Nal'ibali celebrated as sole African honoree at the 2019 Library of Congress Literacy Awards

“Literacy is the ticket to learning, opportunity and empowerment on a global scale.
“Literacy is the ticket to learning, opportunity and empowerment on a global scale.

Nal’ibali, South Africa’s reading for enjoyment campaign, has been named best practice honorees at the 2019 Library of Congress Literacy Awards.

The NGO was one of just a handful of organisations from around the world (and the sole African recipient) to be honoured for its efforts to improve reading levels in South Africa.

Also see: Parent24's Storytime hub featuring free Nal'ibali stories

Nal'ibali Managing Director Jade Jacobsohn says she is happy to share this award not only with her team, but also with "ordinary South African superheroes."

"This wonderful honour from the Library of Congress must be extended to our team, and our community of everyday, ordinary South African superheroes who drive the Nal’ibali movement. Our campaign gets its legs (and its heart!) from our network of FUNda Leaders who create opportunities every day for South African children to fall in love with books,” Jade said.

The award comes after high praise from the DG Murray Trust and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) who supported Nal’ibali in their quest to earn this award.

Dr. David Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the DG Murray Trust reiterated his confidence in Nal’ibali’s vision of promoting literacy development through a culturally relevant, aspirational and effective campaign.

"Nal’ibali’s core aim is to spark and embed a culture of reading for enjoyment across South Africa, making reading, writing and sharing stories – in all South African languages – part of everyday life. The need in South Africa is dire. The 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) revealed that 8 out of 10 nine-year olds in the country are unable to read for meaning in any language," says Harrison.

To date, Nal’ibali has distributed over 30 million newspaper reading supplements, circulated almost 500 000 books, trained over 13 000 people to spark the joy of reading and reach millions of children through its World Read Aloud Day campaigns. 

We'd say the recognition is well-earned. 

For more information about the Nal’ibali campaign, or to access children’s stories in a range of South African languages, visit You can also find Nal’ibali on Facebook and Twitter

Compiled for Parent24 by Lesley-Anne Johannes.

Chat back:

Share your story with us, and we could publish your mail. Anonymous contributions are welcome.\

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

Read more:

Parents can help kids catch up in reading with a 10-minute daily routine

READ: Thoko’s first library book (In English, IsiZulu, IsiXhosa and 3 more languages

LISTEN: Local podcast chats about female authors making waves in children's literature

Unlock the power of a library from your phone

The FunDza Literacy Trust works to ignite a reading and writing revolution

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Should the red carpet portion of SONA be scrapped this year?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's inappropriate given the state of the country
93% - 1550 votes
No, it's part of the tradition
7% - 108 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.