Six-year-olds are known for their abundant energy and the enthusiasm they have for showing off their talents. One young Nigerian girl has chosen to direct this energy towards a deejaying career. This confronts her with a unique challenge, that of combining career and education. For some of us, it took us almost 20 years to discover what we want to do with our lives. At 6, young Eze Chikamso seems to have her career completely figured out.
Eze Chikamso aka DJ Irish is unique launched a career in Deejaying in 2019. She released her first tape, an Afrobeat mixtape ‘Party Vibes’ in June 2020 which was very well received. Thankfully, she enjoys the support of her parents. Speaking to ‘Premium Times’ about where she derives her inspiration from, she said,
‘’I love music as I said. I love to play music. Since I was a baby, I have loved listening to music. I also like it when the music is very good, and I like to try my hands-on new things. What inspired me most is watching DJs play music on my birthdays. My parents usually celebrate my siblings’ and my birthdays every year and there is always a DJ to play music for us. I like the way the DJs play and that really inspired me. Watching DJ Cuppy, DJ Nana and other DJs inspire me too’’
The Difficulty of Combining Career and Education
Young DJ Irish admits that combining career and education poses a challenge. Just as older college students will concur, working to pay your way through college is not easy. Careful scheduling is crucial so that important events on the school calendar such as exams are not neglected. Mindful of term grades, the students also ensure that assignments are always handed in on time. DJ Irish, however, succeeds in balancing the two because her desire to be the best motivates her to excel in school. In her words,
‘’I am still the best in my class, and I have five awards from school. They are for Arts, Science and Spelling Bee. No matter how hard, I like to be the best in what I do. I hope to be the best DJ out there very soon.’’
Deejaying in Africa
Special skills are required to be a successful DJ; it takes creativity to mix music in a way that expresses your individual taste and pleases the audience. It requires intuition to gauge the mood of the audience and to respond accordingly. In Africa, DJs are the key element of events such as weddings, fashion shows, product launches, and dance parties. Their role is to provide a beat that keeps the crowd on the dance floor.
For a long time, Deejaying was considered a male domain in Africa, but things are starting to change for female DJs, also referred to as ‘Djettes’. Speaking to the Africa report, Djette Reyo Rabat of Morocco who previously encountered problems getting gigs said,
“For sure, people did not easily accept the idea that a woman could do this job. It was looked down upon and you had to make yourself respected. But lately, most Moroccans have started to respect women and Djettes have become really in demand. Women are better paid than men now because we are rare in Morocco.”
Is Deejaying in Africa a Lucrative line of work?
Wherever you are in the world, making money as a DJ is a challenge. Many DJs stay in the business because they have a passion for it, and not for monetary gain. Others use deejaying as a side hustle as they endeavor to combine career and education. When asked about the monetary aspect of her DJ career, DJ Irish admitted that she only makes enough to cover her costs.
However, DJs with exceptional talents have made it big, such as the South African DJ Black Coffee who has a net worth of $60,000,000. The Nigerian DJ Jimmy Jatt is reputed to be worth $700,000, and DJ Cuppy $750,000.
The Drawbacks of a Deejaying Career
Veteran DJs admit that there are certain disadvantages to this line of business, such as;
- The venues of the gigs which are nightclubs, pubs, and lounges. These can sometimes be dingy and the atmosphere unsavory
- At times, the audience may consist of drunken, rowdy revelers.
- Earning tend to be low unless you are in the big leagues
- There is stiff competition and not enough gigs for everyone.
- In the case of a child, there is difficulty in combining career and education.
- The loud music may cause permanent damage to a child’s eardrums
As in all professions, there are pros and cons to be considered, and ultimately parents must make decisions that will best suit their families. Do you think it is OK for DJ Irish’s parents to allow her to practice deejaying at such a young age? Tell us what you think in the comment box below.