At first it seems like a fluke—a 2-year-old playing with the knobs and buttons of a sophisticated music system. Yet the tiny boy is in control of the big beat of the bass-heavy house music. He's South Africa's youngest disc jockey, DJ AJ. Oratilwe Hlongwane is still learning to put together words, but the toddler is already able to select and play music from a laptop and has become a viral phenomenon on South Africa's social media. His mother credits his father's decision to buy an iPad for his then-unborn son. The father, a gymnastics coach and aspiring DJ, planned to download educational apps to speed up his child's education and also downloaded a disc jockeying app for himself.
At about a year old, DJ AJ learned how to manipulate the iPad. Not satisfied with number recognition games, he began to fiddle with his father's DJ app. The parents were blown away when their son, still in diapers, repeated what he had learned on the app on actual DJ equipment, playing with sound effects and bouncing between songs. A cellphone video of him playing went viral and now DJ AJ has more than 27,000 Facebook fans. His newfound fame has brought special appearances and sponsorship deals many older DJs dream of. But celebrity has also brought some criticism as some accuse his parents of abuse and profiting from their child's precocious ability. "I'm not going to exploit my kid," says his father, who will not allow him to play in clubs or at parties.