As South Africa honours the strong women who have changed the nation, Arabic Piano star DJ Sbahle has told TshisaLIVE that the DJ industry has some way to go in breaking stereotypes.
While her name is now on everyone’s lips, Sbahle reflected on a time when breaking into the industry as a female DJ seemed like an impossible task.
“It is very hard to be born a female and want to be recognised as a young female DJ in SA. The bigger picture is to grow and survive. I want afro pop singers to start saying, ‘Thank you, Miss DJ, for playing my song’.”
“In this industry, It’s either you are confused by being a s**t or a prostitute because of the genre. Well, I am changing that perception.”
“People look at me and think because I like looking sexy that’s what I am. How I look is my image as an artist and my freedom to be who I want to be. Our country has a long way to go before accepting it’s not always how you dress that symbolises your character. Don’t judge my looks, rather judge my character and it won’t disappoint.”
She added that it is up to the current crop of female DJs to make a difference.
“It is a hard, long road that needs female DJs to work twice as [hard as] men. Given time, we will win this. I believe there is a lot of gender-based violence in our industry and one has to grow some guts to survive. At the end we are all talented individuals who want to make people happy.”