Learning never stops for media star Ndivhuwo Muhanelwa
Known by his social media name, Nochill_god, the social media star rose to fame with his videos of edited video calls alongside celebrities.
Ndivhuwo Muhanelwa. Photo: X
Ndivhuwo Muhanelwa. Photo: X
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In an era defined by connectivity and digital innovation, a notable trend is emerging as social media platforms become unexpected launchpads for young individuals seeking unconventional career paths, with platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube playing a pivotal role in shaping the careers of a new generation.
One prominent example is the rise of content creators who have turned their passion for creating engaging videos or captivating visuals into lucrative careers.
Ndivhuwo Muhanelwa’s journey is no exception to this.
Known by his social media name, Nochill_god, the social media star rose to fame with his videos of edited video calls alongside celebrities like Cardi B, Doja Cat, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.
Born and raised in a small village Tshikwarani in Venda, Muhanelwa was always the bright child destined to be academically successful.
“I was always helping out my peers and even those older than me, I would tutor higher grades, and even took on the role of be ing a tutor around the village.”
Following his matric in 2010, Muhanelwa applied to several universities and was accepted by Nelson Mandela University (NMU).
But his dreams of pursuing higher education were thwarted by financial constraints.
“I didn’t have money at all, but I really wanted to further my studies, so I asked my parents to go the local church, True Worshippers Christian Centre, to ask the pastor for registration money,” he said.
“I remember they gave us R5 000. That was in 2011, so I took the money and went to NMU to register. I was expected to study pharmacy. After registering, they asked me if I had accommodation, I said no and they recommended that I apply to get on the waiting list.
“After that I just walked around. I remember my intuition saying go to the Red Lion Hotel. When I got there, I asked for a place to sleep and the manager at the time said to me: ‘Oh, God told me yesterday that you were coming, I prepared a place for you.’ I couldn’t believe it. I stayed there for six months.”
However, during the June holidays, Muhanelwa returned home and made a decision to not return.
“I didn’t tell my parents anything, for the rest of the year I stayed home.
“They asked me to go back when I broke the news but when I explained why I couldn’t go back, they understood,” he said.
“That was the hardest year of my life. After I dropped out, I lost my mother and she was my biggest support system. And I think losing her pushed me to apply to other universities and not give up on the dream of furthering my studies.”
In 2012, Muhanelwa was accepted by the University of Pretoria (UP) to study geoinformatics, “but it was a very tough period because I lost my bursary because I failed a module”.
“With that came the loss of money for food, accommodation and I started staying at the library, sometimes at the bunk room for like four months.
“That’s when I was doing my second year. It was tough for me and I saw myself going back to my life in Gqeberha. The struggle… I remember my friends would sometimes buy me bread and coke for a whole week because I didn’t have any food.
“I lived in a bathroom on campus for two months and continued going to class. It was not balanced for me.
“I decided to use the resources at the library to apply for jobs. I was applying for any job, even call centre jobs, as long as I could get the job and leave.”
In a turn of events, he was hired by a company that changed his life.
“In 2013 I left UP. I didn’t even tell anyone, I just left. And I went to join a company that trained me to become an air traffic services person.
“And so, after working there for some time, I bought my first smartphone in 2014. At that time I just wanted to use Facebook to post motivational quotes from Google,” he said.
“So I started growing on Facebook. I even got to a point where I had many followers and started taking it seriously.
“I then came up with a new page called, No Chill Mzansi. To this day, it’s the biggest meme page in Africa.
“But even though the page was big, I was not making any money from it. That’s when I thought of taking a short course to understand the ins and outs of social media and how I could pursue it as a career.”
After much-needed research and studying, Muhanelwa stitched videos of dogs, as if he was in a conversation with them. He moved on to stitching videos with local celebrities and eventually made a name for himself on social media with edited video interviews of international stars.
As his online presence flourished, his personal growth took an unexpected turn. He began channelling his experiences, insights, and the lessons learned from his failures into a written narrative.
“And so I thought I should share my experiences – everything I achieved and everything I overcame – in a book. The Influencer Code is the reflection of everything that I did for me to become who I am today,” said Muhanelwa.
“It talks about the three Es: Educate, entertain and encourage. “So I’m sharing strategies on how to position yourself on social media and, in the process, I’m also learning.”
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