"Our expansion into the Eastern Cape with a vernacular publication is in line with our vision and strategy. The role of the media to advance the transformation and development agenda of our country is critical. Creating a platform for South Africans to communicate in their mother-tongue is part of our contribution to this transformation", said Dr Iqbal Survé, executive chairman of Independent Media.
Unathi Kondile is the editor of I'solezwe lesiXhosa
. Before joining Independent Media, Kondile started his own newspaper iSigidimiSamaXhosa
, which was the outcome of research he did towards his PHD proposal on the transformation of the media in South Africa. This initiative won him the 2014 British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur Culture Award.
There exists an untapped market of more than 3.5 million adult Xhosa-speaking people in the Eastern Cape alone, yet there is not a single daily Xhosa newspaper catering for this potential market.
"This in itself points to a profound failure of South Africa's media to transform itself. The introduction of I'solezwe lesiXhosa
will hopefully signal a positive change in South Africa's media landscape", said Kondile.I'solezwe lesiXhosa
will be based on the same editorial formula as the successful trio of Isolezwe publications (daily, Saturday and Sunday) in Kwa-Zulu Natal, which currently has a collective readership in excess of 2.3 million weekly and will be supported by the same publishing team. The editorial team will be based in East London.
"We are very proud of Unathi and his team and I wish them every success with this publication which is the second vernacular publication for Independent Media and the first in the Eastern Cape. Here's to the first of many more to follow", said Dr Survé.I'solezwe lesiXhosa
will be published daily, Monday to Friday.