'Giving classic fairy tales a modern spin': Nal'ibali and Standard Bank team up to retell classic fairytales

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'Eight out of every ten children in South Africa are functionally illiterate, meaning that they cannot read or write at a basic level. However, children who are exposed to great and well-told stories in languages they understand are motivated to learn to read and write for themselves.'
'Eight out of every ten children in South Africa are functionally illiterate, meaning that they cannot read or write at a basic level. However, children who are exposed to great and well-told stories in languages they understand are motivated to learn to read and write for themselves.'

Storytelling is an essential forerunner in children's literacy development and an important way of preserving culture and language. 

This is why, as part of Literacy and Heritage Month, Standard Bank and Nal'ibali have teamed up to launch South Africa's reading-for-enjoyment campaign.

This special project is an extension of Nal'ibali's collaboration with Standard Bank which began in 2020 as an emergency Covid-19 literacy and education intervention.

The project would be retelling three time-honoured stories, namely; Little Red Riding Hood, The Ugly Duckling, and The Frog Prince - but each with a twist.

These legendary tales will be retold with more modern and relatable contexts in isiZulu, Setswana, and English by notable local storytellers: Sihle Nontshokweni, Buhle Ngaba and Sanelisiwe Ntuli.

"By giving classic fairy tales a modern spin and having South African artists retell them with culturally relevant settings and characters, we are not only promoting local talent, languages and culture, we are also exposing South African children to internationally recognised stories and lessons," says Yandiswa Xhakaza, Nal’ibali CEO.

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"Reading and sharing stories with children is one of the most powerful gifts we can give them, more so in languages they can fully understand, and children who regularly read for pleasure perform better in the classroom, regardless of their family’s social or financial standing," says Kirsten Greenop, Head of Regulatory Advocacy, Stake Holder Engagement and CSI at Standard Bank South Africa

These stories with a "modern spin" will be told live and for free to the public through a series of three Facebook-live sessions commencing on Wednesday, 08 September, or International Literacy Day.

The three public storytelling sessions will be broadcast on the Nal'ibali Facebook page, @NalibaliSA, and members of the public are invited to join the performances and to access Nal'ibali's free reading-for-enjoyment training at www.nalibali.mobi.

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