Deejay moves on jam session

HOUSEHOLD NAME: DJZinhle Jiyane tastes strawberry jam in Rosebank, Joburg. Pic: Alon Skuy. 04/08/2009. © The Times.
HOUSEHOLD NAME: DJZinhle Jiyane tastes strawberry jam in Rosebank, Joburg. Pic: Alon Skuy. 04/08/2009. © The Times.

GONE are the days when being a disk jockey was something reserved for men.

DJ Zinhle Jiyane is a name that has male DJ's shaking in their boots. Unpretentious and gregarious, she somehow manages to hold her own behind the decks.

"I always compared myself to the big names such as DJ Fresh and DJ Oskido, and wondered if I could mix as well as they do," she says.

Now, having survived five years going toe-to-toe with the country's most respected DJ's she has managed to become a household name. She has gained the respect and praise of her peers as well as a multitude of fans across the country.

Surprisingly, growing up in Dannhauser, deep in KwaZulu-Natal, she did not have lofty ambitions of being behind the decks with the limelight on her.

She explains: "Growing up, I didn't even know what a DJ was. I only found out after I studied at Wits Technikon and moved in with my brother. He had the equipment and I would travel around with him when he went to gigs. Only then did I find out what a DJ was."

This year Zinhle has decided to play it forward with the creation of Firm Understanding of Sound Entertainment, a training academy for female deejays.

"It's a good course to do because you can learn to play the decks for fun, or you can make a career out of it."

Taking time off between her classes at Fuse, she does some jamming of a different kind. Desperately hungry she jumps at the opportunity to try out some strawberry jam.

She first tries Naturelite Strawberry Fruit Spread.

"I like that its not smooth - it has chunks of fruit in it. It tastes exactly the way you expect jam to taste."

Next she tries the Hillcrest Berry Orchards. "It tastes like the jam I used to eat when I was younger."

The third jam she tries is Weigh-less Reduced Sugar Strawberry Jam.

"I like that its reduced sugar. It makes me feel better. I have a sweet tooth but I try to be strict with my sugar intake so I would probably buy this one. It tastes quite elegant."

The final jam is St Dalfour Strawberry Spread, which immediately impresses her with its packaging.

"I would buy this just to show it off in my house. I would even offer people jam before they ask for it just so that I can show them the nice packaging. It's not as sweet as the others. Its sweetness doesn't taste artificial. This one is the definite winner."