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Thursday, August 16, 2018


“Durban recently gained the honour from UNESCO of being the first place in Africa to be named a ‘City of Literature’. Archbishop Denis Hurley cared a great deal about the written word - he himself was a writer of hymns and plays, and also oversaw the first global translation of the Catholic rites and prayers from Latin into English—so we think he would have been very proud of this accolade for his beloved Durban,” says Raymond Perrier, director of the Denis Hurley Centre.

“The DHC has come up with an innovative way of promoting literature and also providing economic empowerment to the homeless. We know people (often older) who have wonderful collections of books that they can no longer accommodate; we know people who would love to read more but cannot afford to buy new books; we have homeless people who are developing skills as sales people; and we can find venues where books can be sold.”

All of these connections are brought together by Anivesh Singh of Hashtag Books, a publisher, author and bookseller. He has agreed to collect books, sort them into different categories, work out what will sell and where, and store them until the Centre is ready for a sale. Any especially valuable books he finds are sold on-line and a percentage comes to the DHC.

The homeless guys sell books for R5 to R20 each, at churches, school fetes, and other community events. Kagiso Phihlela recently sold R400 worth of books in one afternoon on the beachfront. He was interviewed in the paper and explained that he wanted to raise money to train as a teacher—within the day he was offered a scholarship by Mancosa, a local college!

“If you have a venue where you think a book sale would do well, contact the Centre. If you have books contact Anivesh — please do not bring books to the DHC,” adds Perrier.

Contact Director Raymond Perrier on email: For bookings contact Jean-Marie Ntamubano on email:

Those wishing to donate to support the project can donate by EFT: First National Bank Durban Main branch 221426, Account: Denis Hurley Centre Trust A/C No. 622 0426 1002

For more information, and to donate from outside South Africa, see