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Monday, March 22, 2021


(Anivesh Singh (green mask) and Raymond Perrier (blue mask) at the pop-up Gallery in Ballito over the weekend, handing out the Denis Hurley Centre Barry Wood Award for Outstanding Service by a Volunteer to Anivesh Singh)

At the Denis Hurley Centre AGM and anniversary commemoration of Archbishop Hurley, 2021, Literary Ambassador Anivesh Singh was awarded a Denis Hurley Centre Barry Wood Award for Outstanding Service by a Volunteer and was presented his award at the close of a special edition Durban Book Fair over the weekend in Ballito.

Singh heads Micromega Publishing and is the driving force behind the monthly Durban Book Fair, the Booksellers of Mzansi initiative and the Made in Chatsworth movement.

Singh, together with collaborator Kiru Naidoo, helped to conceptualise the idea of Street Lit – suggesting that it develop from a mechanism for homeless people to earn a modest income from selling newspapers to them selling second-hand books. The seed of an idea which they planted and supported has grown into the Denis Hurley Centre Street Lit project of today – which allows a dozen (mostly men) to earn enough money to graduate from living on the streets to living in paid-for shelters, and in some cases even renting bedsits.

“Anivesh has proactively supported the project from its inception in a very hands-on way: he has helped to provide venues for the vendors to trade, and he sourced generous food parcels for the vendors over hard lockdown. He was resourceful and generous and pretty much single-handedly ensured that the vendors received regular cash donations – enough for them to pay for shelter and food for the initial months of lockdown. He initiated the idea of selling Street Lit books on-line and managed the website to do so. He also personally delivered all the books to the buyers which meant lots of driving around and delivering – in his own time, and at his own expense,” said the DHC’s Raymond Perrier.

“He is a great ambassador for all things literary – he personifies our city’s Unesco City of Literature accolade – and is for ever thinking of creative ways of encouraging people to read and buy books. Anivesh is a modest person – working hard without looking for praise or affirmation. He is truly community spirited and always puts others first. He is resourceful, proactive, hard-working and creative,” added Street Lit facilitator, Illa Thompson.

“All the Street Lit vendors and I are hugely indebted to Anivesh for his ongoing concern, support and care. He is one of the key personalities in ensuring that Street Lit is the ongoing success which it has become,” she continued.

Singh was given his Award at the Durban Book Fair which took place in the pop-up Gallery in Ballito’s Life and Style Centre. It was the final event at the pop-up gallery.