From Watchman to Starting a Company With Akon

  • DJ Fully Focus (Michael Ndung’u) is an internationally-touring DJ, events organiser and booking agent based in Atlanta, Georgia in the US.

    He has grown to become one of the most sought after DJs in the world, to a point where he spends 6 months every performing across the world in his annual world tour.

    His brand has grown so huge over the years that he is currently partnering with global musical icon Akon, in the Passport Experience Festival company.

    “R&B artiste Akon and I jointly own Passport Experience Festival. We organise international music festivals. We invite artists and cultural exhibitors from different parts of the world to showcase their talent as a way of creating cultural harmony,” the renowned entertainer once revealed during an interview.

    DJ Fully Focus pumps up the crowd during a show.

    The Kenyan Dj rakes in an estimated Ksh30 million annually, not a bad figure from a kid who started out as a security guard.

    His journey is truly remarkable having gone through a perilous journey to the top.

    Born and raised by his single mother, the young DJ's love for music was immediate, so much so that he used to skip school just to hang out in matatus to listen to the various mixes.

    "My aunt thought I was either possessed or on drugs because I was hanging out so much with the Makangas (touts). It got to a point that I started becoming one as well. My family thought I was gone. My aunt thought, 'God, this is my sister’s son becoming a Makanga'," he narrated during an interview.

    His mum then moved them to the US in search of greener pastures, but things got even worse abroad, with Ndung'u and his brother forced to work odd jobs just to get by.

    "Things were very difficult in the beginning. My mother was still studying, and we had barely any money. We lived on food stamps and could only afford to shop at the Salvation Army," he recounted.

    DJ Fully Focus on the turntables at an event

    "When I first started, I couldn’t afford Deejaying equipment and got lucky when one of my family friends bought them. At the time, I was working as a watchman. Every day, regardless of how tired I was, I went to my friend’s house and practiced after I got home from work," he further revealed.

    Despite enrolling at the University of Kentucky to study political science, his mind was solely focused on music, and by his third year, he decided to drop out and focus fully on mastering his craft.

    He persistently knocked on doors at various radio stations in the US, and despite landing a gig where he used to earn peanuts, he used it as a platform to perfect his craft, setting him up for all the opportunities that lay ahead.

    "I didn’t care how much money I made. I guess this is why they say to be good at something, you have to be willing to do it for free. It would be through the radio that I'd interview an unknown new artist over a decade ago from Africa called Akon. Not long after, he dropped “Locked-Up” and took over the world," he explained.

    Focus has facilitated US tours for a number of African artists, including Kenyan music band Sauti Sol. He has also worked with music stars such as Usher, Wizkid, Sean Paul and Major Lazer.

    Quizzed on what it took to make it all the way to the top, he cited persistence as his most enduring trait. 

    "You can’t have any major accomplishment without persistence. Be prepared to knock on doors. Be prepared to get turned down, to get knocked down. Be ready to keep knocking, and to get back up every time you get knocked down," he asserted.

    Michael Ndung'u alias DJ Fully Focus.