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Adding value to children's lives with Nal'ibali

My name is Marilize de Wet. I am 41 years old, from Pretoria and work as a classroom assistant for Gr R pupils.

I got hooked on reading stories when I was only 4 years old! My mom gave me a story book, with audio cassette, and although I could not read the words yet, I followed the pictures of the story while listening to the audio version.

I have always had a vivid imagination, so when my son was little, I used to tell him made-up stories at bedtime, and that is where the seed was planted for me to write stories for children.

My mother-in-law told me about Nal’ibali, after she heard their story segments on a local radio station, and upon visiting their website I instantly fell in love with the Nal’ibali initiative.

The stories are easily accessible in written form (with pictures!) and audio - all the ingredients that made me fall in love with reading - but best of all is that the stories are available in all official South African languages!

I desperately wanted to be part of this initiative that adds eternal value to a child`s life, and in turn Nal’ibali also added eternal value to my life as a writer, because to know that your stories are loved by children, is one of the greatest feelings in the world!

Between dreaming of being a published author, and actually being published, a few years have passed, so if I can offer some encouragement, it will be this: never ever stop writing. Your stories might get rejected more times than you can count, you may allow yourself about 2 hours of wallowing in the disappointment of receiving "that" rejection letter, but afterwards start reminding yourself what your motive is for writing your story. Use the criticism received as constructive. But never ever stop writing your stories!

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