World Read Aloud Day with Nal’ibali

We’ve talked about the magic of Nal’ibali before but, with World Read Aloud Day coming up later this week (Wednesday, 04 March), we thought we’d bring you a little update from the team:

Nalibali World Read Aloud Day 2

Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, is calling on all South Africans to join them in celebrating one of the most important dates in the literacy calendar, World Read Aloud Day, on Wednesday 04 March. Raising awareness of the importance of reading aloud for children’s literacy development, and attempting to break its read-aloud record from 2014, the campaign is asking adults across the country to read aloud the same story on the same day to the children in their lives. Each year, Nal’ibali commissions a new story to share on this day, and makes it available in all 11 official languages. This year’s story has been written by one of South Africa’s best-loved storytellers, Gcina Mhlophe.

This year’s special World Read Aloud Day story, Sisanda’s Gift, will be issued in all 11 official  South African languages and will be freely available for download (as a print or audio story) in any of these languages via the Nal’ibali website, mobisite and Mxit app from the end of February. Those participating will also be able to sign up on these platforms to share how many children they will be reading to.

The story, together with additional information and activities, will also appear in a special edition of the campaign’s weekly reading-for-enjoyment supplement. Produced in partnership with Times Media, the Nal’ibali supplement is the only bilingual literacy resource of its kind, offering literacy tips, stories and reading activities in English, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho and Afrikaans. Broadcast partner, SABC Education, will also ensure that the story is read aloud on air in all official languages (see participating titles and stations below).

Here’s how you can participate:

NaliBali World Read Aloud Day 1

To sign-up, download, or to print out Nal’ibali’s special World Read Aloud Day story for yourself, your school, crèche, staff or others in your area, visit, or email

Cath Jenkin

As a mom, Cath raises her daughter with a strong focus on technology, as she believes that digital literacy is as important as learning to read. With a long history of creating content for online and print publications, and in particular as a parenting columnist, Cath brings her curious mind... Read more

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