Acclaimed Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina has been assaulted by a taxi driver in Berlin, Germany. He was in Berlin on a Daad Fellowship and called the taxi to take him to a clinic. He took a bit of time finding the name and address of the clinic when the taxi arrived and that’s when the impatient taxi driver started attacking him.
Binyavanga, who is a Caine Prize winner and was named as TIME 100’s “Most Influential People in the World in 2014 shared his ordeal in a Facebook update. Read it below.
“Berlin chronicles. Am in Berlin as one of the writers on a Daad Fellowship.. This is one of the most prestigious fellowships in the world. Berlin is a city of bikes. I live in Charlottenburg. You don’t see black people in Charlottenburg. Today I was out shopping on my bike. I came out of Peek and Somethingburg all excited because I am off to dar es salaam tonight to see my in -love. Anyway am busy rushing about. My gorgeous apartment is a mess. Anyway, I am walking as carelessly as usual heading to unlock my bike when i see her – a black woman looking at me. She says, ” I saw you the other day, cycing carelessly, on Saturday we buried 4 Ghanians. They kill you just like that you are nothing to them. Me-you cant see me on bicycle – they are supposed to remain 4 metres from you, but they don’t. They kill you. I don’t need a degree to say she meant Germans. But I am careless,and Berlin is a city designed for careless people. Except her – and I suspect they are many others like her.
Anyway, I left her carelessly and rushed home, put my new clothes on top of my suitcase – and called a cab. I had finished my prescription medication the day before so I had called the cab company I like because they dont mind that i dont speak German and – since my stroke I have a few speech defects – I mangle 22..stuttgarter platz ..and they don’t mind. The cab was waiting. I got in, sat down carelessly and started to look for the address for where was going on my phone. And the website of the clinic i was going to was one of those that maybe dont fit a phone so well. Any way it took a long to me to get the address. Clearly the taxi driver was not a patient guy. He asked me several times to hurry it, but si the meter is running, and i am paying him? So he gets out of the car and comes across to my side, and opens the door. I am clueless what is going on because he is beating me, my bag is on the ground , we scuffle but he is stronger, I am crying now. Loud. In front of my neighbors , it is fiveissh the lady at the shop who makes it a point never to say hello to me is relishing everything, nobody comes to my aid. I feel black, dirty. I feel as if this kind of thing is supposed to happen to somebody like me. Am in Zurich writing this, on my way to see my in love.”