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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".


Over the years, there have been calls by many to acknowledge Thiongo's incredible contribution to literature by awarding him the Nobel Prize in Literature. Only five Africans have ever been awarded the prize with the legendary Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka having been the first Black African to take home the award back in 1986. After the passing of fellow Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe in 2013, there have also been calls for him to be awarded the prize posthumously.

Before the announcement, Thiong'o's son took to social media to speak about how he was certain his father would finally be named this year's winner:

The panel have explained their decision saying that Tokarczuk was awarded the prize for "a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life." Admittedly, the awarding of the prize to Tokarczuk has been a progressive move by the Swedish academy considering that there have only been 14 women to win the prize before her compared to 113 men.

With regards to Handke, the panel said that he has been awarded the prize for "an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience."

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Watch Bernadine Evaristo Talk About Womanhood and Othering on 'BBC: Focus on Africa'

The 2019 Booker Prize winner speaks to BBC about her acclaimed book 'Girl, Woman, Other'.

Earlier this week, British-Nigerian author Bernadine Evaristo was awarded the prestigious Booker Prize for her book, Girl, Woman, Other. Although the Booker Prize forbids that the award be given to more than one individual, the committee reportedly felt that two novels were deserving of this year's prize. While Evaristo made history as the first ever Black woman to win the prize, many were not pleased that she had to share the prize with Canadian author, Margaret Atwood. Recently, in an interview with BBC: Focus on Africa, Evaristo spoke about womanhood, othering in terms of race, sexuality, class and immigration status.

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'Sulwe' Book Cover

Lupita Nyong'o Releases Debut Children's Book 'Sulwe,' an Ode to Dark-Skinned Kids

The actress says she wrote the book to help children learn to "love the skin they're in," pulling from her own childhood experiences with colorism.

Lupita Nyong'o's highly-anticiapted debut children's book, Sulwe is finally here.

Sulwe is all about self-love, the protagonsit is inspired by the actress herself (and even wears a dress the same that's the same shade of "Nairobi Blue" as the one she wore to the 2014 Oscars).

The book was illustrated by Vashti Harrison, who colors its pages with whimsical drawings of young Sulwe. Here's an official description of the book:

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

The actress has been promoting the new book with several interviews and appearances. Last week, she appeared on BBC Newsnight where she spoke openly about her experience growing up in a world that places more value on lighter skin and Eurocentric features. "Colorism is the daughter of racism," said Nyong'o.

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(Photo Courtesy of DIARRABLU)

Meet the Senegalese Designer Making Math Chic

Diarra Bousso uses algorithms to create designs for her line DIARRABLU.

Who knew that math and fashion could work together so seamlessly? Apparently Diarra Bousso did, the self-described "Creative Mathematician" and mastermind behind DIARRABLU. The Senegalese serial entrepreneur and multidisciplinary artist left a career of trading on Wall Street to pursue design and it paid off. She has just been awarded a coveted spot as the Designer in Residence at the San Francisco Fashion Incubator for her innovative use of equations and algorithms in her beautiful designs.

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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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