Kasi publisher in line for honour

2015-11-12 06:00
 Tshepho Nkehle is a motivational speaker today but he learnt the hard way.

Tshepho Nkehle is a motivational speaker today but he learnt the hard way.

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If there ever was a man that used the stones thrown at him to build success, it is Tshepo Nkehle.

This Khayelitsha author, publisher and speaker was rejected by every publisher he approached with his book. This forced him to start a publishing company. Fast forward to to a couple of years later his company, The Duke Publishers, earned a top 8 place at a national small business competition.

It was announced by the Minister of SMME Lindiwe Zulu on SAfm that it has made it to the top 8 of the SOMAFCO Trust Legends in The Making Competition.

“After working for two years at Builders Warehouse as a delivery boy, I decided to write a book that was titled ‘Earn Your Freedom’.

The book was rejected for publishing by 37 publishers and one of the publishers even advised me to consider a different career because writing was clearly not for me,” says the man often refered to as The Duke of Happiness.

The Duke didn’t give up, he kept trying to find ways of getting his book published until he had acquired all the needed tools to publish his book himself.

“After the book was printed, I tried to get them to bookshops but no bookshop was interested in selling the book.

“The book cover was poorly done because I made it myself, and the grammar was not up to standard because the book was neither edited nor proof-read” he reminisced.

He decided to market the book himself and asked help from friends and local NGO’s to help spread the word about his book.

“Three years later, I had managed to sell more than 5000 copies of this book and also learnt how to get it on online book stores for online sales.

Using the tools that I had acquired and the contacts that I had made along the journey, in Feb 2015 I officially started his own publishing house - The Duke Publishers,” he explained.

Within 2 to 3 months, The Duke Publishers was already working on 20+ books to be published.

In the 4th month, they started getting requests from other countries to help them publish their books.

“At the moment The Duke Publishers has published a total of 42 authors (Online and Print combined). We have also published authors in other countries like USA, Chile, Moscow and Zimbabwe.

I heard of the SOMAFCO Trust Legends in the making competition that was being advertised on SABC radio,”.

He decided to enter the competition for his publishing house. To his surprise, he made it to the top 34 and was called for interview. He passed the interview and made it to the top 16 and had to attend the boot camp in Pretoria where entrepreneurs from different parts of the country that made it to top 16 met for the weekend.

“In the book camp, we each had 5 minutes to pitch their businesses to the panel of judges so that top 8 can be selected.

Two weeks after the boot camp, Minister Lindiwe Zulu announced the top 8 winners on SAfm and The Duke Publishers was among the eight. The top 8 winners will be taken to Tanzania on Tuesday to be exposed to greater business opportunities on an international level and get a chance to pitch to business funders and investors.

In Tanzania, the top three will be selected and will be at the conference hosted by the Department of SMME and Minister Zulu in Gauteng next week.

The winner will receive an award and a prize towards their business. The Duke Publishers are the only ones representing the Western Cape.

If you may also need assistance or advice towards publishing your book, feel free to drop The Duke an e-mail at nketle@live.com or follow him @MeTheDuke on twitter.

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