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Isolezwe Logo
Type Daily newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Independent News and Media SA
Founded 2002
Language Zulu

Isolezwe is a Zulu-language newspaper 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".[1][2]


In June 2004, Isolezwe launched their online edition; their fellow Independent News & Media publications described it as the first Zulu-language news website.[3][4] 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.[1] 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".[5]


Isozwele is known for using a more urban form of Zulu, in contrast to its competitor Ilanga, which describes itself as using a "purer form" of the language.

Distribution areas[edit]

2008 2013
Eastern Cape Y
Free State Y Y
Gauteng Y Y
Kwa-Zulu Natal Y Y
Mpumalanga Y Y
North West Y
Northern Cape
Western Cape

Distribution figures[edit]

Net Sales
Oct - Dec 2015 99 500[8]
Jun - Aug 2015 104 510[8]
Jan - Mar 2015 110 155[9]
Jan - Mar 2014 119 846[9]
Oct - Dec 2012 106 858
Jul - Sep 2012 107 628
Apr - Jun 2012 113 786
Jan - Mar 2012 117 266

Readership figures[edit]

Estimated Readership[10][11]
Jan – Dec 2012 943 000
Jul 2011 – Jun 2012 867 000

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tolsi, Niren (2007-05-28), "The all new Zulu", Mail and Guardian, retrieved 2010-06-03 
  2. ^ "Media Update (Isolezwe conquers the streets)". Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Zulu goes online with Isolezwe website", Independent Online, 2004-06-21, retrieved 2010-06-03 
  4. ^ Khan, Farook (2004-06-30), "Isolezwe launches into cyberspace", The Mercury, retrieved 2010-06-03 
  5. ^ "Zulu papers lead SA sales", Times Live, 2010-07-12, retrieved 2010-08-26 
  6. ^ "Isolezwe Website". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Audit Bureau of Circulations (S.A)
  8. ^ a b "ABC Q4 Presentation". Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ SAARF AMPS (Previous Presentations)
  11. ^ SAARF AMPS (Industry Presentations)

External links[edit]