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This year the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign is offering children and caregivers the opportunity to become Story Champions by growing their own home libraries of South African children’s stories, thereby encouraging them to become regular readers. 

‘’All of us – children and adults alike – can become readers one book at a time,” says Yandiswa Xhakaza, Nal’ibali CEO. “Everyone can be a reader if they are given the opportunity, which is why we’re kickstarting the year with our 2021 Story Champion drive – to let all South Africans know that they need not be held back from reading by limited access to libraries or the prohibitive cost of books.”

Since 2012, Nal’ibali has been publishing an award-winning, bilingual newspaper story supplement which is now available in eight different official language combinations. Containing three new South African children’s stories in each edition, two of which are ‘cut-out-and-keep’ books, the supplement also features tips and ideas for caregivers on how to share the stories, plus story-related activities to extend children’s learning and fun after each reading. 

The campaign will be writing, translating, illustrating, and publishing a total of 10 editions of its supplement in 2021 which means that families will have access to no less than 30 children’s stories in eight different South African languages. 

“Most children’s stories are only available for purchase or borrowing from a library in a single or limited number of languages. Our translation of them is a significant contribution to the number of children’s leisure books available in different South African languages. This is important, not only for the continued prosperity of our languages, but because reading and listening to stories can only be enjoyable when you understand what is being said!” explains Xhakaza. 

To become a Story Champion, readers must download the free quarterly Story Champion chart from the Nal’ibali website (print and digital copies are available) and mark their progress as they read all the stories in the Nal’ibali story supplement each month. Entries must be submitted to the campaign at the end of each quarter. 

Nal’ibali will award book prizes to five Story Champions who read all the stories in that quarter, and one overall Story Champion who reads all the stories for the year. Story Champions will also have the opportunity to be featured in the Nal’ibali story supplement itself! 

“Of course, our Story Champions will not only have a great library, vocabulary and knowledge of stories; they will be reading ambassadors for those around them. Bringing stories to life by retelling them and acting them out with friends. These are all important parts of literacy learning and good, healthy ways to have fun!” concludes Xhakaza. 


The drive starts with the first edition of the Nal’ibali story supplement available in the week of 25 January. 

Caregivers wishing to support their children in becoming Story Champions can visit the Nal’ibali website for details on where to get the story supplement and are reminded that a regular reading routine need not be rigid. Reading can take place anytime, anywhere; during bath time, while waiting in the car, or even while dinner is being prepared. The important thing is that it happens regularly and in a way that is enjoyable for all.

For more details about the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign, its 2021 Story Champion drive as well as where to get a copy of its newspaper story supplement, visit




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