For Online E-newspaper
Daily Nation : February 24th 2014
2 SO YOU WANT TO BE A DJ... This takes more than skill Entertaining guests with the right music is an art from deep within BY PAULINE KAIRU email@example.com name. Call him DJ Adrian and regular party goers will know who you are talking about. This professional disc jockey A got into the trade in 1997, meaning that the considerable fame he enjoys today has been built through many years. Even before he became a DJ, Adrian loved music. Anytime he went out with his friends, his eyes and ears would be riveted on the DJ. He almost had a permanent spot next to the DJ booth. “At the time, I had no idea it was what I would end up doing for a career. It was more like a hobby,” he says. Adrian acquired his skill waiting at the turntable after his DJ friends. Later, he became resident DJ at Cue Sticks, a pool pub in Westlands. He spun there for three years before the place closed shop. DJ Adrian is a freelancer, but he is also a radio personality. His big break came in 2001 after he won a DJ competition at Capital FM. DJ technology has come a long way from the vinyl records, two turntables and a microphone that it used to be. Today’s traditionalist DJs might still use vinyl records, but more likely, they will connect the latest software on their computers to the decks, giving them instant access to all of their MP3s. Today’s DJ might have it easier, given the more user-friendly equip- FILE | DAILY NATION There was a time you would say you are a DJ and people would look at you in negative light. Now it is like any other career. In fact, you will be surprised at how much a well-established DJ makes in one night. DJ Adrian ment that may make an average person seem gifted. However, DJ Adrian says additional skill and passion is still necessary for a great performance. Not every cool looking guy with big fancy headphones will drive the crowd into frenzy, he stresses. Playing tracks takes more than skill. It is from the natural desire to see people get in the groove and have real fun from the music you churn out. It also takes a good attitude and a deep sense of self-confidence to stand up in front of hundreds of drian Washika is a wellknown figure in party scenes, but not by that people and play what you think they should be hearing. If your heart isn’t in it, you won’t be standing there long, DJ Adrain warns. You must also be in possession of a broad range of music genre because often, you never know who you will be playing for. Besides, you must be able to cater for the whole spectrum of people. That and a thorough knowledge of your music are what makes disc jockeying an art. You must study and understand your crowd to know what kind of music they’d be into before you even start spinning a beat. “That is how you drive the crowd into frenzy,” Adrian advises. The other important attribute is consistency. It is what makes a DJ’s name and leads to referrals and therefore more gigs. It has taken a while, but disc jock- eying is now accepted as a full-time career. “There was a time when you would say you are a DJ and people would look at you in negative light. Now it is like any other career. In fact, you will be surprised at how much a well-established DJ makes in one night,” he says. Some challenges? There is still the stereotyping that associates showbiz personalities with amorous adventures. Adrian says that irks him. There is also the occasional drunk who will approach the DJ booth to nag about a song he wants played in the next five minutes before he leaves. Adrian has also experienced oc- casional technical disasters, power outages and shady promoters. And because this is a night job, sometimes coming through last minute bookings, it can get in the way of important family plans and put a strain on one’s relationships. It takes an incredibly supportive spouse to trust their significant other in this type of profession. Why Kiyiapi is agitating for education reforms SPECIAL REPORT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 To the agitated professor, the education system in the country is just but a mess for today’s age of development. Changing the education system bottom to top is the only way of salvaging the situation. All kinds of skills He proposes a system that supports all kinds of skills, be it academic, professional, artisan, creative, technical, name it. That means re-engineering the system from the lowest level in such a way that by the time someone is exiting high school, there is some place that would be appropriate for them, depending on their interests. “People should not be exiting (high school) and ending up blank like many youths are today. That would only mean that the education system did not prepare them. That is what is happening right now,” he says as he yanks my notebook from my hands to draw sketches of the various streams that he thinks should be available for students as soon as they complete secondary school. The message is clear. The govern- ment, according to the professor, must establish a deliberate system of developing young people according to their capabilities, right from primary through to high school, by identifying talented kids and helping them grow their talents in those areas. After all, he argues, school is the one institution that has the most influence on children. Bank system He suggests the implementation of assessment regimes that incorporate all the capabilities that today’s youths encompass, instead of the present linear system that cuts off and drops those who do not meet declared academic grades. “We have made education an eliminating system, in which people merely compete to be at the top by cramming. Those who are deemed to be weak for this end up in the gutters. But what about those who are excellent with their hands or their voices?” he poses and proposes what he calls a “bank system”. Every student’s development This, he explains, keeps a tally of every learner’s score in all the subjects as well as extracurricular activities, all the way from when they started school to the time they finish Form Four. This is to keep a tab on every student’s development and capabilities. “The system should not be rigidly academic to the extent that those who are not compliant are doomed for eternal failure,” complains Prof Kiyiapi. “Never mind that you bagged a drama award for your school…If you fail in your exam, you are deemed useless. That is how we have modelled the education system. We have indiscriminately lumped up all our children in one thought basket.” Kiyiapi wants the government to sponsor colleges that are dedicated to non-academic activities such as drama, arts, and such like fields, much the same way it had established agricultural colleges. Taskforce on education reforms As he continues to express his frustrations, banging the table a few times to stress his views, Prof Kiyiapi reveals that most of the issues he is raising were captured by the taskforce on education reforms, chaired by Prof Douglas Odhiambo, set up in 2011 to look into broad areas of the education structure, management, policy framework and curricula. But the recommendations were shelved, he argues, just because of a proposal to change the 8-4-4 system. To Prof Kiyiapi, funds to carry out a radical education system reform should not be the issue because the need must not be ignored. Monday, January 11, 2010 DAILY NATION CAREER DAILY NATION Monday February 24, 2014 SMART MOVES Ingredients of a long-term career plan BY JULIAH KARIMI firstname.lastname@example.org I have recently embarked on a five year plan for my career, and I can confirm that it’s easier said than done. It’s not easy to foretell where you would like to be. It is actually daunting. It’s like plodding through uncharted waters. It needs inspiration, which, interestingly, comes through the understanding that it is the uncharted waters that give you the opportunity to discover yourself in a much deeper way. I have tasted a bit of my five year plan, and I could share a few things about planning one’s career journey. Assessing prevailing situation It begins with assessing your prevailing situation. This involves looking at what aspects of your job you are happy about and which areas you would change immediately if you could. It is also about weighing the pros and cons of any intended shifts. Good planning goes well with self-motivation. You have to be excited about the activity in order to move to the next stage. In preparing my five-year plan after evaluating where I stood, I outlined specific areas of development to look for, the tendencies to avoid and the values to pursue. Short-term goals I then made a list of the short-term goals I needed to achieve. These are objectives you can accomplish daily, monthly, or yearly. Similarly while doing so, make a list of your skills, knowledge, hobbies and interests. Daily work plans, by the way, should not just be seen in light of the assignments that are on your desk, but as activities that help in setting the stage for the monthly and yearly plans. For each goal, assign a time and indicate how the goal may be achieved, when that must happen, and what you need to achieve them. Find out what steps are needed to achieve your goals. For example, if you aspire to become a director, you may want to plot how to reach the position one step at a time. It might be that you will have to start with climb- ing to a supervisor position, followed by junior manager and then on to senior manager. By this time you will have set yourself up for the position of director. Study the previous directors that you may admire and assess the paths they took to get to the position. This will help you to practically establish the kind of additional training you may need. Work with mentors It also helps to work with mentors. In my case, I looked at my training needs and I assigned myself specific time-frames for achieving the given goals, one by one. I was additionally able to identify individuals who could help me to achieve my goals. Through them, I got a clear picture of my strengths and weaknesses, and what skills I needed to achieve the long term career goal I had in mind. Having someone to discuss the goals you have will further help you to differentiate the different types of skills and the suitable environments. Additionally, having someone to tell you the kind of truth you will be tempted to ignore, either because they are too painful to review or they are not in your thoughts, is an important addition to your career planning. Your plan must not ignore continuous learning. It is the only way to keep up with the ever shifting dynamics of events in the workplace. In any case, career planning is itself a function of time, usually requiring review at different stages in the journey. It ensures that you are on track and that you are heading in the direction you want.
February 23rd 2014
February 25th 2014