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The Gift that Keeps on Giving!

By 20th December 2019February 20th, 2020Articles

Still haven’t finished your Christmas shopping? Well, what’s better than the gift of a book – a gift that you get to open time and time again! The perfect present for any history enthusiasts or bibliophiles out there. Below are just some of the titles available that tell the story of Durban:

Local history buff, Allan Jackson, published his first book on Durban back in 2003. Now in it’s third edition, Facts About Durban (FAD) offers wonderful insight into how the city came to be, and includes personal accounts on the history of the people of Durban. The book, which is available for purchase online, is supplemented by the FAD website, where residents can contribute their own stories.

There’s nothing quite as fascinating as looking at old photographs of your hometown and trying to place those images in the context of the city it’s grown into. Durban: A Pictorial History by Ian Morrison, is full of pictures showing Durban as it once was. Published in 1987, it’s only available for purchase second-hand, but if you hunt around you can get your hands on some original signed copies, which make for an extra special gift!

Simply titled, Durban, this book by WPM Henderson was first published in 1904 to commemorate the golden jubilee of the borough. Not really what one would term ‘light reading’, Henderson considers how the essential services of the town, such as the water works, trams and fire brigade, were established and developed over a fifty year period. Republished in 2015, Durban is available for purchase from Exclusive Books.

Stuart Freedman’s book, Durban Harbour, was published as a special souvenir edition, so unfortunately isn’t very easy to come by. So, if you do happen to find a copy, be sure to nab it! The book tells the fascinating history of the harbour from 1835 to the present day, and reveals the extraordinary engineering skills and resilience that shaped the largest harbour on the African continent. Of course if you can’t find a copy of the book, an outing to the Maritime Museum would be a good choice!

Voices of Resilience offers a very particular view of Durban, as it tells the story of Kenneth Gardens, Durban’s largest low-income municipal housing estate. Told from the perspective of the residents, the book looks at how the estate has evolved over time, moving through the era of apartheid, through to the present day. Co-authored by Monique Marks, Kira Erwin and Tamlynn Fleetwood, with photographs by Cedric Nunn, Voices of Resilience is available for purchase online via

And if you’re buying a gift for a foodie then you can’t go wrong with Durban Curry Up2Date! A recipient of the 2020 Best in SA Gourmand Award, this ‘cookbook’ by Erica Platter & Clinton Friedman is the sequel to the 2014 publication, Durban Curry, So Much of Flavour. The book, which features on its cover the famous bunny chow, includes countless variations of the Durban curry, while also acknowledging the history of the dish, which has become something of a national treasure! Durban Curry, versions one and two, can be bought directly from the authors, and is complemented by a great selection of locally inspired kitchenware:

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