Neo Aabobe‘s broadcasting career recently got a major boost when she landed under the wing of the Steve Harvey Global Programme. Writes THATO CHUMA
Carrying a calm almost shy demeanour to her, television and radio presenter Neo Aabobe has another exciting side. A bold, sparkling personality shines through her delicate slender frame each time she is on the airwaves, and this bubbly persona has made her one of the rising talents in Botswana’s broadcasting industry.
Not only did she keep her passion hidden until an older age – mostly masked by her vigour for sport, she also never saw herself as someone who would soon stand out in the broadcasting industry. From joining the church choir and going through numerous auditions later on, her public persona began to bloom.
“I have liked public speaking from a tender age, but my confidence really started when I was singing in church. I mean, every praise and worship singer has that thing in them,” she softly chuckled.
“As I grew up I realised that I would love to be on television. I remember I auditioned for Mantlwaneng year in and year out, but eventually stopped auditioning for it. I never gave up though, and I decided to discover other activities which landed me in sports. I said to myself, ‘I want to be on radio’, and doing what at that time, I had no idea. That is where it started, in 2005.”
In October last year, Aabobe became one of the two people chosen for the Steve Harvey Global Internship Programme. She shares how the experience refined her.
“I have learnt to work with various people from different levels. I have actually learnt that each one of us has a unique selling or buying point and if you do not stick to it, you will find yourself being swallowed by the world. I have also learnt not to be afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone, as well as taking opportunities. I even got to enjoy the few hours I spent with the Supersport team. It was such a memorable experience,” she says in retrospect.
Talking mostly about what people won’t talk about on her programmes, adding the human interest angle makes her likeable to most. “My life isn’t an easy one, trust me. It has been a tough. I have been through a lot, also looking at the fact that a girl child in life has never really been an easy thing. But I think my determination has taken me far. I have been broke to even go for a career elevating audition, lost on gigs because I didn’t go see the ‘big guy’ at his house and I even get physical criticism that my body is too small as I am seen as a child. Sometimes they say my voice is too childish, so you can imagine. But here I am today. I mean even today I still get that, I got it also recently while at the Steve Harvey Internship,” says Aabobe on the challenges she has endured in her journey.
She has an alter ego, ‘Skillo’ who she credits the vibrant persona to. “I think outside the box a lot. Skillo likes it when people tell her she is mad, she is crazy, she is dreaming too much. To me that means I am heading the right way. From there I just go on and tell my story. I usually share stories about my environment and what comes natural to me.”
As an aspiring all-rounder, her parting advice remains the timeless – “Be You” – to budding entertainers. “The sky is not the limit and watch how what you do is deemed as madness. Be brave still,” she declares.