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Win a Nal'ibali mini-library fully stocked with storybooks in different South African languages!

Reading is the apex of educational escapism; reading is fun and informative; reading creates thinkers and dreamers. Slotsom: reading rocks! (Bibliophile shot by Daniel Born.)

Nal’ibali, the nationwide reading-for-enjoyment campaign which aims to spark children’s potential through reading and storytelling, is supporting caregivers in kick-starting their children’s 2019 school year by giving away 20 mini-libraries fully stocked with storybooks in different South African languages.

Research shows that children who read for pleasure, do better across all school subjects, including maths.

However, to keep children reading, it’s helpful to understand what motivates them to read.

According to American researchers, Kathryn Edmunds and Kathryn Bauserman, the following factors influence children’s reading behaviours.

• Children are more likely to read a book they chose themselves

• Children enjoy books that match their personal interests

• Children are more likely to choose books that have exciting covers, great illustrations and action-packed plots, as well as books that are funny or scary

• What they could learn from reading a book was important to them

• Their interest in reading was sparked and encouraged by their family members (especially mothers), teachers and friends

• Children were often excited to read books they had heard about from friends

• Children enjoyed being read to by family members and teachers, even if they could already read

• Once they’d caught the reading bug, children continued to motivate themselves to read!

Nal’ibali mini libraries contain a carefully curated selection of books designed to expose children to a range of literacy and illustration styles.

Every library is bilingual in a bid to support a culture a multilingualism, and to help children build a strong foundation in their other tongue as well as English.

“Providing families and classrooms with their own mini libraries is just one of the ways we are nurturing a culture of reading in South Africa. Nal’ibali stories can also be accessed directly from its website, in its regular reading-for-enjoyment supplement or heard on the radio,” explains Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali Managing Director.

To stand a chance to win one of 20 mini-libraries, send a short motivation on how you plan to enjoy your mini-library with the children in your life to by 21 December 2018.

Entrants must also include their name, physical address and contact number. Winners will be notified during the week of 7th January 2019.

For more information about the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign, free children’s stories in a range of SA languages, tips on reading and writing with children, details on how to set up a reading club or to request training, visit,, or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Stories and smiles aplenty at Nal'ibali's book handover to the Thuma Mina Hillbrow Book Club

By Mila de Villiers

Bliss is perusing a bookshelf… (Shot for the shot, Daniel Born!)

The Thuma Mina Hillbrow Book Club, an exceptional book club created for orphanages in and around Johannesburg, was recently gifted books in English, Zulu and Sesotho by the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, Nal’ibali.

The handover of the donations was celebrated at Killarney Mall’s Exclusive Books on a sunny Saturday morning with Thuma Mina Book Club organisers, Nal’ibali team members, media and the buoyant bookworms in attendance.

The group of animated bibliophiles were also offered the luxury of selecting any two books to add to their growing libraries, thanks to a fundraiser organised by the Thuma Mina Book Club.

(Colouring-in books seemed to be a hit and Nomalizo Xabana, marketing manager for the book club, had to encourage more than one youngster to please “pick another storybook”…)

Nal’ibali’s Bongile Mtolo (and storyteller par excellence) treated the riveted audience to a reading of two stories from Nal’ibali’s story collection: Sisande’s Gift tells the tale of Sisande, an orphaned giraffe who’s gifted a book after the passing of her mother and The Rainbird – a fairy tale about hope, magic, courage and a fantastical avian.

Bongile Mtolo working his magic. Pic by Daniel Born.

Bongile interacted with the crowd during the reading of both stories, asking questions such as which gifts they’d like to receive for Christmas (a confident “iPhone 8!” was met with mirth from the group), and what they would name a giraffe if they were to own one (“Owen” was quite a surprising answer…)

Youngsters do tend to get a bit kriewelrig after having to sit for a prolonged period of time but Bongile kept the vibe alive by leading two lively renditions of the Nal’ibali hand-clap – because no, one doesn’t clap “like you’re in church” after being read to, he quipped.

All together now: “One, two, three!” [clap, clap, clap] / “One, two, three!” [clap, clap clap] aaand [Ululate!]

To paraphrase the Von Trapp siblings, the time to say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen and goodbye is inevitable and the merriment concluded with a donation from The Sowetan of R80 000 to Nal’ibali, presented to the organisation by Sowetan editor, S’thembiso Msomi.

Now that’s what one calls a contribution to a nation’s literary future.

A beaming Bongile Mtolo, Thuma Mina members and S’thembiso Msomi, as snapped by Daniel Born.

Inskrywings is oop vir LAPA se 2019 jeugromankompetisie!

LAPA hou weer ’n jeugromankompetisie.

Hierdie gewilde kompetisie het al groot name getrek, soos Fanie Viljoen (Afkop), Marita van der Vyfer (Al wat ek weet), Jan Vermeulen (Asem), Nanette van Rooyen (Ek was hier) en Carina Diedericks-Hugo (Permanente ink). Nuwe stemme, soos Zelda Bezuidenhout (As mens geluk kon proe) is ook in hierdie kompetisie ontdek.

Die kompetisie se prysgeld beloop R50 000! Die eerste prys is R25 000, tweede is R15 000 en derde is R10 000. Selfs skrywers wat nie in die top drie eindig nie, staan steeds ’n kans om gepubliseer te word.

LAPA nooi graag alle skrywers en voornemende skrywers uit om deel te neem aan hierdie geleentheid om die stories, wat in jou kop wemel, die lig te laat sien.

Inskrywings sluit die 31ste Oktober 2019. Besoek vir meer inligting.

* Die verhaal moet in Afrikaans geskryf wees, en gemik op lesers tussen 12 en 18 jaar oud. Die voorgeskrewe lengte is 30 000 tot 70 000 woorde.
* Alle inskrywings moet die deelnemer se oorspronklike, ongepubliseerde werk wees.
* Deelnemers gee aan LAPA die eerste opsie om enige van die inskrywings te publiseer. Geen ingeskrewe verhaal mag elders voorgelê word of wees vir moontlike publikasie nie. LAPA sal ná afloop van die kompetisie skriftelik met alle deelnemers in verbinding tree om te bevestig of hul verhale gepubliseer word al dan nie.
* Die prysgeld is as volg:
Eerste prys: R25 000
Tweede prys: R15 000
Derde prys: R10 000

* Die beoordelaars se beslissing is finaal en geen korrespondensie sal daaroor gevoer word nie. Indien die gehalte van die inskrywings nie na die beoordelaars en LAPA Uitgewers se mening voldoende is nie, word die reg voorbehou om geen pryse toe te ken nie.

* Die volgende inligting moet op die heel eerste bladsy van die voorlegging verskyn en enige inskrywing kan gediskwalifiseer word indien dit nie daarop verskyn nie:
• Die skrywer se naam en van
• Titel van die manuskrip
• Lengte (aantal woorde) van manuskrip
• E-posadres
• Telefoonnommer

*Indien daar onder skuilnaam geskryf word, moet die skrywer se volle naam en van ook op die heel eerste bladsy van die manuskrip aangebring word.

*Die deelnemer se naam, of skuilnaam, moet op die eerste bladsy verskyn, maar dit mag nêrens elders op die manuskrip verskyn nie. Sou dit iewers anders verskyn, kan die manuskrip summier gediskwalifiseer word.

* Inskrywings moet op genommerde A4-bladsye getik wees, slegs aan een kant van die bladsy, in dubbelspasiëring en in ’n maklik leesbare lettertipe (soos Arial of Times New Roman).
* Die sluitingsdatum vir inskrywings is 31 Oktober 2019. Geen laat inskrywings sal aanvaar word nie.
* Wenners sal in Januarie 2020 bekendgemaak word.
* Werknemers van die ATKV en LAPA Uitgewers mag nie deelneem nie.
* LAPA Uitgewers aanvaar geen aanspreeklikheid vir verlore manuskripte nie. Dit is altyd raadsaam om ’n afskrif van ’n manuskrip te hou.
* Deur in te skryf onderneem jy dat jy al die reëls gelees en aanvaar het.
* Inskrywings kan op drie maniere voorgelê word.

• Per e-pos: stuur dit aan met JEUGROMANKOMPETISIE en jou manuskrip se naam as onderwerp.
• Per koerier: Stuur dit aan LAPA Uitgewers, Jeugromankompetisie, Bosmanstraat 380, Pretoria, 0002
• Die posdiens is uiters onbetroubaar en baie stadig, maar voorleggings kan ook gestuur word aan: LAPA Uitgewers, Jeugromankompetisie, Posbus 123, Pretoria, 0001



Afkop deur Fanie Viljoen
EAN: 9780799372885
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

Al wat ek weet

Al wat ek weet deur Marita Van der Vyver
EAN: 9780799378993
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Asem deur Jan Vermeulen
EAN: 9780799379037
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Permanente ink

Permanente ink deur Carina Diedericks-Hugo
EAN: 9780799354836
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As mens geluk kon proe

As mens geluk kon proe deur Zelda Bezuidenhout
EAN: 9780799389470
Spoor hierdie boek met BOOK Finder op!

"Having the luxury of reading for pleasure is something we’d like everyone to have" - a Q&A with Open Book School Library Project facilitator, Frankie Murrey

Nal’ibali column: 14 November 2018

By Carla Lever

Frankie Murrey, facilitator of Open Book Festival’s Open Book School Project

What made the team at Open Book Festival decide to take up the challenge of giving young children access to quality books?

From the start, we have been committed to doing whatever we are able to in order to increase learners’ access to books. Books have such a far reaching impact on one’s life and understanding of the world in which we live.

Can you tell us a little about the school book project – what it involves and how it works?

Initially the Open Book School Project saw us putting libraries into schools, but we came to realise that those libraries were underused. What we do now is put boxes of library books – we call them Open Boxes – into classrooms so that teachers and learners have access to books throughout the day. We work with the teachers to ensure that the books are relevant to the learners.

Are there any grades you strategically choose to target, or is it different for every school?

We piloted the Open Box project at St Mary’s Primary in Cape Town and there we went through the entire school, donating boxes of books grade by grade. This year we worked with Siyazingisa and placed Open Boxes in each of their Grade R classes. We’re looking to work with another Grade R group in Gugulethu in 2019.

Of course, it’s not just books you give children access to, but also a culture of reading for enjoyment and fun. Can you tell us a little about the mentoring and event side of the project?

At each of the handovers, we run some kind of book related activity that’s designed to get the kids excited about reading. This depends a lot on the age group we are working with, so this past year has been a storytime and drawing which is always loads of fun.

What has the feedback been like, from teachers, kids and parents?

From teachers and kids, the feedback has been fantastic. It’s been particularly tricky this year to source a range of books in isiXhosa, though. Teachers we’ve worked with have understood that at times we have had to put English titles into the boxes, but we always try to stock a variety of fantastic, exciting stories in the children’s mother tongue.

What have some of your favourite moments been, working on this project?

Watching the kids get hooked into the stories that are being read to them is amazing. I don’t think it’s something anyone can get tired of! Lwandiso Ntanga of the Book Lounge has been central to the smooth running of the project in 2018. Watching him interact with the Grade R learners has been an absolute delight. The world missed out on a very gifted teacher when he went the route of bookseller! As a mother-tongue Xhosa speaker, he’s ideally suited to speak to the children and share his passion for books, too.

Lwandiso Ntanga and a group of riveted young bibliophiles

Why is it so important for young people to have access to exciting books in their own languages from an early age (and throughout their lives)?

Having the luxury of reading for pleasure is something we’d like everyone to have. Without books that resonate in one’s own language, though, that becomes more difficult. It’s through books and stories that so many of us are able to recognise ourselves. When books that speak to who you are in the language that you speak are missing, that’s a failure we are all responsible for fixing.

What can we all do to support and develop all SA children’s love for reading, no matter where we live in the country?

There are a number of organisations that work to get books into schools – Nal’ibali and Book Dash are great examples. See what’s happening in your area and double check that the books are actually well matched to the learners. See if you can join a group that visits schools. Check with your local public library what their youth programme is like.

How can people get involved with your specific project?

They can get in touch with me at

So often we make our literacy challenge the problem of individuals – people should donate more books, support more charities and so on. This often lets the big players off the hook. Ultimately, of course, today’s children without books become the next generation of workers and entrepreneurs supporting our economy. What role do you think businesses and government should be playing to take responsibility at a macro level?

I would love to see government increasing budgets to allow schools additional salaries to employ librarians. I would also like to see them putting money into growing children’s publishing across all languages in South Africa. On the corporate side, many companies already have projects of their own that target school learners in different ways. It would be fantastic to see more companies involved in supporting increased reading in some way, whether it’s through putting a book directly into someone’s hands, or whether it’s through supporting the creation of kids content.

Reading and telling stories with your children is a powerful gift to them. It builds knowledge, language, imagination and school success! For more information about the Nal’ibali campaign, or to access children’s stories in a range of South African languages, visit:

13-year-old Praises Banda has been announced as the winner of Nal'ibali's 2018 Story Bosso contest!

Via Nal’ibali

Praises Banda, a 13-year-old Grade 7 pupil from Leboho Primary School in Limpopo, has been announced as 2018′s Story Bosso winner!

Story Bosso is a multilingual storytelling contest designed to provide aspiring storytellers with an opportunity to showcase their talent and to promote storytelling in all official South African languages. It’s an initiative of South Africa’s national-reading-for-enjoyment campaign, Nal’ibali.

The theme for this year’s talent search was ‘South African Heroes’. By remembering and telling the stories of our heroes, the campaign aimed to inspire greatness in all South African children.

Says Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali Managing Director:

“Heroes guide us about how to live our lives; they give us hope and motivate us to overcome challenges. We were blown away by young Praises Banda from Ga-Kibi, Dankie Village, in Limpopo, as her story, skillfully told in her home language Sepedi, did exactly that.”

Told with both sadness and passion, Banda’s story is about her personal hero, Kholofelo Sasebola, who put an end to the bullying she endured at school.

“The sadness in Praises’ voice is palpable. You can tell the bullying was traumatic, but, at the same time, you can hear her passion for celebrating the deed of her hero. Her command of Sepedi is commendable. Though the story is told in simple sentences, Praises uses the language playfully, and the story is easy to understand,” comments Lorato Trok, Story Bosso judge and children’s story development expert.

Storytelling is an important part of South African heritage and plays a key role in children’s literacy development by encouraging the use of imagination, curiosity, and empathy.

More than 50 special storytelling events were held across the country throughout September to allow members of the public to practice and build their storytelling skills before entering the contest.

Banda’s story was selected from over two thousand entries and, as this year’s Story Bosso, she will be receiving R5 000, a book hamper, and R500 worth of airtime.

A further five prizes will be awarded to provincial winners. Thabiso Khoeli from the Free State; Sibongile Mofokeng from Gauteng; Afika Cwecwe from the Eastern Cape; Mandisa Madlala from KwaZulu-Natal and Mbalentle Mangete from the Western Cape will each receive R1 000, a book hamper as well as R250 of airtime.

“Stories need to be valued for the critical contribution they play in the development of young minds. They help build neural circuits in our brains, particularly in young brains, that ultimately enable sophisticated thinking and reasoning,” says Jacobsohn.

“We know that well told stories – where a word may be a snarl, a shout, a whisper, or a cry – can be a colourful trail of chocolate Smarties that lead children to books! Those bonding moments of sharing stories with children help to root the seeds of a culture of reading into South African homes. We are proud of all of our winners this year for showing us what good storytelling can be,” concludes Jacobsohn.

To listen to the winning stories, or to find out more about Story Bosso and the Nal’ibali campaign, visit the Nal’ibali website on

Michael Ende se immergewilde Die eindelose storie is vir die eerste keer in Afrikaans vertaal!

Bastian Balthasar Bux ontdek in ’n boekwinkel ’n geheimsinnige boek: Die eindelose storie. Opgewonde neem hy dit saam en word ingetrek in die wilde avonture van die helde Atréju en sy gevaarlike opdrag: om die ryk van Fantasieë en sy heerser die kinderlike keiserin te red. Wanneer Bastian besef dat hierdie fantasiewêreld in groot gevaar verkeer, ontdek hy dat hy die aangewese persoon is om dit te red. Kan Bastian die grens tussen realiteit en sy verbeelding oorkom om Fantasieë te red? En hoe verlaat mens ’n ryk wat geen grense het nie?

Michael Ende (1929–1995) tel vandag tot een van die bekendste en veelsydigste Duitse skrywers. Naas kinder- en jeugboeke skryf hy poëtiese prenteboeke, boeke vir volwassenes, teaterstukke en gedigte. Baie van sy boeke is verfilm of vir radio of televisie bewerk.

Roswitha Quadflieg, gebore in 1949, het skilderkuns, illustrasie en tipografie studeer. Sy is ’n bekende skrywer in Duitsland en voormalige boekkunstenaar en -ontwerper. Die bladsyletters wat sy vir die oorspronklike.

Gunther Pakendorf is in 1944 op ’n sendingstasie by Middelburg, Transvaal gebore. Hy het wye navorsings-belangstellings en publikasies oor verskeie temas, onder andere klassieke Duitse letterkunde, die Modernisme, die eietydse Duitse roman, literêre tekste rondom die Holocaust, koloniale letterkunde en die geskrifte van die Duitse sendelinge in Suid-Afrika. Hy het verder ’n besondere belangstelling in die Afrikaanse letterkunde, veral in vergelykende aspekte van Duits en Afrikaans en literêre vertalings. Hy het einde 2009 afgetree en is tans Professor Emeritus by die Universiteit van Kaapstad asook Buitengewone Professor in die Departement Moderne Vreemde Tale aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch.