Mr Ko Fiwa Ipapa "It is too Nice..." DJ Cheng

            Disc Jockeys as they are formally known, however in this day and age we all know them simply as DJs.
            Most people always say, besides hyper active party lovers, a DJ is a life of the party, he or she can either make a party or an event a banger or a flop.
            Botswana has been blessed with such talent (DJs) and most of them have been working so hard to even get recognition miles and miles away from home by big names like BBC just to mention a few. A lot of them just like many artists within the country and worldwide wither away in time whilst some are still hanging on. 
            The Sopranist Blog took time to get to know one of the DJs in Botswana who hails from the North of Botswana, Francistown and making his mark in the DJ industry.

Please kindly lead us with an introduction about yourself.
            My birth names are Arnold Chengeta, born and bred in Francistown AKA Ghetto. I am a DJ, I go by the name DJ Cheng, the name is simply from my surname Chengeta. Back in the days my friends found it cool to call me Cheng, hence incorporated that into my stage name DJ Cheng.

When did you start DJ’ng, what or who were your early passions and influences?
            Being behind the decks it’s something I fell in love with probably around 2004 when I saw my cousin Kris blending two songs together and they sounded ONE. Each time he did his mixes he would say “Magic! Magic!” and I fell in love with that magic.

            When I started DJ’ng it wasn’t all about the money, it was just pure passion but now I can say it’s something I want to push further with.
            If I had to mention my influences I’d say DJ Kris, Boogie Sid and DJ Cue really inspired me to do what I am doing now, and it’s such an honour to see myself playing alongside them in so many shows.

I understand just like artists, Djs have a genres they focus on, what’s yours and why?
            Currently I am more into house music but the idea is to learn all genres
Why all genres? It’s a business on my side and for me to be considered unique and one of the best I have to be able to mingle in all genres.

You are the man behind ‘Ko fiwa ipapa’ tagline, tell us where, how, what it represent and everything about it.
            Hehehe ‘Ko fiwa ipapa’ there are so many meanings to the slogan.
How it came about it’s actually a funny story, one day my two uncles came back home in the early morning and they were Juiced to the brim, my Granma was furious as they were making noise and they kept on saying “Ko fiwa ipapa” which in their definition it meant it’s too nice, we are too good. I found it too funny hence adopted the tagline whenever it’s time to turn up. People love it especially in the north since its Kalanga.

How is the industry here in Botswana?
            The industry is tough if you are not a corporate DJ because that is where the money is. And the only way to penetrate that market is being able to be jack of all trades when it comes to genres. Secondly, if you don’t have the focus and the will to learn you won’t make it. Moreover, our audience is limited to the small population we have in Botswana, it limits us to grow the entertainment business as compared to other countries.

How is DJ’ng different from the other line of music artistry like say production and the like?
            It’s actually not so different from production because it’s not just about playing the music it’s about being creative and doing what the other DJ can’t do in front of huge crowd.
Coming up with a set also involves arrangements of music you are going to play, there’s a lot that a DJ does.

Which shows have you played at and feel very much proud of yourself even til date?
            I have played in all Goledzwa music festivals, 555 monyaka tour, my annual birthday party, and every other gig alongside Boogie Sid, Cue, Kris, Kud, The Dude and Sipho however the 2015 Goledzwa Music Festival stood out for me.

What do you think of the reception Batswana give towards your work?
            I get much support from Batswana and very much appreciative of it. They now understand that being a DJ it’s not only about the entertainment part it is also business and it’s like any other job. They understand that I can still wear a suit and be on the Decks.

Is DJ’ng your 9 to 5 or you do have something keeping you busy when you don’t have gigs?
            I am not yet there to call it my 9 to 5. I do have something keeping me busy between those times. I got to pay the bills you know.

I always hear local talents complaining about promoters, what is your take on the matter?
            Hehehe, well my answer to that is a simple question “what are you doing about it as the artist” 

What are currently your main challenges as a DJ in Botswana or for all the DJs in the country?
            COSBOTS (Copyright Society of Botswana) is our 1st challenge, they want us to be registered with them at a certain fee which according to me it’s steep and it doesn’t make any sense looking at the market price of DJs today.
            Moreover, our population size is not big enough to grow the industry, which brings a challenge on our side. Oh and who can forget club trading hours, the limited times in clubs are killing us.


If you were to be put into isolation and given an option to take with you only 2 things, what would they be and why?
            My future wife and food coz I’m a food lover

Do you have any hidden talents?
            Mmhh I’m not sure, I am yet to find out as well

What’s that one thing you love most about Botswana?
            There’s so much to love about Botswana but just to mention one, who wouldn’t love a country that gives free ARV drugs and cares about the health of its people.

In this day and age, social media plays a very important role in the entertainment industry, how do you as a DJ make use of all these platforms?
            Yes it does, it’s a marketing platform for many of us. 80% of the world is either on Facebook, twitter, Instagram and the likes, so we use social media to market our businesses. I communicate with people who love what I do via these mediums, when I have showed lined up I share them on either mediums and trust me, these tools are very useful. I do get most gigs via Facebook.

Have you released an album, single or even a mixtape or it’s something that’s on the pipeline?
            I’ve thought of a single but I haven’t put any work to it, so currently it’s just something for the future. So I haven’t dropped anything yet.

Anything else you’d rather do besides being a DJ?
            Definitely the idea is not to be a DJ forever, so I can’t fully open up about what will be my next move once I put the decks to the side.

How long do you think you are going to keep on going? And where do you see yourself in the future?
            Honestly, because I haven’t made much out this business yet, I don’t know when I’ll drop the decks but the idea and goal is to be my own CEO one day.
 
How can someone very much interested in what you do get hold of you?
  Anyone is welcome to email me at achengeta@yahoo.com or contact me on (00267) 74374861.
            You are more than welcome to also Follow me on Twitter @MrCheng and on Instagram @Cheng_Ko_Fiwa and Find me on Facebook as Nickey Cheng

Any last words?

            I’m your DJ for today and tomorrow because with Cheng KO FIWA IPAPA all the time.


Signing out
Mr Orsen Pepe
Twitter: The Sopranist Blog  -  Twitter (P): Mr Orsen
Instagram: The Sopranist Blog  -  Instagram (P): Mr_Orsen
Fan Page: The Sopranist Blog


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