Literary tourism is the soul beat of our villages and cities. In 2017 the EThekwini formerly City of Durban was awarded the City of Literature status by UNESCO through the Creative Cities Network and it has become the first African city to garner this acclaim. EThekwini boasts of a myriad of literary arts exhibitions , poetry festivals and arts fiestas which include POETRY AFRICA , ARTICULATE AND TIME OF THE WRITER .The city is strewn with libraries , museums , galleries and book cafes to foster the beauty of knowledge economy ,literature , book culture and education.
EThekwini Municipality is instrumental in the promotion of education ,reading culture and book development through inventing new library and reading interventions. Area Based Management under the leadership of Linda Mbonambi partners with communities and writers of VALHALLA ARTS led by MUSA E ZULU to promote literature , arts , literary tourism and book culture through Intensive grassroots communities writers training and Author Exhibitions programs .
Recently Area based Management of the eThekwini Municipality and Valhalla Arts collaborated to train 20 community members( different genders and ages) to become storytellers ,poets and writers to produce a collection of stories and poetry: STORY OF THE PEOPLE( empowering communities through talent development ). The project was also implemented in partnership with INK COMMUNITY TRUST ( a trust of three Ekasi communities that include INANDA , NTUZUMA AND KWAMASHU), ABM AND VALHALLA ARTS. The prime goal of the project is to give grassroots communities a platform to tell their own stories and to give them a voice to be able to reveal their daily challenges and vices in the KASI . It further seeks to enhance creativity and writing skills for black South Africans in African townships. The STORY OF THE PEOPLE collection will be published into print by the Valhalla Arts and eThekwini Municipality Area Based Management section during the heritage month in September 2018.
During the month of June in 2018 , Area Based Management commissioned one great author , speaker and artist MUSA E ZULU to read his books on radio stations( story casting) to motivate students , readers and other communities to be able to write their own stories while promoting literacy development . The story casting on radio stations was to complement City of Literature status awarded to eThekwini in line with the objectives of Creative Cities Network.
Writing makes you meet the world, Reading makes you see the world. The Area Based Management and Valhalla arts will continue promoting authors and literature through Authors Exhibition Program tin several grassroots communities up to 2019 .
Compiled and Written by MBIZO CHIRASHA an internationally anthologized poet , literary arts project curator , creative humanist , arts activism catalyst , blogs publisher and a Writer in Residence . He is the Solidarity member of GAPA( Global Arts and Political Alliance),the African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival, the Resident Coordinator of 100 Thousand Poets for Change- Global, the Founder of Girl Child Creativity Project( 2010 to present) , founder/Creative Director of the Young Writers Caravan( 2003-2007), Facilitator of the Creative Leadership and Artistic Training Project for Africa( 2018- 2023) .He is the Word Press Publisher of the Personalitiesofinspiration( www.personalitiesofinspiration.wordpress.com) and MiomboPublishing
(www.miombopublishing.wordpress.com )Chirasha is the Editor of the Brave Voices Poetry journal (Journal for political poetry and creative resistance), he is the Originator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. He writes for the Tuck Magazine- (the International magazine on Arts Human Rights and Politics.).Mbizo Chirasha is the editor of the E-Poetry Anthology on Zimbabwean political instability “INSIDE DISGRACELAND”.He Co-edited , edited , compiled and written several books , collections and anthologies across the globe .