Using Media to Reach Zulu People Effectively

Posted in OLD The Archive

Every weekday from 18:30 to 19:00, the TWR medium wave (MW) transmitter in Swaziland broadcasts Thru The Bible in Zulu, a popular language in Southern Africa. During the summer months this powerful programme can be heard in the country of Swaziland. For the rest of the year, when the sun sets earlier, it can be heard throughout the province of KwaZulu Natal (KZN), South Africa. The MW signal only reaches about 80km during the day, but propagates up to about 500km after sunset.

In KZN, local German churches are partnering with Zulu-speaking evangelists. These evangelists are well connected in the Zulu-speaking community and are able to reach out to many groups working on farms and in factories in that area. One full time evangelist can easily reach a few hundred people every month!

TWR has provided the German churches with wind-up radios which require no batteries. The churches in turn provide their evangelists with this tool for teaching God's Word to some of the groups where they meet. The challenge is that the Zulu programmes are only heard clearly when the sun has set by the time of the broadcast.

In response to the challenge of the signal in summer months TWR is exploring the possibility of using Sabre devices (wind-up MP3 players) in this region amongst the Zulu population. These devices enable the evangelists to have, at the tip of their fingers, up to about 30 hours of Bible programmes, accessible at any time and in any place.

There are more than 10 million Zulu-speaking people in South Africa. Although they have a significant, established church (>5% evangelicals)1, there is still an enormous need for leadership training and equipping of the local Zulu church. Please pray for the Zulu ministry team of TWR as they work hard to reach this people group for the sake of God's Kingdom.


Published: 23 February 2011