‘We can spin the decks, too’ — Noma that Girl
LEADING Bulawayo female DJ Nomagugu Hanyane has exhibited exceptional music prowess by distinguishing herself through a unique versatility that has seen her excelling in the male-dominated “deejaying” field.
By Sharon Sibindi
Hanyane (NH), who goes by the name DJ Noma that Girl when spinning the decks, spoke to NewsDay Life and Style Reporter Sharon Sibindi (ND) about her life and experiences as a female disc jockey. Below are excerpts from the interview.
ND: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you ventured into the DJs’ circuit?
NH: My name is Nomagugu Hanyane. I am the first born in a family of three. I am a disc jockey by profession. I joined the arts industry in April 2014 through DJs Hangout by Mark Vusani, where upcoming DJs showcase their talents, mix and mingle with well-known DJs, so I had to take part in it. Since then, I have been spinning the decks.
ND: How long have you been a DJ and what is the muse behind it?
NH: It has been three years now. I have always loved music and I saw this as the only platform for me to express my love for music. I am able to showcase what I have and let people enjoy.
ND: What have been some of your memorable experiences?
NH: Every time I play outside Bulawayo, I feel wow! My most memorable shows have been in Gwanda, Harare and Masvingo. I enjoy it, as it brings me out of this world and I get to see how most people are surprised when they see a female spinning the decks better than their male counterparts. This drives them insane (in a good way) and, yeah, we can spin the decks, too. So I enjoy it when people appreciate my talent. It is just amazing.
ND: Is the industry kind to female DJs? What has been your story?
NH: I have faced challenges like being sidelined, not taken seriously, as a female DJ. Another thing is that promoters tend to take advantage of female DJs. They do not appreciate us and think everyone can be a DJ. Sometimes they prefer the cheapest options rather than best. People do not know that cheap is expensive, you get what you paid for, so that’s another problem.
The passion that I have is not about the money, money is a bonus, but we are not taken seriously.
ND: What projects are you currently involved in?
NH: This year, I have not been involved in many projects but in 2018, I am planning to release some material. That is what I am working on, and people should watch out for some collaborations too.
ND: What would you also want your fans to know about you?
NH: I am a town planner by qualification. I studied at Bulawayo Polytechnic College. That is what I do and I think a lot of people do not know this about me. I am a bad ass when it comes to FIFA (play station game). Yeah, I am a hard gamer. I dare any guy to come and challenge me.
ND: Can you tell us about that lucky guy in your life?
NH: I am in a relationship but I keep my private life away from my public life. I do not mix my work and private life. My partner has been very supportive to me and he is my number one supporter alongside my family. He is very proud of what I do. So I always make time for the things that are important to me.
ND: Is this about your natural talent or an acquired skill?
NH: In the beginning, deejaying was very challenging, especially in my genre, which is hip-hop. A few people play that and there is a lot of beat matching, key matching and tempo. In the beginning, I used to practise quite a lot. Now I am working on being creative and doing things that are outside the box, mixing acapellas, putting together songs people think cannot go along together.
ND: Tell us about your family, are they in any way involved in what you do?
NH: My family has been so supportive since the day I told them this is what I want to try and venture in. They told me to go for it and they were the first people to buy me a controller. They believed in me. They even trust me enough to go out at night to work and return home safely. It is a trust thing, which I really appreciate because many families would not accept that for a girl child.
ND: Thank you so much Noma for your time.
NH: You are welcome.