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DJ Adams on entertaining Rwandans for over two decades

Adam Abubaker, aka DJ Adams, started deejaying in 1993 while living in Kenya. He returned to Rwanda in 1997 with his family and commenced his trade, often playing music in several night clubs. 

In 2006, he joined radio as a DJ and presenter. 


The 43-year-old had a chat with Sharon Kantengwa about his journey and why he ditched deejaying for radio.


How did you venture into the entertainment sector?


I had an interest in music from the age of six. We had a collection of music and I found myself involved so much in music and when I completed my secondary school the passion drove me to having more than just listening to music at home and deejaying. Other than that, I was also part of the drama club at school which also included dancing and debates.

How can you describe your journey?

For deejaying first, it was a lot of fun because I was not there just for money, it was for the passion until it became a business. When I look at what I was doing in Kenya, it was a lot of fun because the deejaying industry in Kenya is very big compared to the Rwandan one. I decided to quit deejaying because my passion for radio was bigger than what I had for deejaying.

I started with City radio one of the pioneer radio stations in Rwanda, through deejaying. The owner listened to me playing music somewhere and asked that I play on his radio. From there I joined Hot Radio till 2017 when I went back to Kenya for one year and returned to Rwanda. Currently I am working with Radio 10.

How was working as a DJ like in Rwanda when you had just moved here?

We had a few deejays and many clubs in Remera, in town, in Nyamirambo and many others. The big clubs were Cadillac and Casablanca, where I was a resident DJ. I introduced the jam session where we danced during the day on the weekends. I also played at Sportif before moving to Planet club. After that I never went back to deejaying in clubs, now it’s strictly radio.

Why is that?

Deejaying in Rwanda is picking up, but I am no longer interested in clubs because there are so many wannabes and I am too old to be a wannabe.

How is radio presenting on your part?

Radio is also struggling at least compared to Kenya which I know but I like it there because I’m doing what I love and I get satisfied even with its ups and downs. When it comes to having money and getting paid for your passion I don’t think anyone would not want to do that. I’m so passionate that I cannot leave radio no matter what.

What makes you passionate about radio?

I just love making people happy. When people are happy then I am also happy, even though I don’t see my audience, I get the feedback that my listeners are happy.

What have been some of your challenges?

People not understanding what I mean and what I say. Some people have always been thinking that what they don’t know or what they don’t believe in is something negative just because they don’t understand. I’ve been vocal about plagiarism and copyrights in Rwanda, mostly using the term ‘Gushishura’. People never liked it and yet I know where they copied the song, given my long term experience in music.

What are some of the radio shows that you have hosted?

I’ve hosted the mid-morning radio show, mid-day to afternoon, afternoon shows, and late night shows. I’ve not done a morning show because I hate waking up early in the morning. Currently I’m doing a lunch show called 10 Connect on Radio 10.

What other plans do you have for your radio career?  

If I could afford to have my own radio, I would love to have a set of people who are very professional on radio. I would teach people what I know and learn from them what I don’t know, but still I’ve had a good time presenting on radio. I would appreciate it if people avoided gossip and followed what is told to them by professionals.

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