A by-product of the Richard Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship and with 19 years experience in the media industry under her belt, it was inevitable that the founder and sole owner of Hot Head Media Nomphelo “Lelo” Ndzimela would start her own public relations company.
Born and raised in East London (Eastern Cape), Nomphelo is a qualified Journalist with a B- Tech Degree from Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) – formerly known as Technikon Pretoria. She is also a qualified Teacher with a TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language/ Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from TEFLINK, which is based in Ireland.
She cut her teeth in the industry as a Junior writer for TUT’s community newspaper Rekord West News (Rekord Wes Nuus) – she wrote articles (and took photographs) for the publication in both English and Afrikaans which she took as a subject from as early as primary school until and including tertiary.
In 2004 she interned at The Sowetan newspaper covering the General News beat, which included crime as well as feature stories and obituaries. In the same year, she left The Sowetan to intern at Now Media – a trade and travel specialist company as a Junior Journalist. Her eyes were opened to the wonderful world of Travel and Tourism, expanding her already dynamic portfolio to include writing about the fascinating world of Trade. She worked on five specialist publications in the International Transport and Travel fields, which were published both online and print. These included: Freight & Trading Weekly, Cargo Info Africa, Travel News Weekly, Southern African Tourism Update and Travel News Now.
The entertainment industry bug bit when she joined Don’t Look Down as an Online Editor and Content Creator for the following M-Net websites: Channel O, Nokia Face of Africa, Africa Magic, M-Net Corporate and M-Net Africa. Her duties also included sourcing; editing and uploading stories; writing scripts for the website as well as for on-air promotion; compiling and issuing the M-Net Magic; M-Net Africa and the Channel O newsletters. During her time with the company, she made television history when she presented the SMS2air show The 411 on Channel O – a popular music channel on the DSTV bouquet – a South African television first!
During this period she spent her spare time as a Features Writer for The City Press newspaper and Musik Magazine – a racially inclusive urban magazine about advancing South African Music, Arts, Showbiz and Cultural Heritage. In 2008 she left Don’t Look Down to join M-Net as a Publicity Executive handling the Original Productions portfolio, working on some of the biggest and most exciting television productions in South Africa including The Coconuts, Van der Walt’s Fault, Carte Blanche, M-Net’s Face of Africa, the M-Net Movie Show, M-Net EDiT, Clipz, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, Deal or No Deal II, Power of 10, High School Musical, as well as Channel O.
A year later her portfolio grew when she joined M-Net’s Special Interest Channels as the department’s sole Publicist handling the corporate and public image of the following channels including its Executive Management: Channel O, Vuzu (launched in 2009), Mzansi Magic (launched in 2010), Magic World, Koowee isiZulu (launched in 2010), Mzansi Magic Music (launched in 2012), Mzansi Wethu and Lokshin Bioskop (both launched in 2013). Under the portfolio of Publicity Executive at M-Net, her duties have always included generating and managing the publicity for all the actors and presenters that work across her channels.
One of her greatest achievements was the role she played in changing the public image of the Channel O Music Video Awards and re-enforcing the ceremony as a reputable brand before the bad publicity received in 2007. Today, the Channel O Music Video Awards are one of the most reputable events in South Africa as well as the Rest of Africa.
Her tremendous dedication and impeccable work ethic saw her become Publicity and Social Media Manager: Local General Entertainment Channels (SA) in 2012 at the age of 28. She was also responsible for managing a team EPG Editors (Electronic Programme Guide). Apart from the work she has done at M-Net, Nomphelo has never stopped freelancing. She has been the Publicist for the band Futuresound, DJs Waxxy, Dimplez, actress Mbali Mlotshwa Maphumlo, DJ and Musician Sue (including management), Buffalo Souljah (musician), Hotwax Productions, Barbie Brazil (including management), the rapper YBK and has worked for Pernord Ricard South Africa.
2013 saw her freelance for Zkhiphani Magazine (Features Writer, Sub Editor and Photographer) and Daily Sun (Features Writer). In June 2014 she resigned from M-Net to dedicate all her energy to running her business on a full-time basis.