Nguni language news channel marks one year milestone of impactful reporting

Iindaba Zethu anchors. Picture: SUPPLIED

Iindaba Zethu anchors. Picture: SUPPLIED

Published Feb 23, 2024


Newzroom Afrika and Mzansi Wethu's IsiZulu and IsiXhosa news broadcasts are set to mark a significant milestone on February 27 as they celebrate a year of impactful journalism.

The special festive bulletin promises to celebrate not only the passage of time but also the profound impact the service has had on communities.

Since their inception, the “Izindaba Zethu” and “Iindaba Zethu” daily bulletins at 7pm, powered by Newzroom Afrika, have resonated deeply with Nguni language speakers.

The approach, which places viewers at the forefront of the news, has cultivated a strong connection with audiences and communities alike.

This connection is evident in the broadcast's coverage of compelling stories, such as the heartrending saga of a family's quest to repatriate their daughter's remains from China.

The “Iindaba Zethu” team’s relentless pursuit of the story culminated in the emotional moment when the family laid their beloved to rest in the Eastern Cape.

Moreover, the impact of the broadcast extends beyond storytelling, as demonstrated by the uplifting narrative of a woman denied an old-age grant due to lack of identification.

Following “Iindaba Zethu”’s coverage, intervention from the Department of Social Development led to her receiving the grant and even securing a new home from the Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements.

Nomsa Philiso, the CEO of General Entertainment: M-Net Channels, reflected on the profound impact of “Izindaba Zethu”, stating, "When ‘Izindaba Zethu’ launched on DStv a year ago, no one could have imagined how much it would contribute to changing people’s lives as much as it has.“

“Adding ‘Izindaba’ to the Mzansi Wethu line-up has made the channel a go-to for entertainment while also keeping viewers informed of happenings in their surroundings, all of which resonates with our viewers.

“Congratulations to the whole news team and we hope to celebrate more years of being an instrument of change in people’s lives,” she added.

Izindaba Zethu anchors. Picture: SUPPLIED

Moreover, the “Izindaba Zethu” team has built a strong connection with isiZulu viewers by covering a wide range of topics, from challenges faced by Denver hostel residents to the passing of Inkatha Freedom Party founder Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

They’ve also highlighted cultural events, like the “Indishi Series”, where Zulu men in Johannesburg host fundraising events to honour their traditions.

Additionally, for Woman’s Day, they visited Kwa Mai Mai in Johannesburg, speaking to women managing a popular shisa nyama, who shared stories of the historic market's ups and downs.

Their posts on social media have been a hit too, especially one video about a foiled heist in Dobsonville, Soweto, which had an impressive 3 million views.

Newzroom Afrika CEO Thabile Ngwato expressed pride in the community's authentic attachment to “Izindaba Zethu” and “Iindaba Zethu”, noting that many story ideas come from viewers.

Ngwato emphasized the importance of community-based journalism in amplifying voices that are often overlooked.

“The success of our Nguni news platform shows the strong appetite among South Africans for a reliable and trusted news service that truly reflects our country’s rich diversity,” Ngwato said.

Reflecting on the success of their Nguni news platform, Ngwato highlighted the strong demand among South Africans for reliable and diverse news services that truly represent the country’s rich tapestry of cultures.