Woman behind the decks; meet Queen’s Palace’s DJ Nelly

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If you’ve been to Queen’s Palace on one of those wild nights out, you must be familiar with that boyish girl behind the decks. Her name is DJ Nelly.

Born Nakalema Hadijah, DJ Nelly got her interest in dee-jaying ignited 6 years back while in Kampala. A friend noticed her interest in dee-jaying and hooked her up with an opportunity to play in Tororo.

“I loved the game (dee-jaying) but had never actually played for a crowd,” intimated Nelly. “I was nervous but I had to make the first move. I told myself I could do it and said yes to the offer”

The opportunity was at a hangout called Alfa and Nelly played there but didn’t last long. She was soon poached by another guy to play at Vane Resort. From Vane Resort in 2012, Nelly moved on to De Posh in Kabalagala and later Spot 6 Bar & Grill in Jinja.

At the time, Nelly says she was still learning the craft and cannot account for so much of that time. Queen’s Palace’s DJ Andrae soon spotted her and interested her in joining them. She accepted the invite and joined Queen’s Palace in 2014.

“Guys look at me and think I’m some kind of whore! It’s disgusting…”

So much for her time at Queen’s Palace, DJ Nelly for two years in a row bagged two wins at Queen’s Palace’s annual in-house Eid Day DJ & MC Battle. “I wasn’t really sure I was going to win because those guys are more experienced than I am. I really value those two wins and I can comfortably say I’ve seriously been a DJ for just one year,” said Nelly when asked about her two awards. Apart from the two, she hasn’t been to competitions outside there.

What pushes her?

“I got into this with 200% passion and that is what really pushes me. I know I can do what the guys do and I always put in my all,” offered Nelly when asked about her drive. She also draws inspiration from industry names DJ Mary Jo, NBS’ DVJ Mark and the DJ duo of Roja & Slick Stuart.

For her time rocking dance floors, it hasn’t been a walk in the park. “I don’t have a problem juggling and balancing my private stuff and work but the biggest challenge for me is disrespect from male patrons,” fumed Nelly. “Guys look at me and think I’m some kind of whore! It’s disgusting. And when you turn down the advances, the hate will turn to my work, my work then becomes bogus but I will continue to do my thing,” she added in a down trodden tone.

For being the only female DJ in Jinja in a male-dominated setting, DJ Nelly deserves recognition as a super woman this year.

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