Masters on the decks: There is a saying that “What a man can do, a woman can do even better” and with a generation where gender is no longer an issue, there are fields where women are giving men a run for their money. One of those fields is the deejaying business, where more female disc spinners are cropping up. Isaac Ssejjombwe brings you some of the notable faces on the wheels.
Real name Franchesca Nyakaiski, DJ XZYL is one of the best right now. She has been in the game since 2012 and for her, it does not end in the nightclubs but she also presents a show on Sanyu FM as well as NTV. DJ XZYL (pronounced exile), says she loved being a deejay even before starting out and it is this love that has gotten her where she is. “I like taking up good challenges- the love and passion I have for deejaying is unequalled and by the way, the ability to do what is perceived as masculine makes me a super woman,” she says, adding that if deejaying were a man, she would get married to it.
Signed under Ripple Inc 256, XZYL was previously under Platinum Deejays Academy Uganda and her six-year journey saw her emerge Uganda’s best female disc spinner last year in UG Mix Maestro DJ competitions finale. She also received a nod in the Africa Top Female Deejay Awards, which saw tens of leading female DJs across the continent nominated.
The name XZYL you may wonder? “If you look at the African great leaders, they all had rare names; Kenyatta, Idi Amin Dada, Kwame Nkurumah and so on. You would not find a John, or Allan as a great African leader, so in my head I also needed a name that would not be forgotten in the industry and that is why it is also in capital letters,” she explained.
Because she wants to be different, you will never find her wearing shoes while deejaying. She has had the chance to work with and entertain diverse crowds at competitions, auditions, hangouts, and exhibitions, international dance competitions and silent discos, among others. XZYL holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration at Sikkim Manipal University India/ISBAT.
DJ Pofia Nankya
DJ Pofia has been in business since 2012 and has played in places such as Punchline, Club Play, Venon, Nexus in Najjera, Club Ambiance, Amnesia, Diners Lounge, Club Ambiance as well as Kadanke Annual Party, Purple Party and Kampala Street Jam. She is signed to Roy Taban Implex Media & Events Company and has played for nightspots such as Trends Lounge, K-Club, Club Cyclone and Club Amnesia.
DJ Pofia says the love for music and the need to prove a point to those people who underlooked her is what drove her to where she is: “I love music and wanted to contribute to the entertainment industry but I could not sing, so I chose deejaying,” she said. That aside, she adds that “females shy away from some jobs yet they could actually mint a lot of cash from it. The first time I deejayed, everyone underlooked me but I am going places because of the turntable.”
She learnt how to play by just watching other deejays do their thing and after sometime, one of her friends told her about an opening for a female deejay at Punchline Bar in Kabalagala. She attended the function, went into the DJ’s box and after her session, she was hired.
She says deejaying has helped her achieve many things but most importantly building a house before even finishing school. “Deejaying has helped me meet so many new friends. I have managed to buy my own plot of land and built my house even before finishing campus. I am actually paying my own tuition fees,” the Third Year Mass Communication student at Kampala University says. Her dream is to open up her own DJ and music school someday.
Despite being on the scene for only three years now, DJ Lola can proudly hold her head high up when it comes to the nmber of places she has played at. She has played at Amnesia, Nexus Bar, Rock Bar, Happy boys, rumor bar Bukoto, Nyondo Club, Plan B Kabusu and Torino Bar, among others. She is one of the deejays under the DJ Association of Uganda and through this, she headlined the UG Mix Maestro campaign in northern Uganda last year and while there, she coached the finalists and prepared them find their foot with the turntables.
Born Marion Abitegeka Rutabisa Akiiki, Lola is the first born of two children and hails from a Christian family but her parents were okay with her career path since her father was a deejay back then and his stage name was Ruta B. She has a degree in International Business from Makerere University Business School.
DJ MARY JO
Marianne Adero MaryJo aka DJ Mary Jo is one of the finest supremely versatile female deejays from Uganda who began her career more than nine years ago with the Ras Clan group, where she was mentored. Her journey began when she hosted them as Entertainment Prefect at one of the schools she attended. She expressed interest in joining the group. “They gave me a condition to finish school first before I could join them and I did exactly that,” she says. After completing school, she scouted for tutorials and within two weeks, she had learnt the basics.
Mary Jo says she was mentored by DJs Excel, Allan and Roclar. With these inspirations, she was able to feature on one of the highly-coveted DJ mixes that featured 10 deejays – Amen in 10D Mix.
Her advice to young upcoming DJs is to keep practising to perfect their craft, study the crowd and provide memorable experiences.
Probably the hottest female DJ, Carol Kisukye is known for her relationship scandal more than her talent. But we will not go much into tabloid fodder. DJ Karo started her deejaying journey about five years ago and despite the fact that she loved music even as a child, she never dreamt of being a deejay. “My love for music started when I was a child. I had lyrics books and I got them through tapes I collected, so my love for music kept growing,” she said in one of her interviews. She started the ‘Friday playlist’ where she would post her favourite songs on Twitter every Friday. It is through this that she started the Samsung Twitter party and then got employed by Dash Events.
A year in the events business plus her Twitter playlist, the hangout decided to give her a shot at deejaying: “I was told it takes about a year to learn how to deejay but it took me just a month and a half to master the game and my first gig was the Samsung Twitter Party,” she said. This impressed so many people, who started booking her for shows and it is at this point that she joined Kinetic Group to manage her deejaying career and one of the clauses in her contract was that she was supposed to play at least twice a month.
DJ Karo is the last born and only girl of four children. She went to Aga Khan Primary School, Kabojja Secondary School and then Limqoqeen University of Creative Technology in Malaysia. She has played at several high-profile events including The Radio Shakedown, Samsung Twitter party and The FNL finals, among others.