The common idea in Nigeria is that anyone who is not a Doctor, Lawyer or Engineer, is wasting his time and resources in school. Worse than this is the thinking that it is only these people who can become very rich and influential in the society. At the extreme opposite of this spectrum, is the belief that entertainers—musicians, dancers, comedians, and yes, disc jokiers—are unintelligible, good-for-nothing, and god-forsaken people. It is only until recently when among all the resources Nigeria has, the entertainment industry became the next viable export after crude oil, then people began to abandon the idea. Yet, the brutish thinking that entertainers are rascals still exists in some places.
These places are in our schools, in the lips of our teachers and lecturers, in our churches and in the sermon of our preachers, and in our families, in the admonition of our parents. So the persecution starts very early when a young Nigerian child begins to develop an interest in entertainment, aiming to make a career out of his natural interests and nurtured talent. The society, with their constant castigation, makes the environment hostile for these people.
But recently, the wave of success, humble character, and the good life of some entertainers, has begun to change people’s perception.
The story of Ejimbe Valentine lends credence to the aforementioned; the famed DJ Val who in an innovative manner, created a party series named Wet, Wild, and Wasted, growing it from a party that hosted grassroots artistes to international acts within two years.
Wet, Wild, Wasted 1.0 featured regional upcoming artistes from Awka, Asaba, and Enugu. Coming to its second edition, Wet, Wild, Wasted boasted of artistes like X-Busta, Emeka Solomon, Rhatti, YGB and many more. By this time, these parties usually hosted by the poolside, in the highest pitch of night’s darkness, has attracted wilder ladies with creamy and chocolate thighs, all of them generously paraded, leading men into fun, temptation, and enjoyment.
Wet, Wild, Wasted 3.0 made it clear, through the flyers that advertised it, that it was not child’s play, and that DJ Val has evolved, eclipsing the bar set by whoever may have in the past claimed to be the Night King. Brimming with activities, playing host to activities that cannot be mentioned in family homes, the party became a brilliant night of desired fun, although some people will call it sin.
There was the DNA twins, there was Oxlade, there was Will, and there was YGB. But wait, there also was Fireboy, the RnB coroner who would later release an ‘every track is a hit’ album. That night, Ejimbe Valentine, the young man commonly known as DJ Val, was at the turntable, bending, cutting, and joining tracks. The beats that came from his mastery equally bent the morality of the party attendees, cut away the quietness of introverts who were present, and joined the body of men and women who went from dancing to that other activity best done indoors and without clothes.
The disturbing question now is “How could a quiet man lead a loud party, becoming a mastero, with his humble character, in a field that had been renowned for braggadocio and recklessness? The answer is simple: you do not necessarily need to lose yourself to the game, to your job, to your work—and that it is what it means to be Ejimbe Valentine, DJ Val.