19-year-old Zambian psychology student Neo Kalungu-Banda has launched his first book in his hometown of Banbury.
The book, ‘INSPIRED: The stories inside and around us’, is based on his life story and draws on inspiring people, events, places and experiences that made him a motivated young man. . Thought-provoking and moving, INSPIRED addresses important themes such as the aspirations of Generation Z and young people negotiating a changing world during a pandemic.
Neo started writing INSPIRED in March 2020 – during the Covid lockdown – after a Facetime call with a friend who suggested he relate his book to his life story. Neo, who gladly accepted the challenge, had some free time because Covid had caused his A-level exams to be canceled. Neo finished writing the book in January 2021.
Neo previously played at a semi-professional football club, Brackley Town – as well as local clubs, Banbury Irish and Banbury United. This athletic experience provided inspiring content for the book, as it instilled valuable life lessons – such as training hard, being a team player, staying focused, and realizing that failure could be part of the game. OK. He learned that “an inspiring moment, story or person can stay with an individual for decades.”
The INSPIRED story is told in five sections: the people who inspired Neo and what we can learn from them; the occasions when Neo was his own inspiration; places around the world that inspired him; how the confinement inspired him; and events he found inspiring.
Neo said, “My book is relevant because we all need wise nuggets to continue in life and grow as individuals. I hope the gems and stories told in my book resonate with many people, regardless of their age, and have a positive impact on their lives.
Chanka Zimba, professional footballer from Cardiff City, says: “Inspired is a book that young people will benefit from reading. Neo manages to reflect on his life experiences and turn them into a range of teachable lessons. This book will also teach young athletes the obstacles they may face during their individual journeys and how to overcome them. “
Dr Nick Isbister, Executive Personal Coach, adds: “Neo Kalungu-Banda is a remarkable young man. At this fascinating moment in our history – navigating a global pandemic, breaking out of lockdown, taking in our society’s harsh criticism of Black Lives Matter – a young black man reflects on life and gives us insight into people, places and places. events that inspired him. These are the thoughts of a young man making sense of his world… we have to listen to this voice of a new generation, a voice from an alternate point of view.
Jules Foreman, a writer based in Brighton, says: “Neo treats all subjects with the perfect balance of respect and wit, seriousness and playfulness, self-confidence and the ability to laugh at yourself. I had a lot of “aha” moments while reading this book. “