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Deejay wheels his way to President Uhuru

By Caroline Nyanga | Published Fri, February 23rd 2018 at 09:18, Updated February 23rd 2018 at 09:22 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Barare Ogeto sitting behind the decks during a past event at State House. [Willis Awandu, Standard]

Being hired as the President’s deejay is no easy fete. In fact, being the President’s anything is an achievement in itself.

No wonder Barare Ogeto is the envy of many.

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Popularly known as Deejay Euphorique, he has become a common figure in the corridors of State House when there are events.

Mr Ogeto was contracted by President Uhuru Kenyatta last December to play during State House and Jubilee Party functions.

But it has not been an easy ride for the 26-year–old, who is confined to a wheelchair.

His first performance was at Kenyatta International Convention Centre in 2014, courtesy of the United Nations. It was an event to celebrate people living with disability.

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Other opportunities

“That chance opened many other opportunities for me,” he says.

Before this he had struggled to enrol in some of the deejay academies in the city.

“For the simple reason that I was disabled, the people in charge at various local deejay academies refused to offer me a chance,” he recalls. 

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But he never gave up and was finally rewarded when Nairobi-based Lee The Deejay and Wesley gave him a chance at their school, Spin Trade Deejay Academy, in Hurlingham. He was certified as a deejay after a three-month course.

“What motivated me was the fact that the students at the academy were good to me. On arrival, they would make it a point to carry me all the way to the first floor every morning and evening,” he recalls.

In 2016, Ogeto was invited for the launch of gospel artist Daddy Owen’s album ‘Vanity’ at the Carnivore Restaurant grounds. Some of the celebrities present decided to hold an impromptu fundraiser to buy him a spinning machine.

The emcee of the event was Big Ted, the State House director for brand strategy and events. In less than 20 minutes, they had collected Sh500,000.

In December 2017, Big Ted invited Ogeto to State House for an event to celebrate orphans.

It was here that he came face to face with Uhuru, who hugged him and promised to work with him henceforth.

“It was a dream come true for me. At the time I realised that despite the challenges I had faced, God was preparing me for greater heights,” says the deejay who earns between Sh60,000 and Sh120,000 for a single event.

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For the first 15 years of his life, Ogeto lived a normal life in Mwembe estate in Kisii County.

“It was not until I was 16 years that I woke up one day to find my knees were weak, painful and swollen,” he recalls.

Different hospitals

He spent three months on medication, going to different hospitals as his parents tried desperately to seek help for him.

“I was diagnosed with chronic knee disease, which meant I would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life,” he adds.

Owing to his condition, Ogeto dropped out of school. He later joined Thika Joytown High School for the Physically Challenged. It was here that he realised his love for music.

“During my free time, away from school, I would play different songs in the hope of becoming a deejay one day,” he says.

His advice to people living with disability is to never let their condition hold them back.

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