Tiso Blackstar’s play-it-forward campaign lets TimesLIVE readers win books for schools, reading clubs & libraries

Johannesburg, 11 April 2018:  As part of its commitment to youth education, Tiso Blackstar Group in association with the Nal’iBali reading for enjoyment campaign, is creating an opportunity for TimesLIVE readers to play-it-forward and support youth literacy development in South Africa.

From 13 April to 22 June 2018, two readers each week stand the chance to win five English and five Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Sepedi or Setswana primary school storybooks for donation to a school, reading club or library of their choice. Ten readers will also win Nal’ibali reading-at-home starter packs.

Nal’ibali (isiXhosa for “here’s the story”) is a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign to spark children’s potential through storytelling and reading, while fully promoting reading and writing in mother languages

“We believe that an enjoyment of reading is essential for the healthy development of young minds. It gives them an opportunity to expand their imaginations and live in a world of hope and possibility. Reading is particularly beneficial to a child’s success when they are read to in their mother language, which motivates their desire to read and write,” says Patti McDonald, who co-ordinates Tiso Blackstar Education’s initiative with The Nal’ibali Trust. Yet, McDonald is concerned that only 35% of South African parents read to their children, which is something Tiso Blackstar would like to change.

The TimesLIVE play-it-forward initiative makes it easy for readers to get involved and win books for their chosen school, reading club or library. Readers can simply click on the Nal’ibali banner ad that appears on the site, and then send an email to In one sentence they’re asked to explain why they believe reading to children is important, and indicate the language they want the storybooks to be supplied in.

In total, 200 books and 10 Nal’ibali starter packs will be donated.

Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali’s managing director says: “Most children in South Africa grow up with poor access to storybooks, never mind storybooks in their home language. Children’s first engagements with books tend to be in formal classroom settings where the ratio of books to children is lousy, where the books are in a language other than their own, and where the context is radically different from what they can recognise. It’s important that children are able to read for meaning and for pleasure, and that they are able to see themselves in books. That’s why we are excited and grateful that Jacana and Tiso Blackstar are making this giveaway possible.”

Nal’ibali’s print rich material includes stories, literacy activities, reading and reading club tips and support, to inspire and guide parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians and reading clubs, to make reading and storytelling meaningful, enjoyable and accessible.  As from mid-April 2018, Nal’ibali’s 16-page bilingual supplements will be available in English and 7 languages, they are Afrikaans, Setswana, Xitsonga, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho and Sepedi.

Through the media partnership with Tiso Blackstar, 147,600 Nal’ibali newspaper supplements are distributed in their titles every two weeks during term time:

•      Sunday Times Express (Western Cape) – English and isiXhosa – Sundays
•      Sunday World (North West Province) – English and Setswana – Sundays
•      Sunday World (KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng) – English and isiZulu – Sundays
•      Sunday World (Free State) – English and Sesotho – Sundays
•      Sunday World (Limpopo) – English and Sepedi– Sundays
•      English and Xitsonga supplements will be available at selected SA Post Offices and reading clubs in Limpopo
•      The Herald (Thursdays) and Daily Dispatch (Tuesdays) (Eastern Cape) – English and isiXhosa.

153 000 supplements are also distributed free of charge through Tiso Blackstar Education directly to reading clubs, community organisations, libraries, schools and other partners in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo, North West and KwaZulu-Natal.


Please contact me should you wish to speak further with Patti McDonald or Jade Jacobsohn about the Nal’ibali reading for enjoyment initiative.

High res Nal’ibali images are also available on request.

Tiso Blackstar Group and BBEEE
Tiso Blackstar Group is committed to transformation and the revised Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice which came into effect on 1 May 2015 (“B-BBEE”). The Group achieved a level 3 contributor status on the revised B-BBEE codes, and has a B-BBEE ownership status of 58.47%.  The Media (newspaper & digital) business has achieved the following demographics: Core media executive management team 66.6% BEE; Editors and Deputy Editors 72% BEE; Media Management including editorial and key departmental heads 62% BEE; Total staff 67% BEE.  Tiso Blackstar Group is also active in the development of BEE and female talent to improve senior departmental level representation.  Tiso Blackstar Group is considered an empowering supplier with a 110% procurement recognition level.

Issued by:                Samantha Pugh, Pugh Public Relations & Corporate Communications
e:   c:  071 874 5460

On behalf of:           Andy Gill, Managing Director: Media Division, Tiso Blackstar Group Pty Ltd

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