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Nigeria's female DJs spinning against stereotypes

By Tom Bouchier Hayes, Segun Akande

Published August 8, 2018

Men have long dominated Nigeria's DJ scene. However, a new breed of highly successful female DJs are challenging the status quo, attracting legions of fans and changing perceptions both at home and abroad.

CNN/Inside Africa

DJ Switch

Artist first, Female DJ second

CNN/Inside Africa

DJ Switch rose to prominence after winning the first African edition of X-Factor as a rapper in 2013.

CNN/Inside Africa

I don't see a gender in front of that term DJ. It's an art." she says. I'm an artist, and so I will refer to myself as a DJ. But for the purpose of making people really see, really appreciate the work that I've put in, I'd say female DJ.

DJ Switch

CNN/Inside Africa

DJ Switch wants to forge out a career as a DJ and take on the men at their own game.

"The DJ scene in Nigeria is obviously male-dominated. A lot of them are just scared, to be honest, of what potentially a woman could do."

CNN/Inside Africa

DJ Cuppy

One of the best-known performers in Africa

CNN/Inside Africa

DJ Cuppy has found a home in London which serves as base for her mission to increase the influence of African music.

CNN/Inside Africa

"For me its all about advocacy, making sure that people are aware of the beautiful sounds", she says. "I want people to feel like 'gosh, I want to find out what all these songs are,' because it's so different to what they are used to."

DJ Cuppy

CNN/Inside Africa

This new generation is a 'rebellion movement' according to Cuppy. It is changing the landscape and inspiring the next generation in the process. "Because of what I have been able to achieve outside Nigeria, a lot of young Nigerians are now taking the same risks," she says.

CNN/Inside Africa