About Us


The Vula Bula resources make learning to read in African languages easy! Vula Bula is the first graded reading programme in African languages where progression from level to level is based on the phonics of each language.

The name Vula Bula connects with all our African languages:

  • Vula means ‘open’ in isiXhosa, isiZulu, isiNdebele, Siswati and Tshivenḓa.

  • Bula means ‘open’ in Setswana, Sesotho and Sepedi. Vula also means ‘speak’ in Xitsonga. By opening our books, we hope that children will aspire to read, write, and express their thoughts and feelings, while at the same time open their minds to the pleasure of books and lifelong learning.

Stages of reading development

Reading is a skill which develops in stages – it is an ongoing process. Every child moves through each stage of reading development at their own pace, when he or she is ready. Children cannot be rushed or pushed through these stages. The way learners progress as readers is based on their individual ability and experience, not their age or grade level. Click here for a detailed description each of these stages.

  • Early Emergent Vula Bula Level 1:  1-star readers
  • Early Emergent Plus Vula Bula Level 1:  2-star readers
  • Emergent Vula Bula Level 1:  3-star readers
  • Early Fluent Vula Bula Level 1:  4-star readers
  • Early Fluent Plus Vula Bula Level 1:  5-star readers
  • Fluent  Vula Bula Level 3:  all readers