• September 30th, 2020

DJs struggle during pandemic

You hear them at events, they play your favourite tracks and sometimes you get overexcited when they pump your jams after one another and at other times you want them off stage because they are not fulfilling your musical needs.

Entertainment Now! had a chat with some of them to find out how they have been coping amid Covid-19, how the virus has affected their business, what they are doing to survive and tips they have for fellow artists to keep their heads floating above the water.

Felicia Mutonga, aka DJ Kiki, says there have not been any survival measures on the finance side of things unless essential service is what one is bringing to the table.  

“As a contribution to society, I along with the help of BBS Production created a weekly YouTube/Facebook entertainment stream show #DjKikiandFriends (which is still running) that focuses on local entertainment in the different industries for audiences at home. It’s unfortunate due to Covid-19 affecting one’s pockets – even outside sponsorship to compensate the artists could not avail itself. So everything was and is done from the expense of production pockets without generating profit, ” said DJ Kiki.
She said if there’s one thing Covid-19 has taught her, it’s to always have a back-up plan that falls under essential services when times like these hit.

DJ Semzo told Entertainment Now! that along with his industry colleagues and the rest of the world, they have been cruelly impacted by the novel coronavirus. “One cannot do anything apart from live streams. If you do not have your own equipment, then you will have to rent them which results in making a loss. The success of hosting a live show depends on your fan base and the number of followers you have,” he noted.

DJ Semzo said they are not receiving sponsorship from big companies that previously sponsored events. “They can help us with live streams. Such as Angola and South Africa which hosts a Lockdown Party's every Friday and Saturday which airs on Channel O. Angola on the other hand invites two or three local DJs and an artist on their local music programme for four hours every Friday which is then accompanied by an interview. Our country on the other hand is not doing much, we have been sidelined,” said DJ Semzo.
He urged fellow artists to start up small businesses that will maintain them. 

He said: “Covid-19 is a wake-up call for us to branch out in areas beyond music and the entertainment industry. Do whatever you must, do not just sit at home waiting for things to happen. Take this opportunity to explore your capabilities, test yourself and try out new ventures.”
Another DJ who feels left out with developments related to the entertainment industry, specifically regarding the funds allocated to the National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN) by the education ministry, is Helder B Salomon, professionally known as DJ Snoop.
“I came across this information by mistake, by scrolling through the deejays group on WhatsApp, I was not informed of the funds. Most people in the entertainment industry are not aware of the funds. I heard rumours that the funds are meant to help cover the employees of Nascam, it is not clear who should be benefiting from these funds,” said DJ Snoop.

Having no additional source of income and currently surviving on his savings as he is unable to generate much needed funds, DJ Snoop advised fellow artists to limit spending what they have and try to invest in different prospects.
“I know it is really difficult due to lack of opportunities and ideas but it’s worth a try. Artists can contribute majorly to the industry by recording music with positive messages to educate people of the reality of what is going on and upload their materials on social media and try to sell them online,” recommended DJ Snoop.
Love them or hate them, disc jockeys in Namibia and all over the world have been part of our lives and continue to be, even when events are not hosted.
– psiririka@nepc.com.na

Paheja Siririka
2020-06-26 10:56:44 | 3 months ago

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