Eugene Swanzy

Eugene Swanzy

There was no indoor faucet in the house where CI junior Eugene Swanzy grew up in Ghana, on the west coast of Africa. “When I needed water to take a shower, I had to go to the well and get water,” said Swanzy, 20. “If I wanted a shower, I had to get water and put it on the stove.”

Ten years later, Swanzy has mastered English, excelled at CI, and made a name for himself as “DJ Swanzy,” an in-demand deejay both on and off campus. “He’s really awesome,” said friend and fan Selwa “SueSue” Eldanaf, 21, a Psychology major at CI. “He has a lot of energy. He’s super into it and you can tell. He adds a lot of different sound effects and transitions. He became really well-known around campus this fall.”

Swanzy has come a long way from the unpaved roads of Ghana, where the downtown area was an explosion of sound and activity as businesspeople sold their wares on the street.

Swanzy and his friends had very little, but they improvised. If the boys wanted to play soccer, for example, Swanzy and his friends would bind two shoes together or wad up a trash bag to create a makeshift soccer ball.

So when his parents relocated to Corona, California to find a better life when Swanzy was in the fourth grade, Swanzy was overwhelmed with culture shock. “I was fascinated by freeways,” Swanzy said. “I didn’t like American food and I still had an accent. My grades weren’t that good.”

But Swanzy persisted, learned English, made friends and during his sophomore year in high school, discovered he had a knack for playing music and working the crowd. He was a natural disc jockey.

One day, a friend asked Swanzy to act as deejay for a party he was holding in a barnyard. Swanzy used some speakers, his laptop and deejay software he bought from a friend for $150.

“That party was so much fun, after the party was over, people were talking about it,” Swanzy said. “They were saying, ‘When is there going to be a Part II? I started doing every party in Corona.”

By the time Swanzy entered CI as a Health Science major with a Communication minor, he was the go-to mixmaster. He set up a web site, his own business and began doing weddings, parties, and events around CI.

“Eugene, or ‘Swanzy,’ as he is known at CI, exhibits an entrepreneurial and can-do attitude,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Wm. Gregory Sawyer, Ph.D.

Swanzy also got work as an IT Help Desk assistant, orientation leader, resident assistant and events coordinator for the Black Student Union.

After he graduates in 2018, Swanzy plans to work as a physical therapist during the week, and on the weekends, it’s “DJ Swanzy.”

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