In Summary
  • DJ Malaika was a laboratory technician working at a mineral company before trading her skills for the wheels of steel in 2013.
  • She says she was not fully happy at her previous job, and that is when she decided to enroll at a deejaying academy.

Ikibamba sana wapi nduru weweee’ (If you’re having fun, scream!) This is one of many famous phrases used by deejays to hype the crowds in clubs or outdoor parties, as they urge the revellers to let loose and dance to the music.

Being a deejay has become a lucrative business, going by the number of entertainment groups that have formed to increase their chances of earning a living.

While the majority of Kenyans are guided in the conservative way — go to school, get an education and find a well paying job — many youth are breaking away from that age-old norm to join the business of disc jockeying.

Known to be the life of the party, these men and women dedicate themselves to reading and directing the mood of the party.

Over the years, women have proved that they too can work well in this male-dominated field.

Deejays such as Pierra, Redbone, Novia, Lil Mo, Eel, Tabbz, Shock Africa are some  of the women in the business. As Makena, aka DJ Pierra said: “It is not easy because people associate you with a loose life and all sorts of evil, yet this is a job  just like any other.”

Deejays in Nairobi earn from Sh40,000 for a club gig to Sh200,000 for a corporate event.

More young people are sharing videos and pictures of themselves doing what is “lit” for them through the hashtag #Lit360.

We caught up with a few leading female deejays to learn how they were able to perfect these talents.

“I have been in this industry for almost a decade now and I can proudly say that I am happy to see more women taking up the challenge in this male-dominated industry,” says Pierra.

Starting out as a deejay in 2009 was not an easy feat for her. She says people were not yet ready to see a woman being a disc jockey.

“When people hear that a woman is working in a club they start thinking negative things about her. But that is not what is happening now, deejaying is no longer a club thing, there are corporate events and people have now come to respect the hustle and the job.”

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