Community authored books made available to the public

The Dithakga tša Gobala project (2017), proudly sponsored by Vodacom, The Vodacom Blue Bulls, Puma, AFGRI and The Funanani Trust, today launched six wordless picturebooks which have been made available to the public, free of charge.

Wordless picturebooks are a genre of books that allow readers to use illustrations to create a story in a language of their choice. The genre allows for multiple stories can be sourced from each book, and the books are especially relevant for preschool children, who have yet to learn to decode print. In this way, the project hopes to foster a love of books, reading and storytelling regardless of literacy levels, language preference and age. Stories were sourced from parents and children in the Mamelodi community in Pretoria, and illustrated by South African illustrators and students. By sourcing stories from local communities, the project hopes to give parents and children a sense of ownership of the stories and books.

The project also wishes to make books available in South African homes. Books are an expensive luxury for many South Africans, yet, the importance of early childhood reading cannot be overstated. For this reason, the project has made both the print files, and an eBook version of each book available for download. A number of copies of the books will also be circulated to reading organisations and schools.

Shanil Mangaroo, Head of Marketing at the Vodacom Blue Bulls, expressed his sentiments on behalf of the team: “This is an amazing project, and is really close to our hearts. We believe it will create a perfect launch platform for those ‘little-ones’ starting to read, as well as give parents, that are unable to read, an opportunity to still bond with their kids over a book. We’re really looking forward to sitting down and listening to some of the stories, and enjoying the creative imaginations that this project will stimulate.”

Michelle van Eyden, Executive Head of Sponsorships at Vodacom said, “As proud sponsors of the Vodacom Blue Bulls Vodacom is very proud to be associated with the Dithakga tša Gobala project.  Vodacom is passionate about supporting education in our country and we believe that in supporting this initiative through our sponsorship of the Blue Bulls, we can make a difference in the lives of young South Africans and their families.

The art of storytelling plays a major role in African culture and we are excited to have had the opportunity to hear some of these tales today.  It is extremely rewarding to know that we had a hand in bringing this initiative to life.

The books are available for download, free of charge, at