Stereotypes notwithstanding, Judith Pololet says that deejaying is a lucrative business
By Beverline Timanoi
Judith Pololet, also known as DJ Queen, is among the few women in Kenya who have proved that they, too, can excel in this male-dominated field.
She has the added advantage of being the only Maa female DJ, which comes with responsibilities as well. “Many girls in Kajiado look up to me as a role model,” she explains. “I am therefore very cautious about how I carry myself in public, lest I set the wrong image.”
With such high societal expectations, Pololet finds herself working twice as hard as her male colleagues to ensure that she projects the right image. “The fact is that our job involves party life and partying, so we constantly have to fight negative stereotypes that associate us with leading loose lives,” she explains. “Ours is a job just like any other.”
She counts herself lucky as her parents support and have fully embraced her choice of career.
Stereotypes notwithstanding, DJ Queen says that theirs is a lucrative business, seeing as more and more people are realising the need for having DJs liven up their events.
So what does it take to be a good DJ? “By their very nature, DJs are the life of the party,” she explains. “We dedicate ourselves to reading and directing the mood of the party.”
Being the only Maa female DJ, it is only fitting that she gets royal treatment, hence the name DJ Queen!
Contrary to popular opinion that deejaying is all about travel and having fun, DJ Queen says that their job involves a lot of practice and preparation. “Before any event, we have research on the size of the crowd and age in question as this is a key determinant to the kind of music you will place and hence the mood of the party.”.
While the business looks lucrative, it also requires a DJ to be smart in order to manoeuvre around the competitive business. She explains that one has to be on the lookout for fraudsters who invite a DJ to gigs and end up not paying.
DJ Queen, who gets a number of invitations through her social media pages, says she makes a point of forwarding such invites to her management, “who follow up to confirm if the gig is genuine before I accept to perform.”
She also has to grapple with club owners or event organisers who expect women DJs to charge less because “they think we cannot do better than our male counterparts, which is not true, when in fact we even do better,” she adds.
To ensure that she does not get short-changed after an event, she gets the clients to commit paying her the agreed amount beforehand.
With the assistance of her management company — Maafleva Entertainment — she has gained popularity through media tours. These involve visiting Maa radio stations as well as being invited to perform during their roadshows.
The many media tours that she has attended have helped in marketing her brand; as a result, she has started getting invites to perform outside Maa-speaking counties.
DJ Queen is currently saving in order to purchase her own set of DJ equipment. “Whenever I get a gig, I hire equipment from fellow DJs.”
A complete DJ set, she says, costs around Sh300,000. “I have been in talks with officials from the Kajiado county government and they have promised to assist me in acquiring a DJ set,” says DJ Queen.
Born and raised in Nkoile Location, Kajiado Central, DJ Queen realised early that her life would be in music. “I’ve had an incredible love for music since childhood,” she recalls, adding that she was inspired by DJ Kalonje’s mixes. What is more, she also grew up envying the “lifestyle” that accompanies deejaying.
DJ Queen, 20, attended Nkoile Primary School before joining Kaewa High School in Machakos County. In 2018, she joined Bizz Music Group (BMG DJ Academy) in Embakasi to study the deejaying craft.
She made contact with BMG through Facebook.
She is currently enrolled at ICS College, where she is taking a course in ICT. “Additional skills in ICT come handy in our line of work; besides, it is important to have a side hustle besides deejaying,” she explains.
Currently single, DJ Queen is not in a rush to settle down. “For now, I am focused on my career,” she says, adding that the idea of tying the knot might come in, say, in six years’ time.
With her name a brand in Kajiado, she is planning a colour splash event that will be held for the first time in Kajiado this April. The event, she explains, will create awareness on education and talent among the youth.