New York beckons for Neelo

Kabelo Dipholo
SA win sets singer up with top American producers and record labels

The winner of the MyStar 2020 edition, Neelo Gopolang has done it again!

Just 10 months after walking away with a P100 000 cheque and a scholarship, the Francistown native has marched right into the international stage.

The talented singer blew away an A-list of judges at the just ended 11th annual International Arts Talent Showcase (IATS) that took place from 23rd – 25th September at Silverstar Casino in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg.

The guests’ star judges were Blaze Johnson (The Voice Season 8), Rhavynn Drummer (independent casting Director for Tyler Perry Studios), and Nate Butler (A&R for America’s Got Talent and X-Factor).

The all-star line-up also included Kamey Butler, Global Brand Design Programs Head at Netflix, who’s also the former Director of Commercial Print at Ford Models and Sr Creative Agent at Wilhemina.

This annual show is created for artists to showcase their talents in categories of Acting, Singing Solo, Singing Duo, Dancing Solo, Dancing Duo, High Fashion, Photographic Modeling, and Plus-Size Modeling.

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In an interview with Voice Entertainment on Monday morning, the Botswana Accountancy College (BAC), International Finance and Banking third-year student said she learned about the competition on Instagram.

“I signed up and had an interview via Zoom,” she said.

What followed was hours of rehearsals as she prepared for the self-sponsored trip to Jo’burg.

Come the 24th, the young songstress from the Monarch streets dazzled the all-American judging panel, booking herself space at the International Modelling and Talent Association (IMTA) Convention to be held in New York in July next year.

The youngster was also offered a Musical Theatre scholarship at AMDA, which is the number one best college for the performing arts in America.

“I have a choice to either pursue the course in Los Angeles or New York,” said the excited Gopolang.

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“At the convention, I’ll be performing in front of top producers and record label owners who’re in search of new talent,” she quipped.

Her proud father, and former Kanana Ward Councilor, Cornelius Gopolang said this is a big opportunity for her daughter and wishes there was a way to get assistance to cover her travel costs.

“She’s completing her Degree in May and she’ll be ready to pursue her dream in the States,” he said.

“She’ll be flying our flag high and rubbing shoulders with some of the best in the business. Usually, some of the best talents are offered lucrative deals on the spot. I just wish there was a way the Ministry of Youth could assist her,” said the doting father.

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