UMthunywa

History

Umthunywa is a 12 page Zimbabwean local language (isiNdebele) publication which started its circulation in July 2004. The publication carries a universal appeal to readers as it tackles people oriented content that appeals to Ndebele readers both in and out of Zimbabwe.

Umthunywa has managed to survive the harsh economic environment as the only Ndebele publication in Zimbabwe. The publication has managed to bring together the Matabeleland region and culture through the writing of stories in isuiNdebele) and other local languages.

Umthunywa is the voice of the  voiceless and it also provides a platform for readers to air their views through opinion columns which include the following;

  • In depth analysis on cultural and developmental issues
  • Women’s issues
  • The youth
  • The townships
  • Foreign
  • Agony column
  • Digital bones

Other sections in the publication include, News, sport, the arts, education and farming.

Umthunywa target audience comprises of Ndebele readers between 12 and 55 years of age. The readership cuts across social classes, reaching an audience mainly in the townships around Matabeleland and more recently the diaspora audience.

The publication has developed content that is suited for the isiNdebele diaspora reader. Digital content that focuses on the everyday needs of the modern reader have been incorporated. Stories that appeal to the youth women and students have also been developed. Furthermore, the subscription drive for schools, organisations and individuals at a subsidized price is another recent development of the publication.

Umthunywa has been used in Bulawayo and Matabeleland region as a form of avoiding cultural alienation. By exposing other local languages such as Tonga, Sotho, Venda, Kalanga and Nambya the publication intends not only to inform, educate and entertain the Matabeleland populace but to promote and  preserve these languages.  The paper also highlights educational issues since it contains an educative column and serves as a reference for isiNdebele students for historical and cultural content.