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




Still from 'Road to Yesterday'

Kayode Kasum’s Quarantine Watchlist

From 'Wives on Strike' to 'Goodwill Hunting' here's what the Nigerian filmmaker is watching while stuck at home in Lagos.

Kayode Kasum, like most filmmakers, has been stagnated by the coronavirus pandemic. The director behind the blockbuster Sugar Rush and the critically acclaimed Oga Bolaji was working on the post-production of his upcoming movies, The Fate of Alakada: Party Planner and Kambili—a collaboration between FilmOne Entertainment and Chinese Huahua Media— when the Nigerian government announced the lockdown order.

While post-production on Alakada has concluded, the stay-at-home orders have delayed work on Kambili. "Since the team cannot meet at a single point, we are moving hard drives left and right," he says to me over the phone from his home in Lagos. "It is a challenge, but the beautiful thing about a challenge is, when you make it work, it is fulfilling."

Still from 'Kambili'

Kasum has turned to books and films for an escape from the unpleasant realities of the pandemic. "I have been reading Elnathan's books: Born on a Tuesday and Becoming Nigeria," he tells me. "I have also been reading film directing books, Directing Actors by Judith Weston." However, Kasum longs for the movies. "I miss going to the cinemas; I miss that experience," he says. "There are times during this pandemic that I'm like 'na wa o, I wish I can go to the cinema.'"

Below are five films he recommends you watch during this pandemic.

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