The Side Eye: Nobel Prize Woes, Mugabe's Threads, Contestants Eat Live Crabs and More

The 'Side eye' is the facial response given to people, events, or actions that are silly and ridiculous. Side Eye Stories will summarize instances that we can't be bothered to write a long-form response to, but wanna express our skepticism towards. Without further ado, here are this week's picks:

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature was announced today. Three Africans were described by Abdourahman Waberi as having the best chances for a win (but of course we won't know the actual nominations for the next 50 years): Somalian novelist Nuruddin Farah, Kenyan novelist, essayist and activist Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, and Algerian novelist and filmmaker Assia Djebar. We had high hopes, but the Swedish poet, Tomas Tranströmer swooped in from left field and took home the honor. Dang. We were rooting for Ngugi.

Africa's former winners for the Nobel Literature Prize include Naguib Mahfouz, Nadine Gordimer, Wole Soyinka and J.M. Coetzee.

A ton more, after the jump.


What's good for the Kardashian's is good for the Mandela's?

Three of Nelson Mandela’s grown grandchildren announced on Sept. 29 that they plan on starring in a still-in-the-works reality TV series about their lives. The show will feature Swati Dlamini, 32, granddaughter of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Swati’s older sister Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway, 34, and their cousin, Dorothy Adjoa Amua, 27.

Oh, just in case you haven't heard, Tata Madiba (Mandela’s Xhosa clan name) spent 27 years in prison fighting against apartheid and became the first black President of South Africa. Just FYI.

- Written by Okayafrica contributor Makho Ndlovu.


Is this really Robert Mugabe's bedroom? If so, nice threads dude.

These pics and more came from a blog that supposedly sells rich people's homes and mansions. Did you hear that under Zimbabwe's new "indigenization law" companies worth more than $500,000 would be required to sell 51% of their stakes to black Zimbabweans Mugabe and his cronies?


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These are women participating in a Miss West Africa competition. The contest's purpose it to "create role models, future world leaders, and goodwill ambassadors"... by challenging contestants eat a live crab.

Check the girl at the 3 minute mark. She's so compelled by her desire to become a president someday that she's actually gonna go for it - noble intentions indeed. (Big thanks to Sean Jacobs at Africa is a Country for sharing this).


If you have side eye suggestions from around the internets, forward them to Swank at




Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.

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How CKay's 'Love Nwantiti' Became the World's Song

Nigerian singer and producer CKay talks to OkayAfrica about the rise of his international chart-topping single "Love Nwantiti," his genre-defying sound and the reasons behind this era of afrobeats dominance.