Advocacy & awareness | Nal'ibali
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Advocacy & awareness

Advocacy & awareness

The Nal’ibali campaign aims to spark and sustain a culture of reading in South Africa. The role of media partnerships and ambassadors is crucial in spreading knowledge and awareness on the power of stories. It is also key to ensuring that more people know about the positive effect of reading and storytelling on children’s educational success. For this reason, Nal’ibali strives to reach as many people across South Africa as possible.

Our aim is to position Nal’ibali as a household name that is recognised and loved across the country; to create a larger-than-life phenomenon that people are eager to be a part of. Nal’ibali harnesses the power of positive peer pressure, identity and public communication to motivate behaviour change. We believe that a loud and inspirational media campaign together with engaging interpersonal interaction will eventually lead us to a ‘tipping point’ that would substantially shift the national culture of reading.

Flagship events

World Read Aloud Day is a huge milestone event for Nal’ibali. Strongly supported by the likes of authors Zukiswa Wanner and Niki Daly, media partner WeCan24, storyteller Gcina Mhlope, singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka and actress and author Buhle Ngaba, World Read Aloud Day has seen huge national success in terms of literacy advocacy. Through this drive, we are able to connect with people both online and on the ground with this global push for read-aloud awareness. In 2018 we read aloud to over 1.2 million people on the same day!

If reading is the foundation to all learning, stories are hook that gets adults and children alike to books. In 2018 Nal’ibali celebrated their fourth annual multilingual storytelling contest, Story Bosso, which is aimed at reawakening a love of storytelling and reading among South Africans of all ages. Every story in our diverse country has the power to create identity, inspire empathy and enrich vocabulary for children – as long as they are shared! This is why partners such as Tiso BlackstarPrimediaBargain BooksNational Book WeekJozi Book FairSoweto TheatreGood Things GuyNews24Mad About Art and Africa Unite have joined us in spreading the word and getting information and materials to caregivers to encourage them to get storytelling!

Mass media campaign

Following on from the 2014 billboard campaign, Nal'ibali launched a nationwide billboard campaign in 2018 to generate awareness and discussion around the power of stories to spark children’s potential. 260 billboards sites were erected across the nation, in the predominant languages of the provinces and locations in which they are found - which will reach over 20 million people. 

FUNda Leader network

In 2016 we launched our FUNda Leader volunteer network, our national drive to inspire parents, caregivers and all adults to commit to creating a culture of reading and writing in South Africa. With over 15,000 FUNda Leaders performing hundreds of reading-for-enjoyment activities across the country and FUNda Leader trainings, this reading revolution has only just begun! In 2019 we will launch the online FUNda Leader Incentive Programme which aims to hold all FUNda Leaders in a common space, to keep them motivated and inspired to continue their literacy journey. Keep an eye out for this exciting development!

Every year, Nal'ibali ensures that International Mother Language Day is recognised and celebrated. From celebrity-filled videos on the effects of reading in an unfamiliar language, to a video showing just how few vernacular books are available in libraries, Nal'ibali strives to advocate for the power and importance of mother tongue languages in South Africa.

Our public figures

We have been supported by a range of celebrities and public figures who have joined the cause and taken it upon themselves to amplify our message to their followers.  Some of these literacy heroes include Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Gcina Mhlope, Rob van Vuuren, Soli PhilanderSuzelle DIY, Zolani Mahola, Zanele Ndlovu, Elana Afrika, ProVerb, Bonnie Henna, Sindiwe Magona, Nik Rabinowitz, Lebogang Mashile, Hlubi Mboya, The Soil, Buhle Ngaba and Refiloe Mpakanyane. In spreading our message, these individuals have been crucial in modelling positive literacy behaviour to inspire others across the country to do the same.

Corporate partners

We’ve also partnered with various corporate partners who share our passion, such as Volkswagen South Africa, SABC Education, PEN SA, FunDza, Pick n Pay, Jet, Ackermans, Boxer and the South African Post Office.


Sharing knowledge and learning from other organisations in similar sectors is crucial to developing a wide-reaching and effective campaign. Over the years we have attended, supported and contributed to conferences such as the World Literacy Summit, AU Innovation in Education Expo, the African Storybook Project Symposium, LITASA annual conference, Puku Wordfest Talk, Independent Publishers Alliance Conference, Eastern Cape Literary Festival, Goethe-Institut - Mobile Literacy Workshop, UNICEF ECD Knowledge Building Seminar, Iziko Museum Mother Tongue Day Talk to name just a few. Imparting and sharing expertise in this way, Nal’ibali aims to better tailor its methods and campaigns in an everchanging landscape, as well as support and inform other organisations who do similar work.

Over the years, we’ve witnessed just how powerful awareness raising can be when organisations and individuals with the same mission join forces and make change happen. If you have a partnership or sponsorship request for us, please email us here