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For the first time since the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) launched its City of Literature programme in 2004, an African city has been selected. Durban, South Africa is now one of 28 cities selected so far, including Manchester (England), Milan (Italy), Quebec City (Canada), and Seattle (U.S.A.).

UNESCO’s City of Literature programme is part of its wider Creative Cities Network which includes 180 cities globally in 72 countries in the fields of Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music, and Media Arts. Its aim is to “promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world.”

Durban’s bid was spearheaded by Darryl David, former Head of Afrikaans at University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Joining him are UKZN’s Head of Libraries, Tebogo Mzizi, and writers Ashwin Desai and ZP Dala.

Congratulations to Durban and the bidding team.

Read Darryl David’s interview with LitNet HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young was born in Aba, Nigeria and attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A finalist for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, his short stories include: “A Tenderer Blessing,” which appears in Transition Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015; “Mulumba,” which appears in The Threepenny Review; and “You Sing of a Longing,” which was shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award and appears in Pride and Prejudice, an anthology by The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His essays appear in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays and in Brittle Paper where he is Deputy Editor. His interviews appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa Magazine, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the editor of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. A postgraduate student of African Studies, he currently teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Nigeria. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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