M-DUBZ ARTISTS’ ENCYCLOPEDIA
By Gibson Chikusa Kamanga
Iwayne Kamphulusa, better known by his alias, DJ Wayne is no stranger in the country’s entertainment circles. He is amongst the pioneers of modern day Deejaying in Malawi.
The brand, DJ Wayne has shaped a lot of musicians both ‘traditional’ and urban. It has been to various entertainment events ranging from musical shows, Send offs, corporate functions…the list is endless.
Unfortunately, to most Malawians, and entertainment revelers, that is the extent of their knowledge towards this citizen of M-Dubz. Many do not know the other side of Iwayne Kamphulusa.
If you are a mind reader, it could be hard to tell what goes on in the mind of this celebrated entertainer. For, his, is a face that does not tell much about what goes on inside his head. Neither is his voice when he is on air. To many, however, he is a symbol of some silver spoon beneficiaries around.
Going through his life story however, you would get a completely different version. His is a journey of an under-privilege child who was overcoming hurdles enroute to greatness.
Perusing Iwayne’s life, one would get an inspiration and benefits of staying firm during turbulent times. The edu-tainer’s life story is full of wretched moments that could easily attract tears in your eyes as you get closer to the life that Iwayne used to live back then.
Seeing the modern day Iwayne mesmerizing fans and foes alike, seeing Iwayne commanding respect today, is nothing but a “miracle” to believers, and a symbol of hope to the hopeless.
Here is a peep into the journey that Iwayne went through.
Looking at Iwayne today, one would think him and poverty have never dined together. Looking at the calm faced entertainer, one would conclude he is one of those who sailed through clear waters enroute to his adulthood he is now.
Iwayne and poverty have been pals for ages. And it is but a miracle that this most-sought-after Entertainer is now living his life, the life we have now come to know him. He had a sorry childhood, a childhood many, him inclusive would not dare visit again.
Raised in a single parent family, headed by a mother, it was hustle day in day out in his life. Iwayne grew up in a family where survival of the fittest was the order of the day. He had to adapt the life as a grown up even though biologically, he was but a minor.
“My upbringing wasn’t that easy. I grew up (Blantyre, Machinjiri Area 3) in a life where we were selling tomatoes, dry fishes and what have you. Limbe market was almost my place as I frequented it to buy things & sale at home,” he recalls.
That was not all. The then young Iwayne had to be involved in other informal employment so as to assist his mother to feed the family. Having lost his father at an early stage of his life, youthful Wayne had nobody but himself to bail his family out of poverty. He had to act the role of the father, assisting his mother in the breadwinning role.
“My dad died when I was very young. Selling different type of small scale merchandise was the only way to survive. At times, I could wake up in the morning just to clean at this other video show so as to earn something. When I knocked off from school, I’d be selling groundnuts, kanyenya, and doughnuts so as to have something in our stomachs,” he reveals.
THE DARK AGES
It was evident the-then Iwayne was spending most of his time in the streets. It was but a matter of time before something…unpleasant was to show its ugly face unto the youngster. After all, what would you expect from a child who is in the streets rubbing shoulders with some of the hardcore gangs in town?
And it was so. The young Iwayne finally got himself into gangsta life all in the name of survival. His acts slowly caught the attention of the law enforcers and at one point, he got apprehended; a thing his family rebuked(him) for some time.
“I ended up being arrested at Ndirande police and my family was very disappointed. I did that (criminal acts) for survival for I thought that was a way out. However, with time, I realized it was just too dangerous for me and my family.”
The-then young Iwayne had some visions about his life. His was a future where he had wanted to pursue a career in the legal profession. He had aspired to be a lawyer. However, events along the way were to turn his life in another direction.
“My dream life was to be a lawyer but due to some issues beyond my control, the tide changed its course. I ended up doing accounting & purchasing & supply,” he says.
THE BIRTH OF IWAYNE THE DJ
Iwayne and the entertainment industry have been lovers since time immemorial. For those who saw him growing up, may would not, rather, are not amused that he ended up where he is; in the entertainment world.
His passion for the industry had been in him since way back.
“The passion in entertainment came about after my elder brothers were music fanatics. We used to be listening to various radio stations. As a young curios mind, I started mimicking radio presenters back then. I remember even my mum jokingly used to be saying that I was gonna end up in the radio (as an announcer) as, according to her, I was very noisy,” hehehe!” he reminisces.
So, as he was growing up, so too was his passion in the industry. He started active Deejaying in 2001. Of course, by then, he had already started writing some lyrics, and doing one or two bars in the booth as well.
As he had been growing up, realizing that by and by,he was heading towards being behind the deck, there were some elements in the profession that he did not like.
“The thing I didn’t like about deejaying then was the issue of being out almost every week. In addition, to get a gig was a hustle & also the consequences which were coming with it,” reveals he.
A lot has changed, according to Iwayne. As he recalls, back in the days, it was unheard of for a person to be eking a living via Disk Jockeying. Now, him is a living testimony.
“A lot has changed. Parents now are able to allow their children to became djs as part of their job & slowly people are now trying to understand the role of a dj in their various spheres of life,” he observes.
BEING A PROFESSIONAL DJ
- Main motivation
Dj Wayne is so passionate about his profession. To him, every day is a brand new day where he has to dish out some of the finest songs to his audiences; not only on radio, but even when he is hosting various musical shows countrywide.
To him, having reached this far where Iwayne is being recognized, that alone to him is his biggest motivator everyday he wakes up.
“What motives me every day is to remember where I came from and people believing in my capabilities. That alone, keeps me going” says he.
- A day in the life of a DJ, Iwayne the DJ
To Iwayne, no day is the same in his life. Of course a lot of people know him as a DJ, not only on air but also in various entertainment events. However, there is more to Iwayne than just being entertainment. He has other equally important aspects that require his attention too. Simply put, he is always busy.
“Of course, I always try to figure out how I can improve myself so that I can be dishing out various goodies to my audiences whenever I step onto the decks. Of ocurse, I also always have to handle my other side of life,” elucidates he.
- Misconceptions about MW-Dubz DJs
It is ‘normal’ that many a Malawian tend to blacklist radio and club deejaays and even their related professionals as some of the species of human kind that cannot keep its zips under check. If it is not about that, then boozing is their bread and butter.
Iwayne, whilst understanding such a line of thinking, is however of the view that it is bad to generalize the whole industry just because of one or two lost sheep.
He says, him is a living proof of an ethically built and morally upright DJ whose acts are exemplary to the audience and his field too.
“The time I was venturing into this game, such issues used to be the order of the day. Times have changed. And I can challenge you that DJ Wayne can prove them wrong as he acts responsibly. I know my goals and aspirations so I can’t get carried away with these short-term matters of the flesh. I kno many can’t believe it but we here to change such a mindset,” he challenges.
IWAYNE KAMPHULUSA VERSUS IWAYNE THE DJ
“We’re all actors on stage waiting for our turn to act.” William Shakespeare
Both Iwayne Kamphulusa, and Wayne the DJ, whichever character you choose to listen to, will tell you that the two characters are planets away. According to the Entertainer, many of his followers know the one half of this personality; the entertainer. Only a few, according to Wayne, know the young Kamphulusa as a person outside his entertainment profession.
“The Dj Wayne you see in different media platforms like festivals, clubs & all sorts of entertainment places is the entertainer & yes Dj who is there to give you nothing but maximum feel of entertainment. The Iwayne Kamphulusa as home is totally different. He’s a very responsible man & doesn’t mix the two. Once I’m within the confines of my home, I leave the DJ part aside,” reveals he.
DJ IWAYNE THE ROLE MODEL
Unlike most Malawian youngsters, IWayne did not grow up on a silver platter. He had to hustle on his own to discover and clear his path. So to him, he feels it is good that any youngster out there need to have some soul searching journey first before committing his life to any profession and anything in general.
“I would like youngsters to learn one or two things first know who you they’re. That’s the first step in self-discovery. Be yourself and don’t follow the majority. Be humble and always ask. It doesn’t kill!” He advises.
- Would you allow your kids follow your career path?
“I wouldn’t say no to my kids to what they would want to become or follow the trend i have gone through. My only role would be to make them be aware of the good and bad side of their career paths. All in all, I’ll surely support their decisions. Times have changed. Let children dictate their own career paths.”
Memorable quotes from Iwayne
- I take chances &I’am a risk taker
- I don’t give up easily and I hate being used
- I believe in 3Ps; prayer, passion & PERSITENCE
- My doors are always open to new ideas and pieces of advice.
- Date of birth: 13th October
- Place of birth: Blantyre
SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES
- Facebook: Djwayne
- Instagram: Djwayne
- Twitter: @seanwayne