This September, the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign is launching a nationwide storytelling competition to find South Africa’s first ‘Story Bosso’. Aimed at reawakening a love of storytelling among South Africans of all ages, the competition will connect the public to ideas and inspiration both on how to tell stories and read aloud to others; showcase a range of local stories (in all South African languages) as well as identify undiscovered storytellers in communities across the country.
“Storytelling is one of the greatest tools we have to develop not just our children’s curiosity and imaginations, but also their sense of empathy and belonging. Storytelling and reading aloud allow us to build connections with each other by passing on knowledge and providing a shared experience while at the same time being important building blocks of literacy learning,” comments Carole Bloch, Director of PRAESA (the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa), which is driving the Nal’ibali campaign.
Research shows that stories spark those parts of the brain concerned with imagination, emotion, sensation and movement; they create the neural circuits that ultimately enable sophisticated thinking and reasoning in young children. We also know that children who read for pleasure perform better in the classroom, not just in vocabulary and spelling, but in Maths and Science too. And stories are a great way to get children interested in books and reading – right from birth.
“As South Africans, we have a deep and respected history of storytelling. Those most fortunate among us will remember being enchanted as young children by the stories told to us by our gogos, parents and other family members. Stories were told to teach us lessons, instill morals and values and often, simply to entertain us. These storytelling moments stay with us throughout our lives and become some of our most cherished memories,” comments Smangele Mathebula, Nal’ibali Campaign Driver.
Yet, while we don’t all need to become professional storytellers, being a good storyteller or reader needs work. The ability to captivate and hold your audience while you weave a tale that will appeal to a varied audience and finish with flair takes practice! The Nal’ibali Story Bosso competition aims to not only seek out talented entertainers, but to highlight and share the tips and techniques that can help make everyone a better storyteller and get our children excited about books and reading.
Launching on 1 September 2015, and running throughout Literacy/Heritage Month, people of all ages - children, parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians - are invited to enter the competition. To do this, they must send in a video or audio clip of themselves reading or telling a favourite story or extract thereof. Entries can be submitted in any South African language in any genre but must be child-friendly and no longer than three minutes.
For those unable to record clips, Nal’ibali will be running a series of pop-up auditions to source stories directly from communities nationwide.
A host of celebrity judges will be on hand to help select the winning entrants – including the likes of Nik Rabinowitz, Bonnie Henna, Lebo Mashile and Sindiwe Magona – who stand the chance to win R15 000 in prizes, as well as special storytelling session with one of the judges… and of course, the chance to be named SA’s first ‘Story Bosso’.
For more information about the Nal’ibali Story Bosso competition, how to enter as well as reading tips and stories in a range of South African languages, visit www.nalibali.org, www.nalibali.mobi or find them on Facebook and Twitter: nalibaliSA. Nal’ibali is driven by PRAESA, 2015 laureate of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial award for children’s literature and reading promotion.
Issued by: Sally Mills
On behalf of: PRAESA
Contact: Sally Mills
021 448 6000