Inspirational young Banbury author launches first book


“These are the thoughts of a young man making sense of his world… we need to listen to this voice of a new generation, a voice of an alternative view”

A former BGN student who is now studying psychology at Leicester University will be coming back to Banbury tomorrow for the launch of his first book.   19-year-old Neo Kalungu-Banda has written “Inspired”, which is based on his life story, and draws on inspirational people, events, places, and experiences that moulded him into a motivated young man.

After coming to Banbury as a baby, Zambian born Neo spent his formative years at St Joseph’s and St John’s Primary Schools.   

Now about to start his second year at Leicester, Neo started writing Inspired in March 2020 whilst he had time on his hands after his A Level exams at BGN were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Inspired touches on important themes such as the aspirations of Generation Z and young people negotiating a changing world during a pandemic.

Many experiences from Neo’s life in Banbury have supplied content for the book.   He played football for Brackley Town, Banbury Irish and Banbury United.   This provided inspirational content as it instilled valuable life lessons – such as practicing hard, being a team player, staying focused and realising that failure might be part of the deal.

Neo says he learnt that “an inspiring moment, story or person can remain with an individual for decades”.

Inspired is told in five sections: people who have inspired Neo and what can be learned from them; the occasions on which Neo has been his own inspiration; places throughout the world that have inspired him; how lockdown inspired him; and events that he found inspirational.

Neo said: “My book is relevant because we all need wise nuggets to keep us going in life and to evolve as individuals. I hope the gems and stories narrated in my book will resonate with many people, regardless of their age, and have a positive impact on their lives.”

Chanka Zimba, a professional footballer for 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 teachable range of lessons. This book will also teach young athletes about the obstacles they may face during their individual journeys and how to overcome them.”

Doctor Nick Isbister, an executive personal coach, adds: “Neo Kalungu-Banda is a remarkable young man.  At this fascinating moment in our history – navigating a global pandemic, emerging out of lockdown, assimilating the trenchant criticisms of our society from Black Lives Matter – a young, black man reflects on life and offers us insights to people, places and events that have inspired him. These are the thoughts of a young man making sense of his world… we need to listen to this voice of a new generation, a voice of an alternative view.”

Inspired will be launched at the Whately Hall Hotel in Banbury on Saturday afternoon.   The event will be compered by entrepreneur, Raymond Pelekamoyo, who owned his own dance school before the age of 21 and hosts the Zambian Instagram live business show, ‘Quick 10’.  The launch will also be attended by Neo’s barber, who appears in the “people who have inspired me” section of the book.

Inspired can be pre-ordered here.

Neo can be followed on social media: Instagram (neo.kb), Twitter (neo_kb1) and LinkedIn (Neo Kalungu-Banda).

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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