DJ Zinhle will always be regarded as a glass ceiling breaker.
Not only has she consistently flourished in the male dominated world of DJing, she has proven she has staying power and it’s partly thanks to her that we now have more women behind the decks.
Once again, DJ Zinhle is one of only three women performing at the Essence All Star Music Festival on Saturday, with only Babes Wodumo and Thandiswa Mazwai on the line-up. Other acts at the festival are Ne Yo, Nigerian sensations Wiz Kid and Burna Boy with top local talent Black Coffee, Cassper Nyovest, AKA, Big Nuz and DJ Tira.
The Essence Festival is a big deal and many are excited about it coming to Durban. Besides the concert, what are you most looking forward to?
The wealth of knowledge which will be shared by industry professionals with young people who want to build careers in the entertainment industry. Successful people such as Steve Harvey can teach us a lot about the entertainment industry.
If you weren’t on the main stage at the All Stars concert, would you have liked to have been one of the speakers at the festival?
Yes. I love exchanging knowledge and information.
You’re one of South Africa’s top DJs who also just happens to be a woman. Is it still difficult for you to get the same calibre of gigs as your male peers in the industry?
Not any more, I think getting the same shows as my peers required me to work hard to prove myself. I know that gender sometimes plays a role but people also need to realise that to be successful one needs to work very hard.
You were instrumental in there being more visibility for female DJs in the industry. Where are we now (in terms of numbers) and are you happy with your fellow female DJs and their success?
We are trying to build a female DJ industry and, in order for us to do this successfully, we need time and support.
I am happy with how far we’ve come as female DJs. I see a lot of successful ladies, and I know it’s only a matter of time before we are able to have shows where the headliners are female DJs.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Launching Fuse Academy, my DJ school for girls has definitely been a career highlight.
Is there a song that you listen to before you hit the decks?
It depends on what I’m listening to at the time, right now I am listening to a lot of Nasty C.
Who, at the concert, are you excited to see perform?
Ne-Yo, I am a big fan.
So why must we make sure we’re at the All Stars concert at Essence Festival Durban?
The one thing I know about the City of Durban is how seriously they take events here. Durban is beautiful and they have proven to be great hosts with other prestigious events that have taken place in the city. I don’t doubt that the Essence Fest will be one of the most talked about events this year. The line-up is amazing and the tickets are affordable.
The Essence All Stars Music Festival will be at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday from 1pm.