Evelyn Ramodike went from being an author to publishing books at the age of 25 because she wanted to challenge herself on a larger scale. As a child, Ramodike wanted to be an author and once she fulfilled that dream, she wondered what to do next, and started Evelyn50 Publishing Company. Ramodike said that she entered a writing competition when she was in Grade 10 when she fell in love with writing after reading “Her Mother’s Hope” by Francine Rivers.
The Tzaneen, Limpopo native noted that the main character inspired her and sparked the writing flame in her. “I won the competition and entered more competitions, and even though I did not win them, the desire for me to be an author stayed,” she told Vutivi News. Ramodike said that she published her first book “From an Empty Pride to a Full Price” in 2016 at the age of 20, after writing it for two years. The book was about black tax, and its popularity propelled her into a career as a motivational speaker and she hosted various seminars.
“It was around this time that I decided that I wanted to do something different because I had already fulfilled my dream as an author,” she said. Ramodike trained as a publisher for a month before starting her company in 2021. It is based in Germiston in Ekurhuleni and has three employees. The company initially served as a writing agency that connected other writers with publishing houses. However, Ramodike said that the writers would come back to her after receiving no feedback from publishing houses.
That was when she decided to start publishing books. Her first client was Lerato Makhavu, who published her first title, “I won’t be silenced”, in April this year. Ramodike recounts how difficult it was to get her first client. “When I approached her and convinced her to publish with my company, she had misgivings because of my age and the fact that my company was still new,” she explained.
“However, she gave me a chance, and when the book was published, she was really happy about the reception it received.” Ramodike then published a Setswana poetry book titled “Tsoga O Bone” in the same month as the first book. Both books can be purchased on Amazon. The company will publish two more books in August. Ramodike said that to get to where she was now, she had had to overcome feelings of doubt and being underestimated because of her age.
“It was very difficult for me because I was told that I was not going to make it as I am too young to be running a publishing house,” she noted. “Thanks to my first client, who after seeing my work and dedication encouraged me to continue, I was able to overcome this self-doubt.” Ramodike plans on moving to a physical office before the end of the year, and one day hopes to do her own printing. And her love for books does not stop here. She dreams of opening her own library.