Durban leads the way as Africa’s first City of Literature

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede speaking at Durban City Hall.

ETHEKWIINI Mayor Zandile Gumede says the city’s new status as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) City of Literature, will promote the city as a great tourist destination. The mayor was speaking at the City Hall where celebrations were held, after UNESCO’s announcement that Durban has become the first African country to be awarded this status. This accolade puts Durban on the map as a world class city.

The City became the 22nd UNESCO City of Literature in October 2017, on the same day as Bucheon (South Korea), Lillehammer (Norway), Milan (Italy), Utrecht (Netherlands), Manchester (UK), Québec City (Canada) and Seattle (USA) joined the existing 20 Cities of Literature in the Creative Cities Network.

“We are excited to be part of a wider creative city network globally. The Unesco status gives Durban a great platform to promote our city as a great tourist destination with a diverse cultural appeal of people who are involved in literature,” said Gumede.

Echoing Gumede sentiments was MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala who said the title belonged to the African continent at large. “It is major achievement not only for the province and country. We regard this as an omen for more African cities to receive this accolade,” he said.

READ RELATED: Durban bids to become UNESCO City of Literature

The man who headed the bid for UNESCO City of Literature status and former head of Afrikaans at UKZN, Darryl David said: “The city has not begun to contemplate what this means. To have Durban join other big cities in the world, shows that Durban has entered the world’ stage. The world will open up to Durban and our writers will be invited all over the world while international writers will descend on Durban. We hope we will get support from government when we host major events,” he said.

 

 

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  AUTHOR
Rudy Nkgadima

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Durban bids to become UNESCO City of Literature