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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

Well known for his work on the African lion, Gareth Patterson is an environmentalist, independent wildlife researcher, public speaker and author who has worked for more than 25 years for greater protection of African wildlife. Read Garth's piece on the symbolic and literal importance of lions: The lion is the animal symbol of the African continent. Symbolising wisdom, protection, courage and royalty, humankind has drawn...
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Nal'ibali announces Story Bosso finalists

Posted on
October, 30th 2015
Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, has announced the shortlist of nominees for its ‘Story Bosso’ storytelling competition. Running throughout Literacy and Heritage Month in September year, and in conjunction with media partner Times Media, the competition has been designed as a nationwide talent search to excite people about reading and telling stories; identify undiscovered storytellers across the country and connect members of the public with a range...
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Six book-donation organisations: How to apply

Posted on
October, 28th 2015
Nal’ibali aims to get multilingual stories to families and caregivers across the country through our digital platforms, and fortnightly newspaper supplements. These resources can be accessed from our website and mobisite. While our focus is not book donation, we do work with and recommend partner organisations and NGOs that provide book donation resources for those looking for some hardcover reading fun. So, if you’re looking...
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Translation to turbo-charge stories

Posted on
October, 22nd 2015
Many years ago, the influential children’s literacy scholar Margaret Spencer Meek remarked, “Every child needs three books at the same time ‒ one that they can read whatever happens, one they are reading at the moment, and one they’re just about able to read. The first the child reads, the second you help them to read and the third, you read to him or...
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Barbara Comber is a Research Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. She is particularly interested in literacy education and social justice and recently visited South Africa, further sharing her work on the topic: Sharing stories of one kind or another with the next generation is something intrinsic to everyday life in most communities. Listening to parents and...
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We are the stories we tell

Posted on
October, 19th 2015
Sindiwe Magona, an accomplished South African writer, literary activist and retired teacher, is a judge in Nal’ibali’s storytelling competition being run this September and will help crown South Africa’s first ‘Story Bosso’. Sindiwe, who has grown up on stories, feels that our identity is inseparable from the stories we tell: In traditional societies, stories were an integral part of the socialisation of the child. They were...
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Alinah Segobye is an academic, writer, storyteller and futurist. She holds an honorary professorship at the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute and is the former Deputy Executive Director at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. Alinah explores the role of technology in developing a reading culture in Africa: How did the first rock-art artist get inspired? Was it a young doodler sent to...
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Celebrating elders as storytellers

Posted on
October, 16th 2015
As Africans, we have a deep history of storytelling and one that is in danger of being left behind as we move into an increasingly digital way of life. To celebrate the power of storytelling, Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, recently ran a countrywide storytelling talent search, Story Bosso. In the process of inviting all South Africans, young and old, to share their stories,...
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An advocate of literacy and lover of reading herself, Metro FM’s news anchor and host of the entertainment report, Refiloe Mpakanyane, has partnered with the national Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign to bring the power of story to the Tikvah Day Care Centre in Watville. Visiting the centre on Tuesday 13 October, Mpakanyane together with Nal’ibali trainer, Portia Daniso, not only handed over a mini library of...
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Thabiso Mahlape is a publisher with Jacana. She recently launched a new book imprint, BlackBird Books, which seeks to provide a platform and publishing home to both new voices and the existing generation of black writers and narratives. Thabiso believes that relevant South African stories are the key to a culture of reading: When I was about five or six, I didn’t know about books, about reading for...
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