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We're Still Recovering from the Mr SA Pageant Announcement

The World Mr Gay pageant is coming back to South Africa.

Recently, men's beauty pageants seem to be gaining popularity in South Africa. Although we doubt that the popularity of these pageants is entirely for the right reasons, the Mr South Africa and Mr Gay World pageants both show that South African men are equally keen to strut their stuff and have their voices heard.


South African Twitter was abuzz in the last few days after the top 20 finalists were revealed for the Mr South Africa. To say that people were not at all impressed by the "caliber" of the finalists would be an understatement. To make things worse, and hilariously so, the only criterion the finalists needed to meet was to "have a good heart".


Understandably, people highlighted the apparent double-standard between the Mr and Miss South Africa pageants. Finalists for Miss South Africa are expected to meet often unrealistic beauty standards whilst the absolute bare minimum is acceptable for their male counterparts.

Mr Gay South Africa, Chris Emmanuel, will compete with 23 other contestants in the Mr Gay World pageant which will take place in Cape Town. This will be the country's fourth time hosting the pageant in the last 8 years after Hong Kong pulled out at the last minute due to a clampdown on LGBT events by the Chinese government.

According to SowetanLIVE, Emmanuel, who is in his early forties, says:

"I believe that through Mr Gay World, which is not just a pageant but a platform for LGBTIQ+ people who are voiceless, I can help my fellow citizens who are LGBTIQ+ people to be heard. We are battling with our constitution to decriminalize the issue of same sex practices."


Op-Ed
Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images.

Black Women Are the Future of French Cinema—When Will Cannes Catch Up?

In this op-ed, OkayAfrica contributor Aude Konan reflects on the progression of diversity in French cinema a year after the Noire N'est Pas Mon Métier demonstration at Cannes Film Festival.

A year ago, 16 French actresses of African descent walked the red carpet at Cannes to talk about a new project they authored, Noire N'est Pas Mon Métier (Being Black Is Not My Job), where they shared their experiences with racism and sexism in the film industry.

In an era where the movements #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite gained global momentum and led to some change in the Academy Awards, it was a first considering that outside of Aissa Maïga, French actresses seldom get any visibility and speaking out against racism put them at risk of being blacklisted, like the actor Luc Saint Eloi's unfortunate experience 20 years ago.

The red carpet moment was generally well received in France and in the rest of the world, with the main actresses getting large media coverage with features in Le Monde, Le Figaro and even Vogue U.S. The presidents of the Cannes Film Festival welcomed the actresses. No promises were made by any of the gatekeepers in French cinema, but the actresses were hopeful.

Since the book's release, the actresses have been busy working, some of them lucky enough to be able to portray fully fledged characters, others being reduced to play the "black woman" stereotype over and over again. Recently, one of them, Karidja Touré, well known for being in the film Girlhood, mentioned that she was pretty good at mimicking an "African accent." Semantics aside—and the fact that there is no such a thing as an African accent, as Africa is still not a country—it is pretty revealing: despite the wonderful coverage these actresses had, has the movement contributed to any change?

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Walshy Fire, Ice Prince & Demarco's 'Round of Applause' Will Soundtrack Your Summer

PREMIERE: New heat from the Major Lazer producer & DJ.

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Akwaeke Emezi's 'Freshwater' Is Being Developed Into a Series for FX

The adaptation is in early development as the Nigerian author teams up with screenwriter and director Tamara P. Carter to bring 'Freshwater' to life.

Akwaeke Emezi's debut, Freshwater, took the literary world by storm when it was released just last year.

We can now anticipate seeing the book be brought to live for TV. Their autobiographical novel is now in the early stages of being developed into a series for FX, Variety reports.

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