Mississippi DJ Events officially opened in February in Columbus.
Although the DJ company is new to Columbus, owner Charles Akujobi is no stranger to Mississippi. He first opened the company in Oxford in 2015, before the airman was reassigned to Texas. Just recently, he was reassigned again to Columbus Air Force Base and said simply: he’s ready to stay.
“I’ve been stationed in Mississippi three times,” Akujobi said. “The state is very near and dear to my heart. I love the atmosphere, the southern hospitality, the food, the sports, just everything. I just wanted to call it home. … We are here to stay. We’re committed to Mississippi and we’re here for the long-haul.”
For Akujobi, no event is too big or too small for Mississippi DJ Events to cater. In fact, it appears no event is too socially distanced, either.
“If anyone is still uncomfortable, we offer these virtual parties,” he said. “People can log on with their family members and just have a good time.”
His company also offers a “heroes discount,” which includes military, first responders, nonprofits and those who serve in the medical field.
Mississippi DJ can play for parties and events all throughout the state, even parts of Alabama and Tennessee.
As of now, Akujobi has more than 3,500 songs in its catalog for clients. He has a little bit of everything ranging from country, Christian, hip hop, Latin and more.
Be sure to keep up with Mississippi DJ Events on their social media platforms. If you’re interested in throwing an event feel free to reach out online or call 662-GET-DOWN.
Also in Columbus, Right Track Medical Group opened in February. The physician-led mental health clinic is officially taking patients at 815 Second Ave. N.
Stephen Pannel, chief medical officer, said the clinic offers out-patient psychiatric services that help clients with medication and medication management.
The original Right Track office opened nearly four years ago in Oxford and has since expanded to 10 offices across the state.
Pannel said his team provides psychiatric evaluations and therapy consultations to help treat anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD and other mental disorders.
Though it’s common for people to put their mental health on the back burner, Pannel said it’s important to maintain a healthy mental state.
“I think it’s a really big stigma,” Pannel said. “A lot of people don’t take it seriously. They don’t really view it as a medical illness. We see it quite differently. We think it’s very serious. In my opinion, taking your mental health as serious as any medical condition is very important.”
Since COVID-19 began, Pannel said he’s noticed an uptick in people needing help with mental health. In fact, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 40 percent of adults reported symptoms of anxiety in January 2021, compared to 11 percent in 2019.
“Nowadays with COVID and post COVID era, we see a lot more mental illness with people who were doing sort of OK,” Pannel said. “They were right on the verge of having an anxiety disorder or depressive disorder. … Now more than ever I encourage people to not let this stigma be a barrier to them reaching out, getting help and taking care of themselves.”
Right Track is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you’re on the verge of reaching out, or you’re not sure if you should, you can call Right Track for a consultation at 662-370-1082.
Moving on, we’ve got some new barbecue just outside of Starkville.
Big Smoke BBQ is serving up dishes in Sessums.
Owner Antolin Conley serves smoked barbecue with his cousins and co-owners Trey Spencer and Courtney Ellis.
Big Smoke isn’t quite new to the area though. Conley said the trio has been traveling and barbecuing for the last three years.
“We travel and we cook a lot,” Conley said. “But we’re in Sessums now, out in the country.”
The “pop-up” barbecue joint is located near Railroad Spur Road and Sessums Circle.
The hours and menu changes periodically, but Conley said folks can reach out on their Facebook page.
Be sure to check out Big Smoke BBQ and try their rib tips, hamburgers, turkey legs, nachos and more.
“We appreciate their business and we will continue to try to do great things to make our business better,” Conley said.
This weekend, Mississippi State University Horticultural Club is hosting its annual plant sale. You can find houseplants, vegetables, flowers and more at Dorman Hall Greenhouse, 32 Creelman St., on MSU’s campus.
Be sure to check out the plant sale tomorrow 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Columbus folks get ready too. The Lowndes County Master Gardeners are gearing up for their annual plant sale as well. Be sure to check out the plant sale from 8 a.m. to noon at Brickerton Plaza on April 17.
Former Dispatch reporter Mary Pollitz writes about business openings and closings, as well as other unique business news. Send tips to [email protected]