Neelo wins the MyStar talent show
On Wednesday night, while the rest of the country was pre-occupied with torrential rains and overflowing rivers, the MyStar Talent Search Show crowned their 14th winner.
20-year-old Neelo Gopolang could just be the show’s biggest star yet!
The Francistown youngster walked away with the coveted P100, 000 cheque and a scholarship at a university yet to be named.
With a unique sound matched by an imposing stage presence, Neelo sang her way to a stunning victory, receiving 70, 856 votes. Emphasizing her dominance, her nearest rivals, Justice Nyathi and Queen Gaarekwe, managed 4, 797 votes between them!
Gifted with an exotic voice, Neelo is an old soul who has been writing songs since she was 10.
Her father, former Kana Ward Councillor, Cornelius Gopolang proudly told Voice Entertainment his daughter has always been a star.
“She has always been into music and won many competitions at Clifton School. I’m not really surprised that she’s won this one,” declared the delighted dad.
“We’re really proud of what she has achieved; she has made Francistown and the residents proud. As her parents, we’ll support her in whatever choice she makes. If she opts to pursue a Master Degree or branch off into music, she’ll always have our backing!”
Gopolang said although he’s aware that the music industry has many challenges and trappings, including drug abuse, he has faith that his daughter will remain focused.
For her part, a beaming Neelo credited her parents, especially her father, for raising her up in a musical atmosphere.
“I grew up listening to a lot of music. My father was into rock music, and we could listen to Bon Jovi throughout the day. My mother was also into soft music, so I can say I come from a family of music,” said the MyStar winner, who as well as having an ear for music has a nose for numbers and is a Botswana Accountancy College (BAC), International Finance and Banking second-year student.
Despite her landslide victory and overwhelming support from the public, Neelo was full of praise for the other contestants, describing them as ‘equally talented’.
“It was a tough competition because I was up against people with so much diversity. This meant I had to bring my A-game every week which was good for the competition,” she said, adding that when she auditioned back in March, never in her wildest dreams did she imagine she might win.
“I was selling hot dogs at Materspei when I heard about the auditions on the radio, and I decided to try my luck,” she revealed.
The soulful singer said locally she looks up to Han-C and ATI, who have both taken the industry by storm.
“I like people who tell stories and express their true feelings through music, and ATI does that well. I also listen to Billie Eilish who’s so unapologetic. Rosalia and Jaden Smith are also some of the artists I listen to a lot.”
Who knows, the young talent might one day share a stage with such heavyweights!