reading teacher Does your child hold the next SA hero in their imagination? We'd love to hear their story

Your child could be the next greatest child author in South Africa if they share their South African Hero story with Nal’ibali & the SA United Nations.


Storytelling is an important part of growing up, whether that be hearing the stories from another storyteller or becoming the storyteller.

September is both literacy month and heritage month, so Nal’ibali – the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign – has collaborated with the South African office of the United Nations, to host their annual multilingual storytelling contest, Story Bosso.

The storytelling contest is used to nurture a new generation of courageous and literate children. The contest was launched on Friday, 31 August, and is running for the month of September. Stories for this year need to focus on ‘South African Heroes’ as the theme. 

“By remembering and telling the stories of our heroes, we hope to inspire greatness in our children. Heroes educate us about what is right and wrong; they give us hope and motivate us to overcome life’s challenges. When children hear stories about heroes they can identify with, they can internalise these values and are more likely to act on them, making heroic and moral behaviour part of their everyday lives,” says Jade Jacobsohn, Managing Director at Nal’ibali. 

Firstly the child should select their hero, which can be a living legend, fictional, personal or someone from the past. They should then pick their setting, any world or environment will do. Once they have the basics, they can start writing their story.

The magic is all locked away in the imagination, just waiting to be released into the world. Nal’ibali has some helpful tips on their website which will explain how to build the perfect story. You can find all nine of them here. There is even a fun game which can be played with friends to help build the perfect story, it can be found in 11 different South African languages here.

The campaign will also directly connect with at least 10 000 adults and children through a series of community and regional events held by its literacy mentors, schools’ network – Story Powered Schools, and volunteers or FUNda Leaders across the country. Guests will have the opportunity to play the board game in their home language before auditioning and entering a story in any one of this year’s four categories: Hero of the Past, Living Legend, Personal Hero, and Fictional Hero. 

Many of the values for which South African heroes stand, align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity and dignity for all.

“We hope that all who participate in this year’s contest will see that the Sustainable Development Goals are really human rights and that those who stand up for them are heroes.” – Masimba Tafirenyika, Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Pretoria:

UN ambassador Yvonne Chaka Chaka, local celebrity and hero Busisiwe Mmotla, and Miss Soweto all attended the opening of the competition at a primary school in Soweto. They shared their own stories and kicked off the entries in Gauteng.

This year’s Story Bosso, or first-place winner, will be awarded R5 000 as well as a book hamper. A further eight provincial prizes will be awarded and each of these winners will receive R1 000 as well as airtime. Stories must be entered by 30 September. All winners will be announced in October.

To see full event details, download the board game, or submit a story digitally, visit the Nal’ibali website at Stories can also be submitted via Nal’ibali’s WhatsApp number, 076 598 1039, or email at Entries should not be longer than three minutes and must include the entrant’s name, age, contact details, language, province, and entry category.

If your child has a story to share, be sure to enter the phenomenal contest.

Sources: Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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