NAC Zambia on public television

ZNBC TV3 is dedicated to Christian content. Since the launch of the channel in October 2017, the New Apostolic Church Zambia has been filling two hours of airtime a week. How did this come about? And what is next?

Thursday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: what is being broadcast by ZNBC TV 3 sounds familiar, New Apostolic. The channel, run by the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) is still young. It was launched in October last year. To be able to receive the channel one needs a digital transmission box (DTB). More than 680,000 households already have one. The numbers will continue to rise as the digital migration process is rolled out and more areas in the country get connected, Nimon Muleya says. As public relations officer of the District Church Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe he is directly involved with the programming.

Seizing the opportunity …

The Church in Zambia had long been considering engaging the media to reach out to its more than one million members in the country by launching its own radio or TV station. That it can be done, and how it works, the neighbouring District Church Southern Africa already proved with NACTV. Although television broadcasting is not entirely new for the Church in Zambia, because it has already worked with the national broadcaster on several occasions. For example, at Pentecost 2015 or to broadcast a service for the departed conducted by the Chief Apostle.

The opportunity to turn these tentative approaches into a permanent fixture came when the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation launched a third channel, TV3, dedicated to Christian content. District Apostle Charles S. Ndandula wrote to the director of ZNBC with a request for airtime to broadcast New Apostolic content and received a positive response. “We were offered two hours of free airtime to propagate the mission and vision of the Church,” correspondent Nimon Muleya says.

A start has been made

Since mid October 2017, the New Apostolic Church Zambia has been airing content regularly. The Church broadcasts music videos, clips of divine services, documentaries—for example, trips by the District Apostle—or recorded Bible study discussions. The communication department of the Church in Zambia is in charge of the programming and is assisted by a number of volunteers.

Are there any further plans? “Absolutely,” Nimon Muleya says. “The District Apostle is planning for the long term so that the Church can use this platform to reach out to the members and the general public.” He is also planning on expanding this concept to the entire District Church. “The District Apostle wants to develop similar programmes in Malawi and Zimbabwe.”

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Andreas Rother, Kevin Glor-Ockert
Zambia, Media