Clowning around with books is fun
Literacy-focused project a winner
Libraries across SA will be the scenes of a new community activation this year. Nal’ibali, the reading for enjoyment campaign, has teamed up with Clowns Without Borders South Africa to produce a series of literacy-focused shows. These free performances will tour four provinces to encourage people to see their local libraries as safe, exciting community spaces for people of all ages. The 40-minute comedy shows are designed to encourage families to explore their local libraries, model good bookborrowing behaviour and to encourage people to sign up for library cards.
Nal’ibali will also offer free training and resources to library staff interested in running community reading clubs.
The performances will take place throughout the year, touring libraries in KwaZuluNatal, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Gauteng for one week at a time. Shows are designed to tie in to reading-related national events.
“At Nal’ibali, we want people to discover storytelling in exciting, meaningful ways, so collaborating with Clowns Without Borders made perfect sense,” says Nal’ibali MD Jade Jacobsohn. “Research consistently suggests that children who read for pleasure outside of school do better academically. “However, books are an expensive and scarce resource in South Africa, placing libraries at the centre of a potential reading revolution in this country.
“Children need safe, welcoming spaces where they can make choices about the kinds of stories they want to explore, and we are committed to helping them access that.” Clowns Without Borders uses creative interventions to reach children and caregivers, in a bid to reduce violent behaviour, while raising awareness around developmental issues and spreading joy.
Children from the Empumalanga Primary School in Meadowlands, Soweto, arrive for a performance by Clowns Without Borders.
Sibusiso Dlamini and Sussie Mjwara perform a clown act.