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Literacy Blog

Well known for his work on the African lion, Gareth Patterson is an environmentalist, independent wildlife researcher, public speaker and author who has worked tirelessly for more than 25 years for the 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. Symbolizing wisdom, protection, courage and royalty, humankind...
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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 supplement. 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...
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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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Why stories are not just for bedtime

Posted on
October, 13th 2015
Do you read to your children regularly? Many parents who read to their children do this as part of their children’s bedtime routine. They cuddle up to their children and read a story or two before its time for their children to drift off to dreamland. Bedtime stories are an easy way of helping your children to relax at the end of a busy...
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Thabiso Mahlape is a publisher with Jacana. She recently launched a new book imprtint, BlackBird Books which seeks to provide a platform and publishing home to both new voices and the existing generation of black writers and narratives. Thabisa 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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Nal'ibali's Storyplay Coordinator, Nadia Lubowski, travelled to KwaZulu-Natal to train and support ECD practitioners in their implementation of the Storyplay approach. In this piece, she relays her personal and professional experience in helping spread the power of stories: We had been driving since 7 am in the morning; we had visited six early childhood development (ECD) sites by mid afternoon. My thoughts were meandering between...
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