Change the world


When one of his lecturers told him, he would never graduate with his lifestyle choices, Shaadan Loonat, decided to prove everyone wrong and become a DJ who studies architecture. 
He will be graduating at Mandela Uni’s Autumn Graduation with his Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS). Shadaan is a very popular DJ and is booked by event organisers from all over South Africa as a national act.  
“I decided to prove everyone wrong and become a DJ who studies architecture. As an architect I get to explore so much more than just building houses”, he says. 
There’s graphic design, video creation, fashion, and music and he plans to apply his knowledge to the entertainment industry as a stage designer. Most successful architects have more than one interest, which gives them the advantage of being success entrepreneurs, says Shadaan, 21, aka DJ shadyiswavy. And many Mandela Uni Architecture alumni are indeed entrepreneurs all over the world. 
His biggest inspiration for being open to different fields comes from the late Virgil Abloh, a well-known fashion giant, past Executive Director of Louis Vuitton and owner of OFF-WHITE. He had his master’s degree in architecture, and nothing stopped him from applying his knowledge in different fields in the entertainment industry. “His memory will live on, I will forever be inspired by his hard work and I will honour his legacy to become the greatest celebrity architect of the coming age”, says Shadaan.
“I live my life to learn new skills. Growing your knowledge by learning how to become your own greatest asset through acquiring various skills at a young age, is the best investment you can make. Never let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do, the power is in your will to prove those people wrong.” 
His career as a DJ started in his first year at university when he told a friend that he was going to become a DJ. His friend laughed and said he would never manage together with his architectural studies. In his second year, another friend asked him to play a set with him at ZAZU night club and without any knowledge he said yes, five days before the event. That same week he bought his first controller and started practicing. And everything took off from there. When his academics started to slow down, he decided to prove himself, both as a student and DJ.   
Shadaan, who matriculated at Alexander Road High School, says he will return to complete his honours and master’s degree once he has fully established himself as a musical artist. For now, he is taking a gap year to explore his music side and to see where it might take him if he gives 100% of his energy. 
The road to stage design would have to start with knowing the right people and getting deeper into the industry, knowing the ins and outs. 
His life quote is: “NOW” + excitement = happiness = success. “I realised that when you’re happy, nothing else matters ... You’re successful within your own circumstances.”

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160