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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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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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