A US-based Kenyan woman who quit her engineering job to become a full-time deejay says she does not regret the move.
Anne Mongare, alias DJ Mochi Baybee, talked about her love for the decks during a recent interview with People Daily.
Anne, who resides in Minnesota, was born in Nairobi but raised in Migori, Kisumu, and Kisii before her family moved to the US in 2009.
“I relocated to the US when I was 16 years old after completing high school in 2009. My mother won the American Green Card and we relocated,” she said.
The 27-year-old says she did not have an interest in deejaying until she met a DJ who challenged her to become an entertainer, a proposal she initially rejected.
“When I had my nine-to-five job, I felt that something was amiss, so I started indulging in more side hustles. I took flying classes, hosted events, and was just still digging until one day a DJ noticed that I paid attention to him every time he messed up.”
“He told me to try deejaying, but I refused. One time, in particular, he was showing my boyfriend how to DJ and I happened to pay attention. It looked pretty easy.”
“I tried it and he recorded and posted that video on Facebook and the comments on Facebook made me do it,” Anne says.
This was the turning point and the beginning of her career as a DJ, and three years later, she has never looked back.
“I saw how music made people feel. I would not have changed this path if I had a choice to do so. Three years later, I am excited to take it to another notch. It didn’t and never has felt like work to me, but I consider this path a calling, and I’m looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me.”
“I had to do both engineering and deejaying for a while but I decided it was best to put all my energy into one thing so I can be more successful. Believe it or not, you can make more money as a DJ than as an engineer while enjoying the freedom to travel the world and have a peace of mind of being self-employed. However, you have to be willing to work for it as there is always competition.”
Asked whether her parents supported her decision to become a deejay, Anne said they were initially skeptical.
“Are you kidding? No Kenyan parent would ever be happy that their child stopped working as an engineer to become a DJ. My parents were no different. My dad was more understanding, but my mum prayed for me every day,” she adds.
What challenges does she face as a female DJ? “I am aware that I have to work twice as hard as the male DJs to remain relevant. When I go to a club to play music, people often are not used to having female DJs and they become skeptical,” she notes.