Today, the 8th of September, is International Literacy Day, a day initiated by UNICEF to promote literacy around the world as a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. And you can’t really argue with that, can you? This year’s specific theme is “Literacy and Sustainable Development” with events taking place around the world to mark the day.

To celebrate International Literacy Day, we’ve rounded up four apps either developed locally or relevant to South Africa from across the range of tablet and smartphone platforms – including Mxit – created to promote literacy among both adults and children.

And without further ado, they are…




Price: Free

Bookly is a web and mobile app that lets you read or write short stories of up to 1 000 words and share them on the service for others to read, like, review, share and comment on. The Bookly community is not only limited to local writers, but international ones as well and includes content for school children to help them with their reading skills.

 “Read or write your own story
Get it on Mxit or web 

Monster Moogle


Price: R24.99

Monster Moogle is a reading and entertainment app for aged five and below created to develop not only their reading skills, but also imagination, life skills and foster creativity and happiness within them. Stories are narrated by Butch the bulldog puppy as he takes kids on a journey with his friends. Kids also read stories and discover hidden animations and sound effects on all the new pages. in the storybook.

 “edutainment for kids
Get it from iTunes 

 GoodreadsScreenshot (199)

Price: Free

Goodreads is like an online book club where you can read ebooks recommended by the Goodreads community made up of more than 8 million members and suggest some of your own favourite books. Users can also review any book from the more than 300 000 000 books featured and give them ratings according to what they think of it.

 “choose from millions of books
Get it from Google Play Store 



Price: Free

Released today just in time for International Literacy Day, Nal’ibali is a South African app made for primary school kids to help improve the dire literacy statistics in out country. Kids can read books or listen to audio books in all 11 official languages with the help of their parents, they can also receive daily literacy tips. A multilingual rhyme library for babies and very young children, as well as an ‘Ask the Experts’ feature, whereby users can submit reading and writing questions they may have related to their children’s literacy learning, will be added soon.

[Main image – Shutterstock]