Zukiswa Wanner’s “The Final Minute” translated into 11 languages for World Read Aloud Day

22 Jan 2018
World Read Aloud Day 2018

World Read Aloud Day takes place on 1 February every year. For 2018’s edition, literacy advocates Nal’ibali have commissioned PEN SA member Zukiswa Wanner to write a story to be translated into all official South African languages and read aloud to children on the day. That story is “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 championship”, and will be read aloud throughout South Africa this February 1st.

But why is reading aloud to children so important?

“As 2017 wound down”, Wanner writes, “South Africa heard news that broke our collective hearts”:

A report by Progress in International Literacy Study (PIRLS) alerted us that, in case you missed it, 78 percent of South African fourth graders cannot read for meaning in any language. This, despite education being one of the ministries that consistently gets a bigger chunk of the national budget annually. So where are we going wrong?

Nal’ibali believes that reading for enjoyment has to be inculcated in children from a young age. To this end, Nal’ibali hopes to organise readings to one million children this World Read Aloud Day. To do this, they need the help of lots of readers! You can sign up here.

Read more from Wanner’s post about World Read Aloud Day, and find out more about her story, “The Final Minute”, on Nal’ibali’s website.

(Image courtesy of Nal’ibali)