Local DJs demand recognition

MASERU — Local disc jockeys (DJs) are an unhappy lot.

This time their target is the Lesotho Haeso Music Awards which is organised by the Ministry of Tourism.

The awards are given annually to local musicians in recognition of excellence in music production.

But the DJs say the awards are not recognising their craft. They want this rectified.

“It is either we are not reaching their (Haeso Music Awards committee) standards or they just don’t want to recognise us,” DJ Hally told the Weekender.

He said despite DJs producing singles and albums they are continuing to be sidelined.

“Over the four years that the awards have been in existence, we have had local DJs release albums and singles that hit the market and receive air play on local radio stations but there was never a word for local DJ producers to get ready and take part in the awards,” DJ Hally (pictured) said.

He said the industry was contributing a lot to local music culture.

“Last year we released a compilation album that features tracks from local DJs.

“The album is making waves in South Africa. But is it sad that we will only be recognised in another country,” DJ Hally said.

DJ Thabbie, who has five singles under his belt, was more forthright.

He said: “The awards are not serving their purpose.”

DJ Thabbie said he approached the tourism ministry when the awards were in their infancy but had been rebuffed.

He said he was told that the awards were for performers only.

“I may not sing with a microphone but I deserve recognition for the initiative I am showing. I compose my music,” DJ Thabbie said.

“Organisers are telling us they are doing it to empower local artistes but how can you empower a segment of the music industry and not the whole industry?”

Tsepo Molelekoa, a local music producer, however told the Weekender that DJs needed to do more to promote their industry first.

Only then can recognition from the government follow, Molelekoa said.

“DJs need to put up DJ schools, record bars and other industry-related workshops in order for the industry to be visible under the government’s microscope.

“I personally feel that our focus as a local industry is to glorify international icons instead of building the good we have in one another locally. We must empower ourselves before the government comes on board,” he said.

“DJs need to get it together, not as individuals but as an inter-related industry.

“Only then will the government listen to the voice of numbers not of one or two people,” Molelekoa said.

The Haeso Music Awards organising team chairperson, Likotsi Lemeke, told the Weekender that they are not sidelining the DJs industry.

“We are not sidelining any category. We just do not have the potential yet to zoom into all music fields,” Lemeke said.

“The project is still in its early stages but we will extend into other programmes and other music categories.”

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