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JOHANNESBURG — 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. Meet South Africa's youngest disc jockey, DJ AJ.
Oratilwe Hlongwane is still learning to put together words but 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, Refiloe Marumo, credits his father's decision to buy an iPad for his then unborn son. Glen Hlongwane 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 gadget. 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 nearly 25,000 Facebook fans.
His newfound fame has brought appearances and sponsorship deals, but also some criticism over accusations his parents are profiting from their child's precocious ability. "I'm not going to exploit my kid," said his father. DJ AJ's parents won't let him play in clubs or at parties.