What to read and watch

If you’re planning to stay indoors these holidays (thanks, Covid-19 🙄), then you’re probably looking for some hot entertainment to keep you occupied. Maybe this is the year you move away from holiday favourites like Home Alone or Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (as funny as it is) and try some of the quality local entertainment on offer? Let’s get to it! 

🔹What to watch 

1. Season two of South Africa’s hilarious comedy “How to Ruin Christmas” is out. If you missed it last year, you may want to watch the short series about a super chaotic black South African family facing a chain of hilarious events during a family reunion. Think Death at a Funeral, but funnier. 😆 The series stars Busi Lurayi, Thando Thabethe and Clementine Mosimane, and the second season is said to be even better than the first. 

2. If you’re looking for drama, season two of Blood & Water on Netflix is a good option. The storyline revolves around upper-class high school students; the spotlight is on Puleng Khumalo as she searches for her biological sister who was kidnapped as a baby. She unravels sketchy information while facing other typical teenage problems, and it’s damn riveting. Think of it as a grittier, African, Gossip Girl. 😬

3. You can also check out Kings of Joburg and last year’s award-winning doccie My Octopus Teacher, if you haven’t already seen it.

4. For movies, take a look at the romantic drama Happiness Ever After, which was filmed in Johannesburg and is about three black women navigating love, life and sisterhood, or  Seriously Single, starring SAFTA Golden Horn winner Fulu Mugovhani and comedian Tumi Morake. Both are on Netflix. Plus, doctor and comedian Riaad Moosa’s New Material was released in cinemas in October – and you can also watch its prequel, Material, on Netflix. 😋

🔹What to read

Africa’s literary canon is rich, so you may not know where to start. We love The Conversation’s list of five African books you should read before you die as a primer: 

1) Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958)

2) Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Petals of Blood (1977)

3) Ayi Kwei Armah, The Beautyful Ones are Not Yet Born (1968)

4) Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (1988)

5) Bessie Head, Maru (1977)