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Kenyan author Wainaina describes how he was racially assaulted by taxi driver in Berlin

Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina has described how he was racially assaulted by a taxi driver in Berlin.

Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina says no bystanders came to his aid during the racial assault
Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina says no bystanders came to his aid during the racial assault

Mr Wainaina, who is currently on a prestigious Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Fellowship in Berlin, wrote on Facebook that on 1st June 2016 he was beaten up on the way to a pharmacy by a taxi driver but nobody come to his aid.

In his post, Mr Wainaina describes how he called a taxi to go to a clinic to buy his prescription medication.

The Kenyan writer who suffered a stroke last year says he has “a few speech defects.”

Once the cab arrived, he boarded, sat down and took his phone to look for the clinic’s address.

Mr Wainaina writes that it took him a long time to get the address. The taxi driver, who wasn’t patient, asked Mr Wainaina several times to hurry up. It was however unclear to Mr Wainaina why the taxi driver was impatient yet he was supposed to pay for all the time he spent in his taxi.

At a point the impatient taxi driver got out of the driver’s seat, crossed to Mr Wainaina’s side, opened the door and started beating him. “My bag is on the ground, we scuffle but he is stronger, I am crying now. Loud. In front of my neighbors,” Mr Wainaina writes.

“The lady at the shop who makes it a point never to say hello to me is relishing everything,” Mr Wainaina writes.

He adds: “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.”

The DAAD program has condemned the attack. In a statement, it said: “The DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program has noted with deep consternation, that its current guest, Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, has been beaten by a taxi driver in Berlin. We strongly condemn this assault and feel ashamed that such a violent act could occur in our country. The DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program stands for a culture of welcoming, for tolerance, international artistic dialogue and the absence of difference. We are all strangers encountering different cultures and bringing these together. This is the only way that a true dialogue can take place. The DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program is in close contact with Binyavanga Wainaina and stands in this situation firmly by his side.”

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