The essay “How to Write about Africa” by Binyavanga Wainaina appeared in Granta Magazine and a collection of essays by the author. After it first appeared, it was republished by many other media outlets.

Granta Magazine is a British literary magazine with a wide circulation. Its goals are to provide innovative fiction and non-fiction texts that talk about pressing issues in society. Founded by Cambridge University students at the end of the 19th century, the magazine has a long tradition and a well-established reputation.

Target audience

The fact that “How to Write about Africa” was published in a British magazine suggests that the main target audience was the British and – by extension—the Western reader. This is also supported by the references to “Western characters” and “Tory cabinet ministers” (a reference to British politics).

The title of the essay hints at the main target readership, namely those who write about Africa, either in fiction or non-fiction. Binyavanga Wainaina addresses them directly throughout the essay, giving them satirical advice:

“Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it…”;

“…your reader...

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