Rovers Ganyata a.k.a DJ Rovers is the resident disc spinner at The Manor Hotel in Nyarutarama. The 28-year-old grew up in Kampala, Uganda, where he also honed his skills on the decks. Rovers is a product of Rwandan and Ugandan parents and feels at home in Rwanda and Uganda. Moses Opobo had a chat with him.
What are your earliest memories of Rwanda?
From child hood my mother always told me stories about home–Rwanda—stories about her parents and grandparents.
My parents met and got married in Uganda. However they got misunderstandings and separated. When I was seven years old, my father passed away.
I enrolled in and after two years, my mother secured for us scholarships at an organization called Kamwokya Christian Caring Community, in Kampala.
The school had a policy of sponsoring top performers to attend better schools. When I topped the class in P2, I was sponsored to go to Bat Valley Primary School.
I performed very well in P4, and they decided to take me to another good school, East Kololo where I completed my PLE at East Kololo and emerged among the best.
What was your favorite subject in school?
Mathematics. My poorest performance in Math was 85 percent, but most times I score 90 percent and above. In the third term of P1, I scored 100 percent.
Books aside, what else occupied you at school?
I was a footballer and athlete. In S2 and S3 I was the captain of the school football team.
After completing primary school, I was not sure of my academic future because the organization that sponsored me only gave bursaries for primary school. However because of my excellent performance in academics, in football and in athletics, they agreed to sponsor half of my tuition at Kitante Hill School.
Because I was very bright in class, some teachers did not want me to involve myself in athletics and football, which they thought were for dull students. Some even tried to convince my mum to talk to me, but little did they know that it was partly because of football and athletics that I was studying on bursary. I played football until I joined a first division club while in my S4. In S5 I studied Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and French.
What about music?
The love of music was always in me since childhood. I used to go to school singing competitions.
When I fell in love with computers, the love of music grew. I taught myself basic hardware and software maintenance and other computer skills. As a mobile DJ I learnt a lot about sound engineering by befriending sound and lighting engineers.
First DJ job
It was at Spot After Bar in Ntinda, Kampala. By that time I was in S4. After my S6, I got a job of house keeper at Hotel Africana in Kampala. I continued to play music in clubs and at private parties. I left Africana after two years to concentrate on playing music at schools, pubs and wedding parties. I travelled all over Uganda playing for different musicians like Bebe Cool, Jose Chameleone, Sheebah, Jacky, Cindy, and AK-47.
Did you continue with school?
After my S6, I enrolled at Makerere University to study Electrical Engineering.
I had hoped to score good grades to get my dream course on government sponsorship, but I failed to hit the required points. I enrolled as a private student but because of financial hardships, I did not complete the course.
I thought I would be an Electrical Engineer but things did not go as I had expected and decided to concentrate on music to support myself and family. I would love to complete my degree.
What music do you listen to?
Soul, Rock, and a touch of old Reggae.