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.


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!


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)