New Era (Windhoek)

20 June 2012

Namibia: Popya With

opinion

Article Views (non — Desiderius Shikoyeni aka DJDesertstorm from Windhoek's Katutura was pretty much the average Joe growing up with an intense love for music.

Desiderius attended Mandume Primary School before moving to Oranjemund to his father where he finished his primary education till grade seven at Oranjemund Private School. He moved back to Windhoek and went to Hochland High School for a short period before moving again, this time to Karibib, where he finished his high school at the local high school.

Desiderius found himself a job at Life Line as a facilitator and co trainer in 2006, where he worked with local communities and schools educating them on HIV and AIDS. What he initially thought of as just a job, would move and change the young Desiderius.

He worked at Lifeline until 2009, when he took on a new challenge at Mobile Telecommunications (MTC0 till present day. "I have always loved listening to music, I would watch music videos on television but it is when I went to a live show and saw a South African DJ performing live when he had the crowd on their toes, singing and dancing. It was an electrifying experience, the likes of DJs Cleo and BojoMujo inspired me. I would than make my way to their live shows and see them work their magic."

Desiderius started using Virtual Dj; a computer programme that mimics the equipment of Disk Jockey (DJ) allowing the user to mix, synchronise and play songs and beats. Desiderius would spend his free time mastering the application.

With his new-found skills, he would take to parties and DJ on his laptop, entertaining and keeping his friends on the dance floor. It was not be long when people started approaching him to DJ at their weddings, parties and other functions. "At this point I wanted to learn to spin (play) the decks, as to be a respected DJ you would have to perform on decks. This was a problem for me at first learning to spin on decks but I kept at it and it paid off."

As friends found his name dull for a stage name, and other having problems pronouncing it, a friend would nickname him Desert, and other completed it by adding storm, thus DJ Desertstorm came to be. His ambition to scratch and spin on the decks would see him performing in clubs, just under a year after he started DJ- ing on virtual DJ.

"The DJ industry in Namibia is very small, and getting a gig at a club was not easy in itself. First you would get the worst slots, as DJ-ing is an audience-based performance. Keeping the audience on their toes builds your fame and reputation. I slowly worked my way up getting better slots and gaining my own following. The mixes I created I would give away and some would be played or used by radio stations"

Besides from performing at local clubs, Manaco Lounge, Cheers Lounge and Chez Temba, DJ Desertstorm is working on releasing a deep house album and penetrate the South African and overseas market. Having rubbed shoulders with some of the DJs he admires, collectin invaluable experience, he is more than motivated and up for the challenge.

Desiderius has also initiated helping up and coming DJs, or simply people that would like to learn to spin the decks, by starting an academy to share his knowledge and teach the skills. The initiative is in an advanced stage and will be opening its doors to students very soon.

"The fundamentals components of being a good DJ is to have a love for music as I just not only play house but other genres as well; being able to concentrate; having a keen ear and good hands and eye co-ordination."

Having an 8 to 5 job and then being a DJ every other time can be exhausting but DJ Desertstorm comes by as he simply loves what he does, and has a strong support system. It is very easy to get drowned in the new found fame and lifestyle but being disciplined and focus has been working well as DJ. "I have always wanted to become a pilot but with my current schedule, it is hard to sit down and learn. I have not given up on my dream and have taken a few measures that will allow me to follow it in the near future.

And for the youth out there, Desiderius leaves them with these words: "Life is not handed to you on a silver platter you must go out there and make your dreams a reality."

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