Are you South Africa’s next Story Bosso?

Since the dawn of human history, we have used stories to communicate meaning and values to each other. Stories immerse us in shared experiences, and stories ignite hope and inspire dreams.

“Each of us has a story to tell, in our own language and reflective of our own culture and lives,” says Jade Jacobson, MD of Nal’ibali, the NGO that exists to explore, acknowledge and feature different kinds of stories in all of the 11 official South African languages.

“Stories are a powerful way to not only immerse children in early literacy development, but to create identity and empower young girls and boys.

“It is vital that children see themselves, their language and their culture represented in stories,” she says.

To encourage and celebrate a culture of storytelling, Nal’ibali is currently running its second annual Story Bosso competition. This competition is open to anyone, from children to parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians and anyone else who has a story to tell. Age is no barrier: last year’s winner was seven-year-old Athandiwe Sikade, from Chumisa Primary in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

Until the middle of October, South Africa’s storytellers are invited to send Nal’ibali a video or audio clip of themselves reading or telling a story.

Entries can be submitted in any of the 11 official South African languages; and can be original stories made up by participants, retellings of stories heard before, a narrative poem, or simply an extract from their favourite book or sample story provided by Nal’ibali.

The winner will be crowned South Africa’s second “Story Bosso” and will have their winning story published as a book. Runner-up prizes include books, book vouchers and mobile hanging libraries.

To find out more, go to For more information about the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign and the Story Bosso competition, as well as reading tips and stories in a range of South African languages, visit, or find them on Facebook and Twitter: nalibaliSA.

For more information or interviews, contact or call 021 554 6270.