Sunday, April 18, 2021

Female DJs strive to rise to the top

Botswana has female Members of Parliaments, Chief Executive Officers and triumphant athletes.

Recently female deejays are also making it in a man’s world. It’s no longer a novelty to see women on the decks at a club.

A few years back, female DJs were unheard of, but times have changed. Female disc jockeys have come forward and are bravely showing their intent to break their way into a male-dominated field.

Theirs, however, has been a hard task, as we rarely hear of female DJs headlining big shows.

It takes a brave woman to stand behind the decks, in a crowded club and mix music, particularly given the general behaviour of men at these places. Most men, while clubbing, are hyped-up on adrenaline and eager for confrontation at the slightest of excuses. With their mob mentality and drunken state, one wrong choice of a song and the mob could turn on the deejay.

Osenotse ‘Faith Beatz’ Mangope, 27, works at the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) and belongs to a sphere of the music industry, which is characterized by headphones, big-boost bass speakers and experienced hands.

Mangope revealed that hers is the perfect epitome of an ‘AGAINST ALL ODDS’ scenario.

According to Mangope, making it to the top as a female DJ is not an easy road because many women DJs in the club scenes have found themselves treated with a mixture of doubt and disregard but at the end of the day women should stand up and prove that they can spin, cut and scratch as well as the males do. Therefore, men should respect and support that.

“As a DJ, you have to be patient because you don’t work with your hands only but also use your heart and head. You do this because you love it, not because you have to do it. It is challenging in the sense that you work for people, you must be able to read the type of crowd to avoid disappointing them. You should always be up-to-date with regards to music and music collection.”

Lesedi “DJ Spinz” Magowe, member of the House Junkies group, said, “Despite public perception, it is not an easy industry to be in. There is a lot of expenditure and planning that goes into events as well as outside competition from other DJs. It is in no way an undemanding industry to venture into. Many have learnt the hard way.

“I welcome the development but as I always say, it really has to be for the right reasons which is the passion for the music because it is a gruelling industry and not as glamorous as it is perceived to be. If a person is not passionate they will fall off.”

Zinhle Jiyane, also a female house music DJ, is making people dance to her tune. It’s been only a few years since Zinhle came onto the scene, but already she has become one of the few female DJs that have so far created a good image and name for themselves.

Commenting on the challenges she faced as she was building up her career, her one headache was not being given a chance to showcase her capabilities.

When it comes to music, Zinhle’s favourite tunes are deep house but, because she is a DJ, she has to ensure that whatever she plays is for the people, not for herself.

Second Year University of Botswana student, DJ KimWizzy, said that she has been on the decks for the past four years.

“I play in local clubs, all the party spots, corporate events and sometimes in South Africa. I play HIP-HOUSE, that is hip-hop mashed up with house music play club dance, soulful, deep, electro, techno and hip hop. Every Wednesdays I play at O’Hagan’s restaurant in Game City. I host the ladies night show and only female DJs are allowed to play for these shows. I also play at flava dome show on BTV every Friday.”

“The only advice is for female DJs to work hard to keep improving their skill and not to let the fame get to their head. The number one killer of talent is a big ego. Stay humble and pursue your passion, the rest will fall into place,” advises Magowe.

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