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Literacy Blog

The art of the spoken word

Posted on
June, 14th 2015
Sally Mills, Networks and Communications Coordinator at Nal’ibali, explores how the work of literacy activist, Mpho Khosi, inspires literacy: The streets are alive and so are the minds of the young people who walk them. Brisk with triumph, pounding with frustration, clumsy with desperation or tripping with excitement, the streets feel the beat and the urgency of the youth and give rise to a voice...
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Unleashing the latent potential of the young

Posted on
April, 29th 2015
Mandla Langa is a South African poet, short story writer and novelist. He is also the Executive Vice President of PEN South Africa, an endorser of the Nal’ibali children’s literacy rights poster. Mandla spoke to us about the importance of literacy in allowing children to fulfill their potential: The need to entrench the culture of reading among children was impressed on me recently. During the...
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Imagining a literate South Africa

Posted on
April, 24th 2015
Koketso Ratsatsi is a collaborator in the Mohlakeng Youth Movement – a team of young people working in the Mohlakeng township south of Randfontein to grow a culture of reading in the community. Here's her  wise take on how we should all take ownership of literacy development: Knowledge is powerful, and, transmitted through reading, it is one thing that no one can ever take away...
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PRAESA wins the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Posted on
March, 31st 2015
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the richest award in children's literature, and one of the richest literary prizes in the world. The award recognises "authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and promoters of reading" whose "work is of the highest quality." The objective of the award is to increase interest in children’s and young people's literature, and to promote children's rights to culture on a global scale. Nal'ibali is proud...
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Taking it as a sign: Branding and African language literacy developement

Posted on
March, 16th 2015
Tessa Dowling, Senior Lecturer in African Languages in the School of Languages and Literature at the University of Cape Town, talks about the role of brands and language in the South African context: If you were an African-language speaking child growing up in South Africa, the first written words you’d see wouldn’t be ones from your own tongue. Nearly all the words on packets, street signs, billboards...
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What we become depends on what we read

Posted on
March, 16th 2015
Righardt le Roux is the Nal’ibali School and Public Library Coordinator. Best known for his entrepreneurial and innovative skills of “taking libraries to the people”, he has won a multitude of awards for his community work. He talks to us about South African Library Week and how we become maps of what we read: The theme for this year’s South African Library Week (14 – 21...
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How a book can change a life

Posted on
February, 23rd 2015
He was perhaps 13, face shadowed under his hoodie. ‘Got any spare change?’ he asked. It was some time past ten pm in St Vincent’s emergency waiting room, where my husband was struggling to breathe with a bone caught in his throat. There were no free beds, so the doctors were attending him there, till the surgeon arrived. I gave him a little. I didn’t have much...
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Video: Nal'ibali, Celebrities and Mother Tongue Day

Posted on
February, 19th 2015
Nal’ibali collaborated with South African role models and public figures to highlight the importance of mother tongue languages in children’s literacy development this International Mother Tongue Day! This video emphasises the challenges faced by many young children as they engage with print and other literacy materials in unfamiliar languages on a daily basis. Local celebs such as YouTube sensation, Suzelle DIY, actress and Freshlyground lead singer, Zolani Mahola, as well as soccer...
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Pop-up bookstores help spread Story Power

Posted on
February, 3rd 2015
In support of our New Year’s drive to get parents to adopt reading resolutions, we held two pop-up bookstores in Cape Town and Soweto on 31 January. Not only were the ‘bookstores’ a chance for people to choose books to take home and enjoy with their children, but also the opportunity for the Nal’ibali team to hand out Story Power Pacts - which is part of...
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Story as meaning-making

Posted on
December, 4th 2014
Stories are woven so tightly into the fabric of our everyday lives that it’s easy to overlook their significance in framing how we think about ourselves and the world. They fill every part of our daily lives as we talk about events and people, read books and news reports, gossip, send text messages, listen to music, watch video clips, and catch up on a...
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