PEN SA Members Read Aloud to Children on #WRAD18

07 Feb 2018
PEN SA Members Read Aloud to Children on #WRAD18

The first of February every year marks World Read Aloud Day, a day on which writers and members of the public read aloud to children. For this year’s #WRAD18, local literacy advocates Nal’ibali hoped that one million South African children would be read to. As should have been expected, PEN SA members took to the challenge with gusto.

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Every year, Nal’ibali commissions a prominent South African writer to pen a story to be translated into all official South African languages. PEN SA member Zukiswa Wanner was that writer this year, and she read out her story “The Final Minute” – about “a football-loving future Bafana Bafana player and his best friend who hope to lead South Africa to winning the World Cup” – to over one thousand children in Soweto’s Mofolo Park!

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The story was read in isiZulu, Sesotho and English, and featured a ball-kicking performance by football players from Orlando Pirates. They then told “the children the importance of reading,” Wanner says, “even if their future career is as a sportsperson.”

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Elsewhere, PEN SA Board Member Yewande Omotoso read “The Final Minute” to a very enthusiastic and – we’re told – loving group of children, while Sally Partridge gave a virtual reading of her new novel Mine:

Unathi Magubeni also took the time to read out a chapter of his debut novel, Nwelezelanga: The Star Child, which you can listen to here:

Official statistics have not yet been released by Nal’ibali – but whatever the result, #WRAD18 was a great success.

(Images courtesy of Nal’ibali, Zukiswa Wanner, and Yewande Omotoso)

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