7 Young African Women Dominating The Turntables

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DJs: the custodians of good vibes, good times, and good music. Sadly, less than 10 percent of performing DJs at music festivals, concerts and clubs around the world are women, and an even smaller percentage of these women are African. Despite the fact that people are slowly starting to warm up to female DJs playing at various venues, the reality is that many are still overlooked, underpaid, underrated or merely praised for their looks. As music writer Shiba Melissa Mazaza eloquently explains it:

Women are not allowed to make mistakes during their sets, having to work twice as hard to make their audiences listen beyond, let alone fully accept, their outward appearance, with onlookers forgetting that often the only way to gain the experience needed to become a world class performing act is to play in front of crowds. There will be mistakes, always. Such is the path toward professionalism.

And yet… There are no statistics to show that women are any less talented or capable of doing the job. On the contrary, there is, in fact, an abundance of female talent in the DJing world. So, while there is still a long way to go before we reach any real sense of gender equality or even equity in the music industry as a whole, it’s thrilling to see more and more young women (particularly our African sisters dem) taking over the ones and twos, spinning tunes, and making a name for themselves — both at home and away. 

As such, we’ve curated a list of 7 burgeoning female DJs from across the continent, bringing you Afrobeats, Amapiano, Afrohouse, and everything in between.


Deniece Marz (South Africa)

Xoliswa Denise Moyo, popularly known as Deniece Marz, is a live mix DJ, music producer and curator. Deniece started her DJ career at the age of 19 while studying towards her Fashion Design Degree. Raised in a music-loving household, her background shines through in the way she handles her music. Able to blend music from a variety of different genres, while cutting across multiple eras, Marz’s sets have a little something for everyone.  Having graced the stage for the likes of Afropunk; Red Bull Music Festival and Oppikoppi, it’s clear the passionate DJ and her sincere love for music are here to stay.

Kikelomo (Nigeria)


Kikelomo is a  DJ, Presenter, Boiler Room Host and co-founder of Accra-based community radio station,
Oroko Radio, and quite frankly? She’s not here to play with any of us! Since starting out in 2017, Kikelomo’s eruptive growth has been nothing short of amazing, having already played across multiple continents alongside industry heavyweights, from DJ Stingray to Skepta, in addition to playing to a crowd of 100,000+ people at the Brandenburger Tor national monument, broadcast on national television to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Often praised for her high-energy sets, Kikelomo’s manifold sound, which combines everything from techno and house, to jungle and hip hop, is a reflection of the many influences in her life, including her home city London and her Nigerian roots and ancestry. Taking the world by storm, one BPM at a time, Kikelomo is proof that when you’ve got it? You’ve got it. 


DJ Ghboi (Ghana)


Merging grime with EDM, coupé-décalé with heavy hip hop and trap beats, Ghboi is a Beijing/Accra based DJ whose vibes completely set her apart.  With every transition, as she skates from one song to the next, it’s clear that this is a young star who won’t be defined by anyone but themselves. An ardent supporter of women’s rights and Ghana’s #KillTheBill movement, DJ GHBOI has carved out a space for herself and others like her, championing free expression of gender and sexuality.



Janiceiche (Kenya)

As a producer, songwriter and vocalist, Janice Iche has their fingers in many pies. They turned to the turntables around 2020, in search of another way to share music and deepen their connection with their music. Always wearing their Kenyan and Tanzanian roots with pride, they mix songs and sounds that show the impact of US and UK drill music on Africa. Nairobi’s hottest rappers such as Nattt, Burukulyn Boyz and Dyana Cods follow one another during their energizing sets, as they alternate between gengetone (a Kenyan derivative of the Californian genre called genge), and other genre-bending sounds from the country’s urban and underground scene.

Speaking openly about the challenges of navigating the industry as a survivor of sexual assault from the same industry, Iche is big on prioritizing their safety and moving forward  with more confidence and independence.

Alba Nalo (Namibia)

Alba Hamukwaya, fondly known as Alba Nalo, is an award-winning DJ who started off her career back in 2012, at a time when female Namibian DJs were few and far between. Since then, the 28-year-old has gone on to be nominated for a number of awards and featured on more than a few fire tracks, always knowing just what to do to get a crowd moving. Balancing her love for music with a growing business, there seems to be no stopping this vibrant young lady.



Kat Upendi (South Africa)


Marrying Afrobeats and Alté with a dash of Amapiano, South African-Nigerian DJ, Kat Upendi is a force to be reckoned with. While she clearly has a penchant for Afrobeats, Kat describes herself as an alternative DJ, through her experimentation of sounds and discovery of Alté Cruise — a relatively new wave of afrofusion music. Kat is also one of the creative minds behind Gbedu Nights, as well as Afrobeats Space, a collaborative weekly Twitter space that brings together Afrobeats lovers and artists on all things concerning the genre. A multifaceted young woman, she prides herself in bringing a different experience of African music to the dancefloor and many ears around the world. 

Sydney Love (Nigeria)


Dubbed by many as the ‘Queen of AfroVibes’, Sydney Love is well known for her Afrobeats, Alté and Hip-Hop selections which fuse genres together and provide a well-rounded Afro-Diaspora experience. She hails from The Bronx, New York & Miami, Florida by way of Lagos, Nigeria, and is often traveling between countries. 
Sydney has grown from opening shows for artists such as Ari Lennox, Runtown, Little Simz, Kari Faux, Amine, Keke Palmer & more, to DJing international African music festivals such as AfroNation: Puerto Rico and AfroNation Chop Vegas.

No longer a stranger to holding revelers captive with her sounds, Sydney created her own platform, ‘NAIRA’. NIARA Party has grown to be the one of the most popular Afrobeats party series in New York City with every night sold out and venues packed to capacity. Quite frankly? Her achievements speak for themselves.



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