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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

Have you wondered why there is so little continuity between learning in the foundation phase and the wonderfully rich invention that characteris es learning in the preschool years? Well, there is no abrupt turnaround in how young children learn just because they move into a school system. The enormous learning strides that children make before Grade 1 should continue by leaps and bounds. Having some...
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I have just achieved one of my ambitions as an early literacy specialist – helping to bring into being several little board books for babies and toddlers in all of our 11 official languages. You may ask why on earth babies and toddlers should get books when they can’t even talk yet, and how can it matter what language to use when the babies obviously...
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In 2014, South Africans helped us read aloud to 50 000 children. In 2015, you helped us reach 166 360 children. And in 2016, thanks to parents, teachers, librarians, family members and hundreds of readers, we read to 365 849 children – more than double our previous number and an astounding record for Nal’ibali and South Africa! The power in partners This year, we joined forces with the...
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Adults as reading role models

Posted on
March, 17th 2016
  Smangele Mathebula is the Nal’ibali Campaign Driver and a literary activist who enjoys sharing her love of reading through gifting books. She speaks to us about how adults become children's immediate reading role models: Emilie Buchwald says, ‘Children are made readers on the laps of their parents’, and this couldn’t have greater significance in my reading universe. Adults are often great mirrors to children, not...
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Mark my words: Literacy through culture

Posted on
March, 8th 2016
When we speak or write to each other in the same language, it’s easy to assume that we share the same understandings. Yet we also know that it’s quite possible to 'miss' one another - both as we speak, and when we read what someone else has written. In face-to-face communication, because we are there on the spot, we have a relatively good chance...
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'Once upon a time' with Yvonne Chaka Chaka

Posted on
February, 18th 2016
Once upon a time. These are the four words that have forever changed the way I see the world. They were the doorway to an unseen and unknown world for me, taking me on a different adventure every time I lifted up a book; an experience that did not cost me a thing. Indeed, I could travel the world at a flip of a...
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Our Story, Your Story: Finding meaning

Posted on
February, 18th 2016
Lisa Cohen is a storyteller, facilitator, children’s story author, programme developer, early childhood development advocate and creativity sparker. She is currently the Portfolio Manager of Parenting Programmes at Ilifa Labantwana and Programme Manager for the Our Story Your Story Project with Clowns Without Borders South Africa. Lisa speaks about her own journey with stories and its personal and political meaning: Story-time with my dad was my...
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Highlighting the critical lack of books available in all African languages to children in South Africa, Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, has produced a powerful public service announcement that illustrates the breakdown of books available per language and calls for support for African language reading materials for children. The video has been developed in recognition of International Mother Languages Day on Sunday, 21 February. “All...
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Julia Donaldson visits Nal'ibali

Posted on
February, 18th 2016
International children’s author and 2011-2013 UK Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson, treated children from Nal’ibali’s Grow Smart reading club in Philippi to a special reading on Saturday 06 February 2016. The visit forms part of Donaldson’s trip to South Africa where she will be performing in a number of theatre shows based on a variety of her books including her award winning book, The Gruffalo, and What...
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Stories should be available and accessible to all children and adults. That's why we made sure our World Read Aloud Day story is available for free in all 11 official languages. On top of that, it's being offered in another language by Sign Language Education and Development (SLED). SLED collaborated with Story Bosso runners up, Kerrin Kokot and Jayne Batzofin, to produce an amazing video of the story 'Neo and...
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