mostly poured in from the literary and LGBTQ communities, but there have also been disgusting and unwarranted comments from people who have used Wainaina’s death to propagate their homophobia. For example, this tweet below:
In as much as Binyavanga Wainaina Represents greatness of Kenyan and African Writers, it should also be noted that he went against those very African norms dictating our way of Life.
Bash Me all you want but he advocated for a dark culture, one that is UNACCEPTABLE in Africa RIP
— Nduta🔥 (@ShazieKe) May 22, 2019
And then, there was this egregiously insensitive tweet from Reno Omokri that I have been trying to understand, in the context of how can one be this irredeemably stupid?
Binyavanga Wainaina’s death is sad. But it is a teachable moment for those who want to force the LGBTQ lifestyle down our throats.
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) May 22, 2019
Replying someone like Omokri over that tweet would have been a waste. Still, I was dizzy with excitement when Elnathan John responded, in such scorching, savage way:
You are an animal. The lowest kind. I could do a nuanced tweet about how wrong you are. But it would be wasted on you. Binyavanga is dead. But you will never be half the man he was, in all of his colorful gay, imperfect glory. You will never be. You fucking charlatan. https://t.co/haSrmnA9zt
— The Writer Formerly Known As Elnathan (@elnathan_john) May 23, 2019
The former presidential spokesman got what he deserved. That said, we are still reeling in shock from the death of Wainaina, and our thoughts are with his family in this sad time.