Isolezwe is a Zulu-languagenewspaper launched in 2002 by Independent News & Media. It is published daily in Durban, South Africa, in the tabloid format. Editor Thulani Mbathi describes their target market as "the modernising Zulu ... [s]omeone who may go back home to the rural areas to slaughter a cow to the amadlozi [ancestors], but is as equally comfortable taking his family out for dinner and a movie in a shopping mall".
In June 2004, Isolezwe launched their online edition; their fellow Independent News & Media publications described it as the first Zulu-language news website. In the five years after its founding, it performed much better than Independent's English-language South African dailies, growing from a circulation of under 30,000 to more than 95,000, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures. Much of their circulation consists of single-copy sales rather than subscriptions. It continued its strong performance in the first quarter of 2010, with a 34% increase in circulation to 104,481, as compared to industry-wide 2.3% drop in sales. Circulation for their Sunday edition, Isolezwe ngeSonto, also reached 71,219. Paper insiders disagreed on the reasons for the growth; editor-in-chief Mbathi credited human-interest stories and local news, while joint managing director Brian Porter mentioned editorial content and sports as "vital ingredients".