WATCH: Tanzanian DJ summits Mount Kilimanjaro and plays a set on Africa's rooftop

On Feb. 28, DJ Joozey began his climbing expedition and reached the summit of the mountain on March 2. Photo by Fredrik Lerneryd / AFP

On Feb. 28, DJ Joozey began his climbing expedition and reached the summit of the mountain on March 2. Photo by Fredrik Lerneryd / AFP

Published Mar 20, 2023


Dar es Salaam - Joseph Simon Misa, 26, works as a disc jockey at 1245 Lounge, one of the best nightclubs along Chole Street in the port city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he performs at night.

DJ Joseph Simon Misa, commonly known as DJ Joozey, had a dream to surmount Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, to perform there so that more people of the world get to know it.

On Feb. 28, DJ Joozey began his climbing expedition and reached the summit of the mountain on March 2.

"When I reached Gilman's point at an altitude of 5 756 meters above sea level I cried because of the freezing temperatures. There was almost no oxygen," recalled the DJ, adding that he could not believe it when he saw clouds below him instead of seeing them above him.

This was his first time conquering the mountain, where DJ Joozey said he played the East African nation's national anthem and Singeli, the country's new-generation local dance music, noting that he played both in Kiswahili, the national language.

"I plucked up my courage to perform for 16 minutes in freezing temperatures with only one mission of promoting the country's tourism locally and globally," DJ Joozey said of his experience on Africa's rooftop. "The most challenge my team of three men and I faced was the change of weather and mountain sickness that we experienced as we moved upwards."

He said performing on Mount Kilimanjaro amounted to realising his long-time dream. "My dream of performing a live set on top of the mountain came after I had travelled abroad where most of the people I met said the only thing they knew about Tanzania was Mount Kilimanjaro. This motivated me to promote the mountain globally, and at the same time promote my music business," said the soft-spoken DJ.

Anyone can dance to Singeli music even if one cannot understand Kiswahili, said the DJ who had recently performed in Dubai, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi.

He claimed his performance on top of Mount Kilimanjaro was the first ever to be done in the history of the mountain, and it helped him kill two birds with one stone - the promotion of the mountain and Tanzania and the promotion of Singeli dance music.

Roughly 50 000 climbers from across the world attempt to reach the summit of the mountain, known as Uhuru peak annually.

DJ Joozey said after he performed for 16 minutes on the mountain, he was advised to stop before the freezing temperatures and the mountain sickness took their toll. He said after his performance on the mountain, his value and integrity changed for the best and his mentality strengthened.

DJ Joozey said after he had descended from the mountain and posted his performance on social media, he had received positive reactions from many people, including ministers and diplomats accredited to Tanzania.

"They have labelled me as a hero that has promoted Tanzania through the top of the mountain without being convinced by anyone or being paid a single cent," he said.

DJ Joozey's road to stardom was not that rosy. Born in the Kishapu district in the Shinyanga region, northern Tanzania, the DJ said he lost his father while he was young and life became intolerable when his mother got paralysed.

"I decided to move to Dar es Salaam in 2013 after I had dropped out from school for lack of school fees when I was nine years old," he said. In Dar es Salaam he was engaged in various odd jobs, including part-time jobs in construction sites, washing buses, housekeeping, selling household utensils in the streets and selling ladies' underwear and bags.

"The little money I earned from these activities I sent to my mother to enable her to put food on the table. Indeed, life was very hard, and every day was a struggle," he recalled, adding that at one time he stayed at home for six months as he recovered from a spinal injury that was caused by a fall from one of the construction sites.

"When you are limited in life, it doesn't mean you have failed, all it means is that you get a chance to try again," said DJ Joozey, noting his fate started to change for the better after he was employed in a music and movie library where he learned how to use a computer.

He said his message to his fellow youth was to take pride in their country by taking initiative to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with a view to promoting local and international tourism.

DJ Joozey said Tanzanian youth in the entertainment industry are better placed to be the country's ambassadors of tourism by promoting tourism attractions such as Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti National Park and Zanzibar Islands.

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