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  • DJ Side

    FestivalSauti za Busara 2009
    DJ Side
    DJ Side

    Said Abdallah, aka DJ Side, is one of the island's hardest-working radio presenters.


    DJ Side (pronounced "See-day") spends most of his time at Zenji FM (96.8), "Sauti ya Pwani" (Voice of the Coast) - Zanzibar's first private radio station.

    Side started in music at Zanzibar's Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA), where he did a course on sound production. He was soon doing the rounds at the local night clubs. At 26 years he is now only known as DJ Side and is acknowledged to be among the best on the isles.

    His talents are acknowledged by young and old but, unfortunately, his close relatives frown at his rare natural gifts. Despite his achievements, both parents and siblings strongly disagree with the line of profession he has chosen. They frequently tell him to leave music alone and get himself a "decent job". However, there are no signs of Side giving in.

    "Music is my drive," he says. "They are always trying to advise me into finding some other type of work because they think it is against our Muslim religion and family tradition. In our family history there has never been someone involved with music. But this is what I love from deep within myself and it is what I feel confident doing. My parents must understand that music is my drive! If you ask me not to listen to music, it will be like you've locked me in jail," he cautions.

    On Zenji FM, DJ Side has a show on Mondays to Fridays from 2pm to 4pm, called "The Crash", where he plays music from around the world. He has another spot entitled "Zenji Flavour Night", which he developed after observing the high standard of local musical talent among the youth. On Sunday lunchtimes DJ Side presents the Zenji FM Top 20 and finally he has yet another slot called "Reggae Vitamin" late night on Sundays.