The newspaper success story that is Isolezwe just keeps on growing. Now Kwa-Zulu Natal’s popular Zulu tabloid is launching a Saturday edition, which means it is now published every day of the week.
“This market’s appetite for the Isolezwe brand is astonishing,” says Independent Newspapers CEO, Tony Howard. “The daily edition is consistently selling in excess of 100 000 copies a day and Sunday’s edition is hovering on 80 000. With buoyant sales like these, it’s such an exciting title to be involved with. The market is so responsive and the editorial team is spot on with their coverage.”
According to Brian Porter, Independent Newspapers KZN joint general manager, a Saturday edition has been planned for quite some time. “We believe the time is now right to get the presses rolling and publish Isolezwe ngoMgqibelo. We’re wrapping up the research that has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s all systems go for an August launch.”
Slindile Khanyile, who has been appointed as weekend editor, will be in charge of both the Saturday and Sunday editions. Khanyile makes a welcome return to Isolezwe after an interlude at the Group’s English Business Report and brings with her loads of experience and expertise, having worked as a sports and a finance writer.
The Saturday title will be an authoritative sports read, making Isolezwe sports editor, Sihle Ndlovu, another key member of the editorial line-up.
Isolezwe editor, Mazwi Xaba, is just as excited about the launch of the Saturday edition as he was when the modern Zulu daily launched nine years ago and later, in 2008, when the company launched the Sunday edition.
“We’re simply responding to this cry from the market for an isiZulu newspaper,” says Xaba. “Readers rely on us to deliver fresh news in their language and Isolezwe ngoMgqibelo will extend our ability to do that. By growing the Isolezwe portfolio we’re also contributing to the protection, promotion and development of our language,” says Xaba.
“We do this knowing full well that people are busy on Saturday – but I’m sure advertisers don’t want people who sleep the whole day away anyway! It’s a social and busy day so our content is tailor-made to fit the Saturday mind-set. Ziyawa on Saturdays.”
Isolezwe ngoMgqibelo will be quite distinct from the Monday to Friday and Sunday products. Breaking news and topical discussion will be part of the mix but the focus is firmly on entertainment – celebs, fashion, glamour, and gigs, along with an abundance of sport. Readers want “ibhola” (soccer) and no-one’s better placed than Isolezwe to give them all the angles – on and off the field; in Mzansi and abroad.
“Although the Saturday edition will have a look and feel of its own, the new title’s brand values will be consistent with what Isolezwe has become known for –its credible, trusted reporting; respect for the reader; professional non-aligned journalism; proud but progressively Zulu; celebrating success; and an eagerness to take on new challenges,” says Xaba.
Since launching the ‘revolutionary’ Zulu daily in April 2002, the Isolezwe team successfully launched the Sunday edition, Isolezwe ngeSonto in March 2008.
The Saturday title aims to meet the reading needs of the social, sporty, up-to-date Zulu market – both male and female – within the 15-50 age group and predominantly in the LSM 5-8 segments. Initial distribution will be throughout KZN.