Peter Tinkoi Karbolo aka DJ Festa is a rising disk jockey in the Kenyan entertainment scene. The 26-year-old dropped out of accounting school due to financial constraints and ventured into nail art before settling for deejaying.
He shared his career path with Sunday Nation:
Briefly tell us about yourself
I am the firstborn in a family of three siblings. I was born and raised in Nairagie Enkare, Narok County. For my primary school education, I attended Nairagie Enkare D.E.B Primary School and later joined Sister Mary Stephen Nkoitoi Secondary school for my secondary education. After clearing High School, I left the village for Nairobi to pursue accounting studies at Vision Institute of Professionals.
Share with us your career journey
Unfortunately, my accounting dreams were short-lived as I had to drop out after the first semester due to financial constraints. I was reluctant to go back to the village and so I spoke to one of my aunts, Esther Silantoi, who lived in Nairobi about my predicament. She was really supportive and heard me out. She successfully managed to get me a job at one of the beauty parlors in Nairobi town. This was in 2015 and this is the place where I learnt and mastered nail art.
How have you progressed over the years career-wise?
I had always been passionate about deejaying and during my short stint at Vision Institute of Professionals, I used to entertain my schoolmates with some mixes. I had learnt how to use virtual DJ from a friend, Eric Kimani, earlier.
My friends also encouraged me to take up deejaying seriously since they thought I was good at it. So when I got the nail art job, I saved up for one year and in 2016, I joined Red Berry DJ Academy to professionally train as a DJ. I was successful and started deejaying professionally in 2017.
Consequently, I was still working at the beauty parlor and having been there for two years, I had created a loyal clientele base. As such, I had to juggle between deejaying and the beauty job. This, however, was not a challenge as I’d report to the beauty parlor in the morning and work throughout the day then do the deejaying gig at night. In the event that I was booked to DJ during the day, I’d communicate to my beauty clients early enough and reschedule their appointments.
Who are the people or relationships that you can single out that were useful in your career growth
As my deejaying career progresses, I have managed to create some very useful networks. One notable person is DJ Tophaz, who apart from recommending on various platforms such as TV for appearances, also taught me everything I know about Graphic Designs from scratch in 2018.
My aunt, Esther Silantoi, again has been my pillar and has always supported me all through. DJ Kym Nickdee & DJ CrossFade have also been very instrumental in my career growth as they continue to tirelessly give me TV shows on rotation. I dropped the nail art gig in 2020 and now I’m fully focusing on deejaying and Graphic designing.
What has been the key driver of your growth? Lessons learnt, highlights and failures
The fact that I am very passionate about what I do has been a key motivator in growing the field. Also, the networks that I have established have really contributed in shaping up the person that I am today. Along the way, I have learned to be patient but persistent, and for every opportunity I get, I maximise on it by always giving my best.
Some of the major highlights in my career include the first time I played at a Concert, Nakuru Athletics Club 2017. There was a massive crowd and they were electrified by my performance. I did well.
The second highlight came in 2018 when I made the first ever TV appearance (K24 Alfajiri Show). Joining NickDee entertainment in September 2020 was another highlight. My takeaway lesson has been, failures will always be there, but they are there to strengthen us, I never let them crush me, I bounce back, better.
Key decisions you might have taken along your career?
One of the key decisions I have made is quitting the nail art job to focus on deejaying. Quitting a job in which I had created so many relations was not easy. However, it was necessary as I needed more time to understand the entertainment world and also network more. This has in turn opened for me great opportunities that have enhanced my growth. I have also managed to allocate more time to personal projects.
What’s your current role and scope?
I’m a Dj affiliated with NickDee entertainment. I DJ at Clubs, Concerts, cooperates, and in Media. I’m also a Graphic designer, which is a wide Field. For the record, deejaying is my main hussle and contrary to popular opinion, this is a job that pays very well, especially the club gigs. You just need to be consistent at it.
A message to your younger self and the youth in Kenya
The one thing that I would tell a younger DJ Festa is that you are destined for greatness. My advice to the youth is to always be open-minded, network with the right people and always have patience. Everything will work out so long as you keep at it and stay focused. I also believe that prayers do work. I’m always grateful to God and everyone else who has supported me and my career even in the least ways, that includes my fans, friends and family.
Any future plans?
Currency, I’m working on my brand. I want it to stand out by revolutionising the DJ scene and get that worldwide recognition. All my fans and supporters out there should expect bigger and better things from me.