Students from the Orlando Pirates Learning Centre and four first team players attended the World Read Aloud day celebrations in partnership with Nal’iBali at Mofolo Park. Over 1000 children from schools in Soweto gathered to be read to by acclaimed South African writer, Zukiswa Wanner.
Every year Nal’ibali – the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign – celebrates World Read Aloud Day by inviting adults, caregivers and communities to join them in reading the same special story out loud to children across South Africa. This year’s story was written by Zukiswa Wanner and translated in all 11 official SA languages and has a soccer theme.
This was part of the nationwide drive by Nal’iBali to read to 1 000 000 children on the day. The campaign hopes to highlight the importance of reading and being read to and inspire children to develop a love for reading. Orlando Pirates players Ayanda Nkosi, Thabo Qalinge, Diamond Thopola and Gladwin Shitolo were on hand to show their support for the initiative and confirm their strong belief in the importance of reading.
The children were inspired by being read to by adults who care about their futures and this motivated them to continue reading and asking other adults in their lives to commit to reading to them. The learners were also thrilled to see their favourite players attend the event and happy to learn of their positive attitude towards reading and the importance of books in a child’s life.
The event closed with the children receiving a special edition copy of the story in their home language and a book to continue reading at home.