Nal’ibali encourages telling own stories, book reading

2015-04-30 06:00
Kamohelo Ramaipato(back row), Nal’ibali, with members of New Generation Reading Club, during the launch of Literacy Rights Poster.

Mbongiseni Maseko

Kamohelo Ramaipato(back row), Nal’ibali, with members of New Generation Reading Club, during the launch of Literacy Rights Poster. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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The mission to encourage reading culture was taken to another level with the Literacy Rights Poster being launched on Thursday in Khayelitsha.

Nal’ibali commemorated This World Book and Copyright Day with the launch of Literacy Rights Poster at LoveLife Khayelitsha Y-Centre, in Harare, on the day.

The poster is set to create an enjoyable environment for children to read and also inspire them to become competent readers and writers.

It was also designed as a guide for the children to know their literacy rights in a way that is fun and accessible to them.

The poster is available in all 11 official languages in the country.

Among the rights written on the poster are: to listen to hundreds and even thousands of stories and tell your own stories too, to use you own languages and learn other languages and also to talk about stories and books with friends, families and teachers.

It is endorsed by the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY International), The South African Book Development Council/National Book Week, The Publishers Association of South Africa (PASA), the Little Hands Trust, and PEN South Africa.

Kamohelo Ramaipato of Nal’ibali, said his organisation is not only set to benefit children, but everyone.

“We encourage mother tongue and we also encourage multilingualism. It is important to read and also for the parents to read for their children. Anyone can become a writer,” Ramaipato said.

The event was attended by, among other guests, Councillor Anele Gabuza of Ward 98, Emile “Emile YX?” Jansen, a break-dancer, hip-hop pioneer, activist and writer, Namhla Maxayi from Harare library, teachers and learners from Luleka Primary School, Intshayelelo Primary School, Isiphiwo Primary School, Kuyasa Primary School and Kwamfundo Senior Secondary School.

Gabuza told learners to read everything that they see and everywhere they go.

“Education is very important and reading is also very important. You must read even if you are sitting in a toilet. This country needs people who are educated. Everybody must be educated,” he said.

Jansen said he did not like reading when he was young, but he later changed his behaviour towards reading after he was encouraged to do so.

“I later realised that what we were taught in school was part of the truth. There are also many things that we are not told which forms part of our history. So it is important to tell your story by writing it. Africans should tell African stories and we must not wait for someone from an overseas country to tell our stories. If you can read you can also be able to understand many things. You can also earn a living by writing,” Jansen said.

There are reading clubs that have since been formed in the area such as New Generation Reading Club and other clubs that are formed by learners from different schools.

Kamvalakhe Sika, 15, of New Generation Reading Club and a learner from Kwamfundo Senior Secondary School, said joining the reading club has benefited her in many ways.

“I was shy to read in front of my class before I joined the club, but now I feel free and confident to do so. It is a nice thing to read,” Sika said.

Nontuthuzelo Mayeki, teacher from Kuyasa Primary School, said the reading culture must be encouraged.

“It is important for children to read, because that is where they get knowledge and also improve their vocabulary. It also guides them to their destiny. It builds their confidence and become more informed than the others,” Mayeki said.

The copies of the poster are made freely available to members of the public

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