We're proud to look back on 2019 as a year of consolidation and innovation.

This year, our work was guided by three new strategies, FUNda Stronger, FUNda Wider and FUNda Forward.

  • FUNda Stronger
    We sought to strengthen support to our network of reading clubs, partners and literacy activists;
  • FUNda Wider
    We sought to grow our reach by making it easier and more attractive to join the Nal’ibali movement, and sharing that call to action with the nation;
  • FUNda Forward
    We sought to shape the agenda and conversation by deepening advocacy and collaboration.

We couldn’t have achieved any of this without our amazing network of partners, reading club leaders and literacy activists around the country. We salute the thousands of change-makers who make stories come alive for children and set them on a path to success – the real drivers of South Africa’s reading revolution.

Managing Director's message

A year of consolidation and innovation

Outgoing Managing Director's message

Jade - MD Nalibali

The tremendous challenges our country is up against will only be further aggravated by our dismal literacy rates. With the vast majority of children in Grade 4 unable to read for meaning, how will this next generation, bubbling up arduously through a stretched schooling system (40% of them never making it), cope with adulthood? What capabilities will they bring into the work force? How will they participate in society? Will they teach their own children how to read?...

Incoming Chief Executive Officer’s message

Yandiswa Xhakaza - CEO Nalibali

Nal’ibali is both an exciting and important organisation in the context of South Africa and Southern Africa at large. The low literacy levels in our society are a huge impediment to learning and the achievement of excellent learning outcomes. It becomes incredibly important for us to work as a collective to address this problem. I see Nal’ibali as part of a much broader literacy ecosystem that brings an important contribution to the collective efforts of all those who work in the literacy space.....

Chairperson's message

The Chinese curse, to live in interesting times, has never been more apposite than now. But for all the challenges brought by the Pandemic, it has also blessed our human interactions: kindness has become a primary focus for all of us because our shared humanity comes to the fore...


2019: our biggest year yet

On many counts, 2019 was Nal’ibali’s biggest year yet! We’re proud to report the following key results...

Multilingual Stories
FUNda Leaders


Evidence of behaviour change: findings from our third annual survey

Each year Nal’libali surveys a random sample of the literacy activists in our network, known as FUNda Leaders, to better understand their reading habits...


New projects

After much anticipation, Nal’ibali launched its Story Power in Motion mobile library project, funded by DGMT. The fleet of four tuk-tuks, retrofitted as libraries with Literacy Mentors at the wheel...

Check Our Mobile Libraries In Your Area
Story Powered Schools


Story Powered Schools: celebrating the end of an era

In September 2019, our three-year Story Powered Schools project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), drew to a close...


FUNda Sonke loyalty programme

In April 2019, we launched our FUNda Sonke loyalty programme, a networking and resource hub to encourage, support and reward our passionate literacy activists. It features...

FUNda Sonke Loyalty Programme
Reading Club - Welcome Booklet


Reading Club Journey

Over the last three years, Nal’ibali’s reading club network grew more than fourfold, from 1,271 clubs in 2016 to 5,220 clubs in 2019. In 2018, we learned that resourcing in Nal'ibali reading clubs…


Libraries campaign

Public libraries are a critical resource for building a culture of reading, but they are drastically underutilised in South Africa. Some provinces also charge unnecessary membership fees...

Free Library Card


Reading club quality evaluation

In 2019, our first major evaluation of reading club quality and sustainability was conducted by JET Education Services. It included telephonic surveys with random samples of...


Content and Learning

In 2019, Nal’ibali established a new Content & Learning department to drive content development, training and skills development, and distribution partnerships.…

Clowns Without Borders


A collaboration to smile about - Clowns Without Borders

As part of Nal’ibali’s larger library promotion work, and to demonstrate proof of concept for what reading for enjoyment can look like in libraries...



Awards aren’t everything, but being recognised for our contribution to literacy development in South Africa, has filled us with joy. The Systematic Joy of Reading Award is an...

Literacy Awards


Some words from our funders

The DG Murray Trust

The DG Murray Trust

FirstRand Empowerment Foundation

FirstRand Empowerment Foundation

Hosken Consolidated Investments Foundation

Hosken Consolidated Investments Foundation

United States Agency for International Development

United States Agency for International Development

Volkswagen Community Trust

Volkswagen Community Trust

The overall aim of the Nal’ibali campaign is to cultivate and sustain national culture of reading for enjoyment in South Africa through a campaign that…

2019 Audited financial statements