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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

In praise of reading aloud

Posted on
June, 14th 2015
South African author Linda Rode is well known in the children’s book world as an avid collector and lover of fairytales.  Having authored three prize-winning children’s books of her own, compiled and contributed to a further 12 children’s anthologies and translated numerous of books and stories for children, her storytelling style is perfect for reading aloud: Since it’ll be three to four years before the...
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How family storytelling helps us grow

Posted on
June, 14th 2015
Award-winning South African author Maxine Case reflects on the role of intergenerational storytelling in preserving family history and supporting children’s literacy development: During the school holidays, my sisters and I would join our cousins at our grandmother’s house. With 10 children underfoot, Ma had little time to devote to any of us, but she was fond of me. Like her, I was a bookworm. Ma knew...
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Phiwayinkosi Mbuyazi is igniting the minds of teenagers and contributing to the advancement of South African indigenous languages through his translation of scientific books. In this process he has invented almost 500 new isiZulu words. Mbuyazi spoke to us about the importance of nurturing mother-tongue languages in the educational and academic world:   Of all the creatures in the animal kingdom we, the humans, are the only...
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Choosing books for children

Posted on
June, 14th 2015
Verushka Louw, a children’s bookseller who works at an independent bookshop in Cape Town (The Book Lounge), tells us how important it is to choose the right book at the right time for children: I was a library child. We moved around a lot when I was younger and I did not have many of my own books, so in each new town I soon...
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Jungle Theatre Company in partnership with the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign has developed a new production called How Stories Began based on the retelling of this traditional Zulu folktale by local author Wendy Hartmann.  How Stories Began will premiere at the Masque Theatre from 29 June to 3 July 2015 between 10h00 and 12h00 daily with a performance and workshop for children 4 years and older. How Stories Began is set in...
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This June, the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign is putting the spotlight on the power that fathers have to help nurture their children’s emotional and academic development, simply by reading and sharing stories with them on a regular basis. In collaboration with SAVF-FAMNET, the campaign is encouraging dads across South Africa to become active in their children’s literacy development through the annual Fathers' Story Week drive (14-21 June). “We’ve...
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The Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign will be running a special pop-up bookstand at the Franschhoek Literary Festival on Saturday 16 May as part of its current ‘Story Power. Bring it home’ awareness drive. In partnership with Times Media, the stand is aimed at providing books and other literacy materials to members of the broader Franschhoek community in a bid to promote and support a culture of reading...
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World Book Day is a date set aside by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to inspire people, particularly young people, to enjoy books and reading. Celebrated on 23 April each year, the day presented Nal’ibali with the perfect opportunity to launch our new children’s literacy rights poster – a collection of 8 messages to help grow a love of reading in children...
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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 Easter weekend...
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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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