File image: IOL

CAPE TOWN - Isolezwe - a subsidiary of Independent Media has launched a new digital platform that will run complementary with its print daily publication.

The website dedicated to Zulu readers is aimed at capturing the youthful audience with daily and trending topical news.

Group Executive of Digital, Walter Madzonga said, "We are excited about the launch of a dedicated Zulu website to compliment the success of the daily newspaper. The launch of the site is an important step as approximately 22% (12 million people) of the South African population speak Zulu as a first language".

Besides reaching the massive Zulu audiences, the publication's revenues will also gain boost through the online related business.

Isolezwe Content Producer, Mcebo Mpungose said, "When we made the move to build our digital platform, it was the case of combining the old, which is Iphepha lethu (our newspaper) and the new, which is what people want online".

Mpungose also said that fulfilling their readers' needs has always contributed to the stability of their print publication.

The publication wants its readers to feel in control and own a portion of the content.

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"We have plans to draw on User Generated Content. We want people to think of Isolezwe whenever something is happening in the community. To Whatsapp message us, or even share a voice note or a video," Mpungose revealed.

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"This will allow us to draw on content from the community. Sometimes readers don’t have contact with journalists and this will be a great platform for the community to report breaking stories," Mpungose concluded.

The Isolezwe team looks forward to growing a platform that will bring together an online community for first language Zulu speakers which provides local and global brands with a targeted market on a platform where they will be highly engaged.