“Basically we want individuals to sit with kids within their families or community and read for them for just 67 minutes,” says Tebogo Ditshego the founder of the ReadabookSA campaign.

“We want them to give kids a taste or intrigue them about how good and fun reading can be, that way kids get to adopt the reading culture. From what I’ve read about Nelson Mandela he is a man who always wanted us to be masters of our destiny. I think this initiative will be a great tool in ensuring that our kids read so that they can truly be the masters of their destinies”.

Ditshego says the Mandela reading campaign idea was sparked by their recent talk at the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory. They loved the idea of creating something that doesn’t cost much but then goes a long way in adding value to the society. “Mandela Day is all about positive investments that can enrich our society and I think the Mandela reading initiative embodies those values,” adds Ditshego.

[pullquote align=”left or right”]I think this initiative will be a great tool in ensuring that our kids read so that they can truly be the masters of their destinies[/pullquote]

The South African Reading foundation has been committed to promoting the reading culture in South Africa. For more than a year, the foundation has been engaging South African readers through their ReadabookSA campaign and making reading a more fun activity.

ReadabookSA was created on 24 April 2012 and uses Twitter to promote the culture of reading. Since its launch the foundation has managed to garner over 22 000 followers on the social platform. Its followers are encouraged to read one book a month, share a picture of it along with a little review. The popular books are then added to the foundation’s favourite book list, which is already sitting at 3000. According to Ditshego the programme seems to be quite a hit with the youth.

“Since the launch of the programme we have received quite a positive response from the youth especially. They have mentioned how it’s helped them discover the fun side of reading and has also truly opened them up to a whole new world of reading,” says Ditshego.

The campaign has been endorsed by some of the top SA public figures including Generations actress Katlego Danke, songstress Lira, popular blogger Khaya Dlanga, Sbusiso Leope (DJ Sbu) and Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba.

According to Ditshego these are the few public figures who strongly believe that “Instead of sitting and complaining, let’s do something and lead our country into the right direction because leaders are readers.”

To join ReadabookSA’s Nelson Mandela read a book campaign simply follow ReadabookSA on Twitter.