Just a few weeks ago, Leope was on the receiving end of some backlash after he apparently insulted the people of Limpopo. Leope had recently announced his affiliation with the African National Congress and was speaking at a rally in Tembisa when he allegedly referred to the people of Limpopo as “dibari”(stupid), sparking widespread anger in his followers on the social networks.
After countless apologies about the comment, which he insists was misinterpreted, the popular disc jockey and philanthropist is back on his mission to inspire South Africa’s youth.
“Being on platforms like radio and television and speaking directly to the youth means that I have a lot of influence,” he says.
“I’ve always tried to use those platforms to inspire young people to take their futures into their own hands and improve their lives.”
After the launch of his book Leadership 2020: The Beginning last month, Leope has been travelling to schools and universities around the country spreading one message – nothing is impossible. Using his own life story and those of his mentors, Leope hopes to start a “do it yourself” culture among the youth.
His own story – of a young boy who came from a disadvantaged background and rose to become a successful entrepreneur and television personality – is one which Leope believes will inspire young people to work hard at making their dreams come true.
“Young people need to understand how valuable they are to our society,” says Leope, “but they need to believe in themselves and invest in their talents and skills.”
The book’s title Leadership 2020: The Beginning started off as frequent seminars that saw the likes of IT guru Robert Gumede and politician Cyril Ramaphosa joining Leope in talking about the lessons they’ve learned about entrepreneurship. The seminars, which are still ongoing, developed into the book, which features 12 authors sharing stories of success, failure and perseverance.
Another heavyweight involved in Leope’s project is President Jacob Zuma. Leope admits getting the President to write the foreword for his book was no easy task.
“It took a while to convince President Zuma, but having an endorsement from him was very important to me so I was willing to wait,” says Leope.
“The foreword was also an opportunity for the President to speak to the youth.”
Since turning 35 last year, Leope is also adamant about “living a life of purpose.”
“If you had asked me what my goals were 10 years ago, I would have probably told you about the house I wanted to live in and the car I wanted to drive,” says Leope.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to achieve all those things, and right now I want to find ways of helping others reach their goals.”