By Sharon Kavhu
Harare – Many people in Southern African only know her from the Busy Signal and Tarrus Riley shows that were held in Zimbabwe where she put up marvellous acts.
She does her work passionately and this saw her winning the Best Female DJ clash in 2015 after playing for only two months. Since then, she has become a mix DJ for several male-dominated radio stations in Zimbabwe.
Today, Zimbabwe’s female DJ, Larissa Makahamadze, better known as DJ Lyaness, is set for a cultural exchange programme with Macilau Studios in Maputo, Mozambique.
In an interview, DJ Lyaness told The Southern Times that her trip to Mozambique is an opportunity to penetrate into the Southern African region through collaborations and creating unique mixtapes.
“I am honoured and very excited to be part of this cultural exchange programme for the first time. The tour will be held from December 27 to February 3 where I will be working with artists from Mozambique such as Ubakka, Duas Caras, DJ Dilson and Liloca.
“The whole idea of the programme is to tap into a wider audience in the Southern African region and increase my brand visibility through musical collaborations as well as learning different music cultures across the region.
“I hope the environment, culture and people in Mozambique will inspire me to be a better artiste.
I am also looking forward to learn different musical genres across the region in order for me to create a mix that blends well in other Southern African countries,” said DJ Lyaness.
The female wheel spinner is 27 years old and a mother of one who abandoned her stable job as an administrator to pursue the deejaying passion.
In her journey as a DJ, she has faced a lot of sabotage, jealousy, unwelcome sexual advances and intimidation.
According to her, she managed to overcome these challenges by being resilient and standing her ground.
“I am a woman of principles, therefore, I always keep my values and morals in place no matter how excited or overwhelmed I get. They say, ‘Robbers never break into an empty house’ so if I’m facing obstacles I know I am on the right track. These challenges are now like ‘pom poms’ that motivate me to keep going forward,” said DJ Lyaness.
“All the challenges that I have gone through have made me better in pursuing what I want. As such, I want to encourage all young people to have self-confidence and believe in yourself first. You need to believe in yourself first so that others may believe in you.
“I also want to urge young people to pioneer in their chosen field and never compromise their dreams. They must also put God first in all their endeavours as this will give them a sturdy foundation.”
In a separate interview, Mario Macilau from Mozambique, the brainchild of the cultural exchange programme, said DJ Lyaness earned the opportunity to partake in the programme.
“The cultural exchange programme is an existing project that aims at promoting and motivating emergent artists in the Southern African region. Talents are identified across the region to participate in the programme to nurture their artistic talents as well as exchanging musical cultures. As for DJ Lyaness, I witnessed her talent and efforts when I was in Zimbabwe, and felt that she should be part of this great cultural exchange programme,” said Maclau.
“During my travelling experiences, I learnt that artists can have an impact in their home countries and the region by contributing to art education and culture development programmes. These self-funded exchange projects are also created between young emerging artists to travel outside of Mozambique for collaboration with fellow artists from different countries, exposing them to different perspectives and contexts of art development.”