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Take a look at in-depth pieces and powerful narratives from some of South Africa's best literary minds and critical thinkers, as well as the latest Nal'ibali news and updates. 

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Nali'Bali in the media

The performing arts has always had a difficult time proving its value in an education system that prioritises maths and science. Too few studies have been done to prove its benefits, such as building young children’s imaginations, vocabularies and language skills.    When Clowns Without Borders South Africa – an artist-led humanitarian organisation that uses laughter and play to improve the psychosocial conditions of children and communities in...
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Earlier this year in Paris, UNESCO hosted the official global launch of 2019 as the Year of Indigenous Languages. This red-carpet affair called for an international drive to recognise, celebrate and preserve languages as “repositor[ies] for true identit[ies]”,histories, traditions and memories. Over 7 000 languages are spoken across the world, though remarkably, only 4% of these languages are spoken by a mammoth 97% of the world’s population....
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Nal'ibali is proud to collaborate with Clowns Without Boarders
    Libraries across South Africa will be the scenes of a new community activation in 2019. Nal’ibali, the reading for enjoyment campaign, has teamed up with Clowns Without Borders South Africa to produce a series of literacy-focussed shows. These free performances will tour four provinces to encourage people to see their local libraries as safe, exciting community spaces for people of all ages. The free 40-minute...
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What made the team at Open Book Festival decide to take up the challenge of giving young children access to quality books? From the start, we have been committed to doing whatever we are able to in order to increase learners' access to books. Books have such a far reaching impact on one's life and understanding of the world in which we live.   Can you tell...
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Nal’ibali, the nationwide reading-for-enjoyment campaign which aims to spark children’s potential through reading and storytelling, is supporting caregivers in kick-starting their children’s 2019 school year by giving away 20 mini-libraries fully stocked with story books in different South African languages.      Research shows that children who read for pleasure, do better across all school subjects, including Maths. However, to keep children reading, it’s helpful to understand what motivates them to read.  According to American researchers, Kathryn Edmunds and Kathryn Bauserman, the following factors influence children’s reading behaviours.    Children are more...
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Picture books are five books in one

Posted on
November, 26th 2018
Athol Williams November is Picture Book Month and the power of picture books is evident in the numerous engagement options they offer a child. These multiple options offer a broadened approach to reading. I count five different ways in which picture books can be used by children, in effect, making a picture book, five books in one.  The first three ways relate to children reading...
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Increasing pressure on the publishing industry, plus a shrinking reading culture, hasn't changed the enormous lifelong benefit of reading to children from early childhood. With South Africa having eleven official languages, how do we ensure children across the country access these benefits in their mother tongue? By Jade Jacobsohn, Managing Director at Nal’ibali.  ------------- According to UNESCO, “Illiteracy and poverty constitute a mutually reinforcing, vicious cycle...
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Milton Sekhaolelo
[To listen to the winning stories, click here. ] Story Bosso is a multilingual storytelling contest designed to provide aspiring storytellers with an opportunity to showcase their talent and to promote storytelling in all official South African languages. It’s an initiative of South Africa’s national-reading-for-enjoyment campaign, Nal’ibali. The theme for this year’s talent search was ‘South African Heroes’.  By remembering and telling the stories of our heroes, the...
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The importance of libraries

Posted on
October, 31st 2018
I grew up in a community that did not have many libraries. I was born and raised in Gugulethu. The only thing we did every Saturday morning was go to Luyolo Arts Centre and listen to a few ladies telling us about girl guides. Needless to say, this was boring, it felt like an un-official church. I listened anyway.  I wanted more for myself...
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DGMT and Primedia have recently launched one of the country’s largest-ever national outdoor media campaigns, demonstrating the power of early childhood development to change the future of South Africa. The billboard campaign will showcase three large-scale initiatives to prevent nutritional stunting and promote early learning and reading –namely Grow Great, SmartStart and Nal’ibali. It comes at a time when South Africa is looking for greater...
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