News Brief

Ngugi wa Thiong'o Snubbed of the Nobel Prize for Literature

Kenyans on Twitter were not happy about Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature over Ngugi wa Thiong'o.

News about American singer Bob Dylan winning the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature had #KOT (Kenyans on Twitter) practicing their debate skills on Thursday. Ngugi wa Thiong'o was the Kenyan nominee once again and a heavy favorite for this year’s prize.


The 78-year-old writer and literary icon, who has a long history of using the arts for social change that put him at odds with the government, was a worthy contender for the Nobel. He’s famous for penning his Gikuyu book, Caitani Mutharabaini (Devil on the Cross), on toilet paper while in prison in 1977. His critically-acclaimed novel Petals of Blood pointed out the realities of postcolonial Kenya to the chagrin of the authorities.

The Moi regime made it difficult for Thiong'o to teach at local universities as punishment for using his voice, and banned his book, forcing Thiong'o to go into exile for decades.

Thiong'o advocated for human and democratic rights in Kenya by working with the London-based Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners in Kenya between 1982 and 1998. The River Between author may have had the reputation of being a provocative playwright and author according to authorities back at home, but his influence as a literary figure and activist makes him an iconic figure in the region.

Needless to say, not everyone was thrilled about the Nobel announcement.

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Veteran Kenyan Writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o has Been Snubbed Again for this Year's Nobel Literature Prize

The 2018 and 2019 prizes have been awarded to Polish author Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian author Peter Handke respectively.

Veteran Kenyan writer, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, was pegged to win this year's Nobel Prize in Literature. Following a sexual harassment scandal that rocked the prestigious Swedish academy last year, the 2018 winner was not announced and hence the need to announce two winners today. In a recent announcement, Polish author and winner of the 2018 Man Booker International prize, Olga Tokarczuk, and Austrian author Peter Handke, were awarded the 2018 and 2019 prizes respectively. While there were several contenders for the prizes including Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, Canadian poets Anne Carson and Margaret Atwood, Gaudeloupean novelist Maryse Condé and French writer, Annie Ernaux, many had hoped that Thiong'o would walk away as one of the winners. This is after a commitment was made by the Swedish academy to increase diversity and move away from a "Eurocentric perspective of literature".

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News Brief

A Film Based on a Novel by Acclaimed Kenyan Author Ngugi wa Thiong'o Is In the Works

Nollywood director Kunle Afolayan is developing Ngugi's novel "Matigari" with Kenyan and South African filmmakers.

A novel by Kenya's own Ngugi wa Thiong'o is being adapted to a film, Brittle Paper reports.

Nollywood director Kunle Afolayan shared at the Africa Movie Academy Awards that Ngugi's 1987 work, Matigari, is in development with Kenyan and South African filmmakers, who have yet to be revealed.

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(Photo by Emma McIntyre/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)

Daniel Kaluuya Is Producing a Live-Action 'Barney' Movie with Mattel

Yes, you read that correctly.

In a move that absolutely no one saw coming, Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya is set to produce a live-action Barney movie in conjunction with Mattel Films. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the story.

Kaluuya will co-produce the film as part of his 59% production banner, which signed a first-look deal with Paramount back in May. Speaking on his involvement with the project and the impact of Barney & Friends, Kaluuya had this to say: "Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood. We're excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of 'I love you, you love me' can stand the test of time."

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(Photo Courtesy of the Artist)

Busy Signal Drops New Video for '100%' Featuring Afro B

Premiere: The Jamaican dancehall star and afrowave artist partner up for a comical new song and video.

Busy Signal has teamed up with Afro B for a fiery song and hilarious video for their new track, "100%".

Born and bred in Jamaica, Busy Signal's signature dancehall-reggae sound with an electronic lean is always a refreshing twist. His sound mixed with "Drogba (Joanna)" star Afro B's smooth afrowave style makes this new track, well, 100% dope.

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