ViacomCBS Networks Africa’s kids channel, Nickelodeon Africa has partnered with the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation in support of The Nelson Mandela Day and five inspirational young authors to curate a fun and interactive Nickelodeon’s Let’s Read! Special. The show aims to encourage a love of reading and writing amongst kids. Our talented young authors include Buhle Mthethwa (12 yrs old)Michelle Nkamankeng (11 yrs old)Ngcali Metu (11 yrs old)Prince Mashawana (8 yrs old) and Lelo Mofokeng (11 yrs old).

The MEC for the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Ms Mbali Hlophe highlights the importance of harnessing a sense of creativity & literacy in schools, particularly for young children. “To secure a bright future and progressive community, we must make a positive impact on the lives of children, invest in literacy skills and spark their thinking at preliminary stages when their minds can be nurtured, this special goes a long way in making a significant difference to our future leaders and authors,” says MEC Hlophe.

The MEC added that the Department’s plans are nothing if they do not make room for young creatives, and they continue to work with all talents, including kid authors who will read excerpts of their published work. “The partnership with Nickelodeon Africa is crucial as it is in line with the Department’s Born to Read program aimed at inculcating the culture of reading in children, by also encouraging expectant mothers to read to their kids during pregnancy,” added MEC Hlophe.

The young authors, who are backed by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation will showcase excerpts of their published works while key aspects are animated on screen by local animators.

South African singer, actress and television presenter, Nandi Madida will host the show. She will be joined by Bothlale Boikanyo a young poet and singer, who will  expand on key themes from each young author’s work and relate these themes to Mandela’s life story and lessons. 

Tasania Parsadh,Nickelodeon Africa Channel Director at ViacomCBS Networks Africa said, “Tata Madiba was passionate about education and was an avid reader throughout his life. The value of literacy in schools is of national importance, especially during these unprecedented times. While Nickelodeon makes the world a more playful place, reading drives creativity and expands kids and adults’ imaginations. We are excited to showcase these young authors and hope to inspire a culture of literacy in all kids.”

“Reading is a powerful tool for our youth as it offers a child from any background the opportunity to escape their reality and be a part of a new world when reading a book, not only that but it also allows one to interpret and to contribute to the stories in the book, encouraging creativity which is an important skill to have in life. No matter what class, culture, race or social standing you’re in. You are afforded an opportunity to read. As a mother I want to encourage my children to know and appreciate the power and beauty of literacy.” concluded Nandi Madida.

The special will focus on encouraging literacy amongst kids and will also include interactive arts and crafts tutorials, dance and music performances and a special “Wash your Hands” song using the popular Baby Shark song and character, who is now part pf the Nickelodeon family. The show will broadcast on NickToons (DStv channel 308) Saturday, 18 July at 11:30 CAT, 15:30 CAT and 20:30 CAT and on Sunday, 19 July at 07:40 CAT.

Nickelodeon’s Let’s Read! Special by Nickelodeon and Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation is supported by 94.7. 

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