“We are excited to provide a platform for Newzroom Afrika’s Nguni news" - Thabile Ngwato

Newzroom Afrika Launches First Nguni Language News Offering

Newzroom Afrika is bringing the latest news and weather information to Mzansi Wethu (DStv Channel 163) with the launch of the first IsiZulu and IsiXhosa language news broadcasts: Izindaba Zethu/ Iindaba Zethu, from 27 February at 19:00 CAT.

The news bulletin which will air daily, will be anchored by seasoned journalists and broadcasters familiar to millions of Nguni news viewers in South Africa, including in IsiZulu: Thabile Mbhele (Anchor); Dicksy Mdlalose (Weather Presenter) and Khethukuthula Makoatsane (Sign Language Interpreter) and for IsiXhosa: Lisakhanya Pepe (Anchor), Thabile Makapela (Weather Presenter) and Pumza Sikumba (Sign Language Interpreter).

Newzroom Afrika CEO Thabile Ngwato said bringing the news to more people in their home language was consistent with the channel’s aim to put viewers at the heart of the news.

“From the beginning we’ve been clear that our purpose is to provide a reliable and trusted news service that truly reflects our country’s rich diversity, and we’re proud to offer the news in IsiZulu and IsiXhosa as we take another step forward on our journey,”

Ngwato said.

“We’ve assembled a line-up of well-regarded media professionals who are excited to bring this new service to Nguni language speakers in another first for Newzroom Afrika.”

MultiChoice General Entertainment CEO, Nomsa Philiso, says that the addition of a new news platform is to be celebrated as it allows viewers to access a greater diversity of views to promote greater understanding of daily events that affect South Africa’s diverse population.

“We are excited to provide a platform for Newzroom Afrika’s Nguni news. This will offer our viewers access to a news offering in Nguni languages and add to the diversity of news on our platform”,

she says.

IsiZulu anchor Thabile Mbhele is a multi-award-winning journalist, TV News anchor and a seasoned Senior Health Reporter, reporting in both English and IsiZulu. Thabile completed her Journalism Diploma and Bachelor of Technology degree at Durban University of Technology and is currently furthering her studies at Wits University.

Dicksy Mdlalose is an experienced weather presenter from Vryheid in KZN. He has more than 11 years’ experience presenting the weather for the public broadcaster and has an Associate’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Pretoria.

Sign Language Interpreter Khethukuthula Makoatsane is one of the country’s most experienced translators. Her passion has always been to be the bridge between the deaf and the hearing community. Khethukuthula has an honours degree in Language Practice from the University of Free State and is currently also employed as a Sign Language Interpreter with the University of the Witwatersrand within their Disability Rights Unit (DRU).

IsiXhosa news anchor Lisakhanya Pepe is from the Eastern Cape and studied Versatile Broadcasting at Walter Sisulu University in East London before beginning her news career in 2010 at Gqeberha radio station Nkqubela FM as an English and Xhosa newsreader. She was Bay TV’s first newsreader before joining the public broadcaster as anchor of the Xhosa lunchtime bulletin in 2013, later taking on the prime-time bulletin.

Thabile Makapela was born in Whittlesea in the Eastern Cape and moved to Johannesburg to do media studies. She realised her broadcasting dream when she joined the public broadcaster as Kids’ News anchor in 2009 – and cites her appointment as prime time weather presenter in 2012 as her big break.

Pumza Sikumba has worked as an interpreter since 2005, including stints as an educational interpreter for University of Johannesburg, University of Pretoria and Wits Language School. She has interpreted for Parliament’s SONA, NCOP and public hearings, for PanSALB National Language Board board-level meetings, provincial language committees, provincial government and national and provincial events as well as acting as sign language interpreter for South Africa’s presidents since the time of President Thabo Mbeki. Phumza studied interpreting and translation through NW University and has completed a Professional Development course through Wits University, focusing on interpreting. She is currently studying towards her Honours Degree in Translation and Interpreting.

Tune in to Mzansi Wethu (DStv Channel 163) from Monday-Sunday 27 February at 19:00 for a daily review of Mzansi’s news in Nguni languages. Is’khathi Sifikile/ Ixesha Lifikile – for a new generation of news.

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