Hi friends. It’s Friday and we are getting friendly with one of the most influential artists that Ndevana has given birth to. He is one of those people who hold the Ndevana flag sky high, with pride and honor- and I give him so much respect for that. I have had a chat with him over the week, and here are his answers to the questions I asked him in my attempt to get to know the man behind all those crazy status updates and memes. I know I am not the only person who finds his personality as interesting as his work. Let’s get to know Sandie, enjoy;
Q: Give us a brief description of who Sandie is. A: Sandie is a guy from Ndevana Location, in King William’s Town (Eastern Cape). He is a very humble guy who likes to laugh and make jokes. Sandie loves helping people around him, even if he doesn’t know them.
Q: At what point in your life did you realize that entertainment was your route? A: I think it was in 2002 when I started being a DJ. Me and my friends were having fun in one of the taverns in Ndevana. We got bored of the music they were playing, so I went home to get my Cd’s and asked them to play them for us. The following weekend, I took my DVD player, along with my sister’s DVD player and went back to the tavern and asked the owner if I could play music for his customers. Convincing him was not easy, but he eventually gave me the platform to entertain people. People loved my music, so much that everyone wanted to party there. That’s when I realized that I love entertaining people through music.
Q: Being from Ndevana, what challenges have you faced in your journey as an artist, and how do you overcome them? A: It is not easy being from Ndevana, because Ndevana is a very disadvantaged place. What I have realized is that this world is not for cry babies, so I had to develop thick skin and fight for what I believe in. Most people tend to take DJ’ing as just a waste of time, mainly because other fellow DJ’s are only in the game for fun, fame and girls. The result of all that, is having DJ’s being treated like they are worth R300 and a cheap bottle of brandy. Even when we host events, we still have people who ask for free tickets. Very few people are willing to wholeheartedly support art in our community. To cool off from the stressful scenarios that come with being a DJ, I always just hang out over PlayStation games. Also, my girlfriend is very supportive of my craft. She is always the first person to notice when I’m stressed, and she is very good at reminding me of my dreams and goals. She always keeps me positive and grounded, and I really appreciate her support in my life as she is practically my driving force and pillar of strength. She is mainly the reason why I overcome most challenges.
Q: Go into details with the work that you do. Besides being a DJ, what else do you do within the world of art? A: I manage two young hip hop music artists (Chase and Niz), I have a registered company called Gonga Empire which works hand in hand with Big Arm Productions. Gonga Empire is an entertainment company where we organize events, manage artists (Dj’s and dancers included), and run a sound system hiring business.
Q: You have a passion for community development, tell us more about your community development projects. A: As I mentioned, Ndevana is a disadvantaged community, as a result, we don’t have the necessary resources and facilities for the development plan that we are hoping to achieve for our community. As a person who is passionate about the development of my community, I struggle to turn my community development dream into reality, but I try. I am involved in sports as well, I manage netball & a soccer team called All Stars Football Club. I am also a member of a registered Non-Profit Organization called Yuso, which was formed to help with youth development in anyway we can.
Q: What is it that your followers don’t know about you? A: Hahaha eish, I am honestly not proud of what I am about to tell you, but I think people should know. When I was young, I once stabbed someone and I was once arrested for trying to shoot some other guys who stabbed my friend, but fortunately one of my friends pushed the gun away so I missed. Another thing that my followers don’t know about me is that we (me and my friends) held our high school teachers hostage and almost burnt the school principal’s car down. When I think about those days, I find myself crying because I hate what we did. I am not sharing this with the aim of scaring anyone, but rather with the aim of pointing out that there is never a positive result when it comes to criminal activities. As young as I was, but I got a taste of prison. I don’t know where I would be today, if I hadn’t changed my ways. I want my life story to serve as a lesson to all those young boys who are fascinated by criminal activities. Crime has only two rewards; prison and death, so stay away from anything that threatens to destroy your future. Remember, the decisions that you take today will affect you tomorrow. It is never too late to change your ways and become a law abiding citizen, ask me, I know.
Q: How do you handle all the pressure that comes with being a public figure? A: There’s a lot of pressure in this industry but you have to be a relaxed person. I stay calm all the time so that I can remain focused.
Q: What is your motto? A: Never look down on someone else unless you’re helping them up
Q: What would you say to a child from Ndevana, who has dreams of being in the entertainment industry? A: Firstly, you have to know what you want. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not good enough because you are good enough. Have dreams and goals, and don’t ever let peer pressure get the better of you. Not everyone will appreciate you and your craft, but you must not focus on that kind of negativity. Always associate yourself with people who know what they want, people who are positive all the time. Ja, I think with those points, you can go far in life.
Q: Where can people get hold of you? A: Whatsapp: 073 107 5401 Facebook: Sandie Andy Gobodwana, Twitter: @DjAndy_Gobs, Instagram: Dj Andy Gobodwana
I remember the day they held the teachers hostage, like it was yesterday. I must admit though, I am very excited to learn that he is using his experience to educate other people about such behaviors and also using his experience as a brick that constructs the bright future that he has ahead of him. I have ALWAYS wanted to hear him talk about what they did when they were in high school- I wanted to hear how he tells the story and what he has learnt from it. To someone else, that past would have been buried and hidden from the world, but to him, it’s his tool to build a better community. Because I am a sucker for development, I have so much respect for community leaders, and Sandie happens to be one of them. His passion for taking young people off the streets and turning them into better versions of themselves through sports and art, lands him in my list of community heroes. It has been an absolute pleasure to get into Sandie’s personal space, as I have also learnt a lot from him. So there you have it guys, he is not just all about jokes and games, but carries so much wisdom and bravery. A big thank you to Sandie, for opening up to us in this manner, I truly appreciate it. Let’s do this again next week. Remember to keep pushing that hustle!