- Neo Cholo spoke to Briefly News about the inspiration behind his journey to becoming an author and entrepreneur
- The 17-year-old lost his father at a young age and shared how the pain he experienced turned into strength to go after his passions
- He has won awards for his book, The Journey, and has four businesses ventures which he runs in addition to being a matric learner
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At just 17 years old, Neo Cholo is already an author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker who's determined to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself to him.
The young man was raised by powerful women – including his mother and grandmother – who provided him with a solid upbringing and ensured that he is supported in everything he puts his mind to.
Neo hails from the dusty streets of Mamelodi in Tshwane. He is a young, internationally recognised, award-winning author of the book titled The Journey, which is about educating society about depression and teaching that communication is fundamental in families.
Neo the author
The matric learner was awarded as Best Journalist/Writer 2021 by Pheli Awards 2021 and established a youth development programme called Neo Youth Empowerment Programme (NYEP) to help youth gain skills in agriculture, digital marketing and public relations. It's also a social responsibility programme that will contribute to the future of Africa and the world at large.
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The programme has expanded across the country and Neo is currently working on gaining resources and funds from various partners and investors.
Neo was also nominated as Best Teenage Author by The Book Behind Awards for 2021.
“Ignorance, criminality, jealousy, depression, death, and lugubrious society inspired me to write my first award-winning book, 'The Journey'.
“I lost my dad when I was aged nine and, through the journey of life, I had to lose myself to gain myself and be Mr Neo Cholo that I am today as I suffered from a depression at the age where no one will fail to understand how,” said Neo.
He shared that the book is a personal reminder to him that it is only through education and legal hustling that he will make it in life.
Neo has written two books and currently working on the third, which is about entrepreneurship.
How Neo got into business
As an entrepreneur at a young age, Neo sells his published books, has a public relations and marketing services company, a female sanitary business as well as a clothing brand.
He also previously participated in the Teenpreneur Competition, where he made it into the Top 100.
“Entrepreneurship is one thing you are exposed to at a young age as a person where you are able to think of how much to sell your pen for you not to have loss but a profit.
“I had to write my first book, 'The Journey', to realise that there is money out there, but I need a way of finding it. I also started by designing a few posters and logos for individuals who approached me as I unleashed my purpose. I never hesitated to take lessons and criticism from them.”
Neo has a heart for the community
The teen is also involved in community development, as he is one of the sponsors of a few non-profit organisations in his hometown Mamelodi.
He is chairperson and founder of Teens with Vision, which is his non-profit organisation that provides social assistance to indigent families and individuals.
“I know I’m still 17 years old, and not rushing the process, however, one needs to utilise the time, opportunity and effort when still have them.”
In addition to his four businesses, Neo is also the founder of Mosetsana Feminine (Pty) Ltd, which is a company that provides feminine products.
“We are currently busy with our first feminine product, which is a sanitary pad,” shared Neo, who consults with various other organisations in Mamelodi.
The drive which pushes the Tshwane teen
Sharing what keeps him going, the budding businessman said:
“My mom’s smile and my granny’s compliments are what drive me to be successful. However, I also have a strong supportive structure from teachers, friends and society, which means I don’t have any excuse to not be successful.
“I’m selling books, and I’m also in the business of being a young African influential leader where I don’t want to see myself being old and crusty fighting for comfort in Mamelodi.”
Meet mover and shaker Thabiso Zitha, who is serving up scrumptious kotas and inspiring kasi youth
In another story, Briefly News reported that Thabiso Zitha is bringing the people of Nelspruit together with rich Mzansi flavours and cultural experiences right from the comfort of their township.
The entrepreneur grabbed hold of the opportunity to merge his love for food and business by opening his own Kota eatery, KwaMzitheni, on Thursday, 15 February.
The recent Bachelor of Education in Accounting and Business Management graduate spoke to Briefly News about his new venture and hopes for the future.
“Kotas basically have everything, you can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.”
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Source: Briefly News