Two South African media players hope to diversify the local media landscape with their new online business publication, Umbele, published entirely in Zulu.
Slindile Khanyile and Langa Khanyile launched Umbele on September 16, a business portal that covers news on themes such as economics, labour, personal finance, and agriculture.
Umbele is published by Likhanyile Media, where Silindile is co-director and the head of digital publications. Langa is the MD of Likhanyile Group, Likhanyile Media’s parent company.
The launch of the e-publication coincides with South Africa’s commemoration of Heritage Month that promotes celebrating the country’s diverse culture and heritage. Slindile said language is a big pillar of heritage.
“A publication like this will go a long way towards fulfilling our passion of preserving and advancing isiZulu, and practising our vocation,” she said.
Langa described Zulu, the most widely spoken language in South Africa, as the “new English”.
“We are excited about the establishment of a quality niche publication in isiZulu. Online is the future, business is the lifeblood,” he said.
The launch comes at a time when industries world over, including the media, are seeking ways to improve financial sustainability in the COVID-19 pandemic.
As African countries adjust to the new normal and rebuild in a post-COVID world, Slindile said business is going to be critical in rebuilding the economy and that it is important that stories on business are told.
“Business news is much-needed, intricate, and complex, which is why it is important to tell these stories in a language that makes them accessible to an even wider audience. Understanding how to look after money and to stretch that rand has never been more relevant.” Slindile said.
Slindile was until recently the editor of Isolezwe newspaper, the flagship isiZulu publication of Independent Media. She has also worn the hats of a financial journalist and sports writer.
Langa is a former DRUM magazine, Isolezwe, Business Report, The Mercury, and Sunday Tribune journalist. During his tenure at the former Independent Newspapers, he was a sub-editor, features writer, columnist, and senior journalist.
“We grew up with and were inducted into quality, not sensational and partisan journalism, so ‘quality journalism’ courses through our veins, and is what we hope to practise and advance amid the times of a sceptical, disenchanted public,” Langa said.
Read Umbele here.