God works in mysterious ways.
Johnniqua Charles shares how the viral “You about to lose your job” video changed her life, Blavity reports.
One year ago, Charles was detained by security guard Julius Locklear outside of the Diamonds Gentlemen’s Club in Dillon, South Carolina. Apparently, Locklear asked Charles to leave the club twice, and when she continued to try to get inside after closing because she had left her purse, Locklear detained her for trespassing. As he began to question her, a frustrated Charles began ad-libbing a song with a rather catchy tune…” Why are you detaining me?… You about to lose your job,” Charles sang in a sing-songy manner. Locklear, who can be seen in the video, though the moment was also quite hilarious and ended up posting the clip to Facebook.
— DJ Akademiks (@Akademiks) June 3, 2020
“Okay, I’M NOT POSTING THIS TO BE FUNNY TOWARDS THIS SUBJECT!!!! I’m posting it cause that rap was lit like I wish I could put a beat to it, lol. You can see me handling it professionally and trying to keep a straight face, but I couldn’t,” Locklear wrote.
The clip eventually went viral, with Charles’ tune becoming one of the anthem’s to a movement as the nation grappled with social unrest resulting from police brutality. But, then, someone put a beat to it, and the “You about to lose your job” rallying cry was remixed, elevating a national voice and Charles.
— Dj Suede the Remix god (@Remixgodsuede) June 4, 2020
At the time, the 28-year-old was homeless, battling drug addiction while working as a sex worker to survive. She had also lost contact with her family, who was caring for her 3-year-old son.
“I’d been on the streets, and they’d been looking for me. And I guess they seen that this video could basically change my life, and they put out a whole search party to find me,” Charles recalled.
Charles’ sister Andrea spearheaded efforts to get her sister off the street, even starting a GoFundMe to collect donations for her and her son at the request of internet goers.
“The only reason that the GoFundMe and those platforms were created were people were begging to donate to her. Once I made her Instagram, people were flooding in, saying, ‘How can I bless her? She just blessed my day so much. She just made my day.’ So the only reason it was created was so people could bless her life,” said Andrea.
Those blessings changed Charles’ life. One year later, on the anniversary of the viral clip, the now mother of two, reflected on just how much becoming a viral sensation transformed her.
“Wow, it’s really been a year since ‘you about to lose your job’ went viral, and to me, it’s hitting different because on the fifth, I will actually be celebrating a year clean of cocaine and clear off of those streets thank God. And it might not mean much to anybody else, but it means everything to me because, for one, this is the longest that I’ve ever been clean and off of those streets for this long. And it’s just a blessing,” Charles expressed in a video.
She also shared how thankful she was to everyone who supported her.
“Everything that came for me because of ‘you about to lose your job’ and everything that is still to come I am just so thankful for. And I am thankful for everybody that was in my corner and everybody that supported me through all of this, and I am just grateful, and I just want to thank everybody. Have a blessed day,” said Charles.
Congratulations, Johnniqua! We are so happy for you!
Photo Courtesy of @getthisdance/Instagram