Summary

Binyavanga Wainaina begins his essay “How to Write about Africa” by listing a series of stereotypical words that should be included in any text about Africa.

He continues by advising writers to use photos of poor, violent, or tribal Africans and to talk about Africa in vague terms as if it were a single country. He encourages writers to present everything in Africa as something exotic, from the climate to strange food and tribal music.

Wainaina tells writers to avoid everyday subjects like domestic life or love and focus on negative stories about diseases or genital mutilation. At the same time, he encourages them talk passionately about their love for Africa.

The author continues to describe some typical characters that should appear in any text about Africa. These characters include the feeble-minded...

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