In 2012 Nijel Amos shot to fame when he won silver at the 2012 Summer Olympics, securing Botswana's first ever Olympic medal. The 18 year old from Marobela now had to deal with a whole nation simultaneously looking at him as a Hero and a child.
I was only 18 years old – an 18-year-old boy not from the city but from Marobela.
I was a teenager and people did not at the time allow me to make mistakes that all teenagers are bound to make. But what kept me going is knowing that I had to provide for my family; I was raised by my Grandmother with nine children at home so I knew what was expected of me with the God-given talent I have.
It's been a life filled with ups and downs in the public eye - More Gold Medals, an injury that almost ended his career and public scrutiny to hell and back. Speaking with The Voice for an exclusive interview, Amos touched on everything the public wants to know - from the moment when the public seemingly began to turn their back on him, the 2016 Rio Olympics to his stint as DJ Zoro.
On being eliminated at the Rio Olympics: Those who had wanted us to deliver and come out with medals, did they put the proper structures and support for that to happen? Was there proper structures placed so that I could deliver to my best potential?
I say to Government that if you want your athletes to perform there should be better structures and support.
How do you think I felt when I heard that the night I was due to compete the then Minister was flying back home?
On being counted out: You know people have been saying my career is going to be over year in and year out, but six years later I am still counted as one of the fastest runners in the world! Do I have hard days on the track, sure, just like any other athlete.
But I am that athlete that commentators will talk about whether I am part of the race or not.
So that in itself means I still have a lot to offer, which helps me ‘not give up’, every time.
I quickly realised it was not the move for me so I let that dream go!
Under Chase the Dream I have a security business, a water business, a transport business as well as an artist label that we are still trying to push.
It is basically an empire where dreams come true.
When I heard his story and how he was finding it difficult to restart his life outside prison without the shadow and discrimination following him I just had to take him in.
I mean his story inspires me a lot and at Chase Dream Empire we are all about realising dreams and not being judgmental on anyone about their past.
He was one of those released by former HE, Ian Khama and has really rehabilitated his life.
Read the rest of the interview here.
Main Image: Instagram/Nijel_Amos