By Duncan Mlanjira
Disco Jockey (DJ) and video maker SkappaDJ, (real name James Ibrahim) wants to take the entertainment trade to a new level by establishing a special academy in Lilongwe to train up-and-coming DJs in the country.
Located at Upper Biwi Area opposite main market inside Tithandizane garage, Scappa DJ Academy is set to offer ‘one-on-one Dj'ing mixing and scratching lessons for beginners to advanced users’.
On offer are digital Dj'ing, video Dj'ing, CD Dj'ing, iPAD Dj'ing, turntables Dj'ing, cellphone Dj'ing, sound engineering, video shooting and editing, script writing, media adverts production, music video production, keyboard playing, radio & TV presentation as well as graphic design.
The first enrollment is set for September 2 to 20 at a non-refundable registration fee of K1,000, whose classes start on September 23.
There are also special fees courses like sound engineering at K50,000, video Dj'ing at K50,000, turntables Dj'ing at K60,000 and computer Dj'ing at K40,000 — payable in two installments.
SkappaDJ has 19 years experience in the trade and he says he was exposed to Dj'ing at a tender age of 12 when his brother used to take him after school to his work place at a radio station.
“After watching how good he was, it attracted my interest and I started teaching myself at home on an old audio cassette radio,” he said. “Then in 2005 I went to continue my DJ and sound training in Maputo, Mozambique.
“I have hosted all the DStv’s Big Brother welcome home parties across Malawi courtesy of MultiChoice Malawi and I took my Dj'ing skills on the main stage at the Lake of Stars music festival in 2005 and 2006.
“I have performed alongside DJ Tira, Big Nuzz, Dj Waxy, Dj Mukambo, just to mention the few.”
He said most Malawian DJs haven't discovered the quality of being a good DJ as most them just venture into the trade just because they have acquired the equipment.
“It has always been my dream to share my experience with veterans and up coming DJs but due to some financial problems, I have been failing to do so.
“With the little that I have now, I want to do this and bring the level of Dj'ing to another level. Most youths in Malawi, after completing school, they wait for the government to offer them jobs yet they have talents of their own from which they can utilize for their economic livelihood.
“So, Skappa DJ Academy is here to give them something to do by using the skills they have to change their lives. I believe everyone has the talent which I can help to train and make them more professional.
“We have courses for every level of enthusiast. The two months courses are tailored to teach the youths all of the DJ and video producing skills.”
Apart from being a DJ, Scappa also runs and poultry agriculture business in Lilongwe, Ibrahim Farmland, that buys and sells poultry and grains from farmers across the country.
“At times, I export after receiving orders from my customers outside country,” he said.