Since the protest to end police brutality in Nigeria began, protesters have demanded that the movement remain leaderless. That way, no appointed leader or group of leaders will be bribed, bullied or persuaded from the cause, and so far this unwritten rule has been adhered to. However, we would be remiss not to acknowledge the bravery of Obainuju Catherine Udeh, popularly known as DJ Switch, on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, during what is now tagged the #LekkiMassacre, to ensure that the savagery of the Nigerian army was broadcasted for the whole world to see.
Our Darkest Hour in an Instagram Live
Pulling in over 150,000 views on her Instagram live, DJ Switch was able to walk people, all over the world, through the massacre that was taking place at the Lagos Lekki toll gate.
While the moment holds its significance regardless, DJ Switch’s live was able to give the entire incident a sort of kodachrome context.
In the dark of the night, the whole world witnessed via Instagram live, the shooting of peaceful protesters. In case you missed it, Nigerian security operatives opened fire directly at peaceful protesters, terrorising them all through the night, killing many and injuring an even greater number.
No doubt, 20-10-20, will go down in history as one of Nigeria’s darkest days, the day when terror was unleashed on patriotic Nigerians who simply sought to exercise their fundamental rights.
The atmosphere of a blood bath
Switch’s Instagram live did two things for the Nigerian people. The first is, it provided irrefutable proof that Nigerian security operatives did indeed carry out a hit on peaceful protesters, and this message can never be construed. The second is a bit more eerie, but DJ Switch’s Instagram live was able to immerse everyone watching into the atmosphere of the entire ordeal.
— P.M. NEWS (@pmnewsnigeria) October 20, 2020
Though a lot of people watched from the safety of their own home, the live stream and similar videos of the shooting, that surfaced online, was anything but comfortable. Through the dark screen, you could hear mangled wails from injured and frightened people, you could also hear the desperate pleas for help, the haggard foot steps of those trying to make a run for it, patriotic citizens singing the Nigerian National anthem while getting gunned down, and the sound of those scrambling to help the injured.
— P.M. NEWS (@pmnewsnigeria) October 20, 2020
Watching the video was a 3D traumatic experience, with moments that propelled people to become a part of it. The video managed to spawn the action of those who were not present at the site, prompting them to make reservations available for the injured. In an instant, churches and hospitals were open to receive injured protesters. Other provisions from the viewers like funds, health supplies, and consultancy were made available from those willing to help.
A number of good will messages were sent to the heroes at the Lekki toll gate, and if its any consolation, prayers spanning the whole nation were said for the victims.
It was a troubling and traumatising experience for most people, whether directly or indirectly involved, and the images and sounds of that night are imprinted into the minds of almost every young Nigerian that bore witness to this heinous crime against humanity.
Impact of a live stream
The Instagram live stream which amassed one of the most populated views ever, explicitly got its point across, so much so that it got its point way past our borders, gaining the attention of many notable figures all over the world. While locals right here shared the experience online, nationals outside the country and even foreigners got ahold of the incident on their social media and many of them had a few things to say.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 20, 2020
DJ Switch, a proven patriot
Far back before this incident, DJ Switch was always a devout patriot, a woman who used her platform to speak against the injustice and corruption of the Nigerian government. All through her career, she has never shied away from telling her truth, and it is perhaps this resolve that pushed her to remain on the protests ground all through the night, despite warnings of a 24-hour curfew.
She has been spotted on numerous occasions, speaking on the side of change, and speaking for women’s right.
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I hadn't posted about this in particular cus it was hard for me personally but I must say my story and be free of it! When people say "what did she wear?" "Where did she go?" "Why was she alone"? I curse those people! I've never told this story outside only 2 people, my immediate elder brother Emma n my sis Lola! I was a child, about 11years old when my uncle, as in real life relative uncle would forcefully touch me and threaten me on top that he would not bless me if I tell my parents, now here's the shocker… He was a priest! His name is Basil Onyia. I'm sure some of my family members will be shocked when they see this. As a kid, my clothing, being alone or with family, friends or playing outside should have never been a curse but just what a kid does. Every man/woman in this world was born of a woman, a mother, sister, daughter… And I tell u, any woman who is violated against her will can and should lay a curse on the generation of the rapist! A child molester! A pervert! There are women that do this too, though it's mostly men that are caught out and so I curse those type of men and women that rape .. may their lust drive them to insanity and wretchedness! #justiceforuwaandtina?????? #saynotorape #metoo #lovenothate #protecturneighbour #stoptheviolence #wearetired #iamtired
She has been actively participating in the #EndSARS protest since it began, coming out to march and using her platform to speak, however, her actions last night has no doubt cemented her stand against bad governance, and we have a feeling that she’s just getting warmed up.
Barely a few hours after facing a life or death situation, DJ Switch accompanied with some brave Nigerian youth literally marched back to the site of danger, despite reports that the shootings was still on going.
— DJ SWITCH (@Djswitchaholic) October 21, 2020
They had spent all night getting shot at, and had helped the injured amongst the protesters find a hospital, regardless they found it fitting to march back to the site of the carnage, proving that the Nigerian Youths are not going to be intimidated, not even by gun fire.
DJ Switch, a mom and an artiste
Obianuju Catherine Udeh is a Nigerian DJ and singer. The 36-year-old was born in the small town of Udi, Enugu State and is the last of 8 children. She spent most of her childhood in Warri, Delta State, but would later relocate to Port Hacourt, Rivers State, to bag her BSc in geology.
Her career in music began when she won Globacom’s X-factor talent show. She was part of a music band called Da Pulse.
Asides being a DJ, she is also a recording artiste, having more than a dozen songs both in collaboration and personally to her name. She is one of the most sought after DJs in the country, and has a few accolades to her name including the City People Award for Best Female DJ in 2016.
She is currently single and has a fifteen year old daughter, who she’s stated that she wants to keep away from the media.
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.