Girls’ voices can be heard – or read

2017-08-15 06:02
Author Buhle Ngaba with some of the learners who received copies of her book.

Author Buhle Ngaba with some of the learners who received copies of her book.

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The national reading-for-enjoyment campaign has joined forces with young author and activist Buhle Ngaba to bring the power of stories to girls.

Ngaba’s acclaimed children’s book, The Girl without a Sound, is a moving story about the importance of hearing the stories and voices of girls.

Originally available in English and Ngaba’s home language, Setswana, the Nal’ibali campaign has translated the story into South Africa’s two most widely spoken languages, isiXhosa and isiZulu, and is making it available for free download from its web- and mobi­sites during August.

“It means a lot to me to have done this in collaboration with Nal’ibali,” says Ngaba. “It started off as me writing a story about how I felt voiceless as a little girl but, as I shared the story with others, I was overwhelmed by their support as they recognised the same feelings within themselves. I began to realise and see the need to make space for the voices of girls and women to be heard and I hope that more writers and creators will join me.”

Launching the month-long campaign, Ngaba gave a special reading to learners of Seaview Primary School in Rocklands last Monday.

Impressing on the learners the need to let their voices be heard and to dream big, Ngaba gave every girl a piece of paper and encouraged them to draw a picture of their dreams after her book was read out loud.

Further supporting Ngaba in her drive to promote stories in which women and girls – and especially those of colour – are presented as strong and capable, Nal’ibali is encouraging girls to find their voices and share their stories through a writing competition this month.

The competition calls for stories with female lead characters and welcomes entries in any South African language.

A prize of a R500 book voucher will be awarded in September.

V To download the book visit www.girlwithoutasound.com, www.nalibali.­org or www.nalibali.mobi. Entries for the writing competition can be submitted to info@­nalibali.org.

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