By Motšelisi Sekonyela
A night club in the heart of Maseru, Cuban Linx on February 18 reached the finale of their long-running Disc Jockey (DJ) talent search competition that they started in July 2022 with performances from local and international acts. The finale was marked by an awarding ceremony of the top three winners.
The club’s Marketing Manager, Itumeleng Letsapo said the club embarked on this initiative as a way of showing their appreciation to the people that always bring life to their business, being the DJs, by giving back to them in terms of exposure as well as prizes.
The competition commenced with a total of 16 contenders across all music genres. At the finale, however, there were 4 DJs remaining, out of which three were given prizes that include a sum of M10 000 and a tattoo voucher worth M1000 for the winner. The first runner up walked away with a sum of M7 000, while the second runner up walked away with M3 000.
The DJs were judged on their stage presence, crowd engagement and their mixing skill. The judging panel included veteran DJs.
Letsapo said she feels that clubs do not appreciate DJs enough for the part they play in making their businesses entertaining to their patrons. She says they are the first club to run this kind of competition, and they have plans of making it an annual competition.
The competition’s main sponsor was Maluti Larger. Associate sponsors included Uforia Ink, Shipa Online store and Konka ginger.
Another reason that the club felt compelled to run this competition as said by Letsapo is to change the stigma around their kind of businesses in society. She says clubs are deemed as places that ruin people’s lives and nothing good can come out of them, but with this initiative, they aim to change the narrative by positively impacting the lives of the winners. Letsapo said the winner broke down in tears, and that showed how much of an impact the prize will have in their live.
“You know how our kind of businesses are perceived in society. We are hoping that initiatives like this one will change this narrative,” she said.
The competition winner Moroesi Malebo, well-known be her stage name Goldhearted from Khubetsoana, Berea said being a part of this competition alone was enough for her as she learned a lot about the industry as well as got a lot of exposure which she needed for her brand. Malebo said winning was a cherry on top.
She said despite being confident in her skill, she was faced by very tough competition where any of the DJs could have taken the prize home, and she was in disbelief t have come at the top. Malebo says she owes her victory to her versatility.
“I believe the reason I won is because unlike some of my fellow contenders, I played around with different music genres and did not only stick to mixing the same kind of songs,” she said.
Malebo hopes to venture into entrepreneurship with her winnings as well as purchase her dream headphones that will advance her career.
“I want to thank Cuban Linx for this huge platform they presented me with that gained me a lot of following and recognition. I also gained a lot of knowledge from the judges,” she concluded.
The competition ran once every month with elimination each time.
The club’s marketing manager said this is not the only giving back initiative they have done. They pride themselves in promoting such initiatives that their peers in business do not.
“We have had the “women in business expo” where we gave a platform to women with various small business to showcase their products for free to our patrons. We also have the Cuban Linx pop culture podcast where we invite young creative to come and talk about themselves and their craft. We are trying as much as possible to extend a helping hand to Basotho in an effort to tackle unemployment as they have been supporting us since six years ago when we started,” Letsapo said.