Lodge Blog Archive
A diary of happenings at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone, Zambia with reflections on Zambia and personal matters too

"It's The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Shawn Dollars Ingredient!" Was the surprise opening to the latest edition of our regular Chanters Lodge Sunday night radio show, which airs at 20.00 hrs every Sunday on Zambezi Radio 107.5 fm, Livingstone's best loved local radio station. After our opening theme 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barkley, Shawn 'Dollars' Manjoro, co-host for the night, asked me hopefully: "have you fired Milli Jam then?" No, we hadn't! We'd turned the tables on him and brought him on the show as a Guest. There are the two of them in the photo - Milimo Mudaala (Milli Jam) is the one wearing an Arsenal shirt.

"How did Milimo come to be the Milli Jam Ingredient for Chanters Lodge?" Shawn asked me on air, and I went on to explain that I'd first started listening to Zambezi fm in 2007 when I'd been in bed for 2 months with a bad foot. I'd listened at night because that was when I was doing the books for the lodge, and usually Milimo was the presenter. He often played tracks and sent messages to the Chanters Girls for me as I was unable to go to work. When I'd recovered, I decided that not only should we be supporting this great local radio station, but that we needed some local advertising too. What better way than sponsoring a show? Thus 'The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient' was born! It was Milimo who christened the programme.

"You should start by asking him the Arsenal questions" I said to Shawn - I was co-hosting the show as usual. He didn't look happy. Woops! Then I remembered 'Dollars' is a Man U supporter and like all of them, really unhappy after the 4-1 thrashing they'd received from Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday. Arsenal had beaten Blackburn 4-0. "Alright" I said "I'll spare you the agony and I'll ask him." "How long have you been an Arsenal fan?" I wanted to know. "Since 1996" was the reply. "Who's your all time favourite Arsenal player?" "Ian Wright, but I loved Denis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry as well" replied Milimo, who was very relaxed as a Guest and not a presenter! "And of the current crop?" I wanted to know. "Fabregas".
Of course!

Shawn played "When I See You Smile" by Uncle Sam. A cover of the 1989 hit by Bad English. Great lyrics - "when I see you smile I can face the world Milli Jam" I said. And it's true, smiles are so important as I keep telling the Chanters Girls! 'Just Dance' by Lady Gaga feat. Akon & Colby O'Donis. Great track! It was a real Akon show as we featured 'Be With You' and 'Like I Never Left You' on which he helps out the rather sad Whitney Houston. Great stuff!

We asked Milimo about his background and he explained that both his parents had worked for Zambia Railways before they died. His mum had been a clerk and his dad an auditor, though his dad had started out with the company as an engine driver. Milli Jam in his younger days was, by all reports, a fabulous dancer! "Bit slimmer then were you?" I asked rudely! He agreed! Anyway, from dancing at The New Fairmount Hotel in 1994, the owner, Mr Naidoo, had taken him on as a receptionist, and from there he'd branched out to become their club DJ. Right now as well as presenting on 107.5 fm he's the DJ at 'Eatrite' one of Livingstone's liveliest dancing night spots. Hard working and talented indeed, and very well known too. Shawn made the point "you can't walk out in the street without people stopping to say hi to Milimo!"

"You're tuned to the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Dollars Ingredient" said Shawn for about the 4th time! Then "I could get used to this! Now how did you become a radio presenter and join 107.5 fm Milimo?" he wanted to know. Milimo explained that Chanda Mfula then station manager had heard him DJ at one of the clubs in town and invited him to present for the station. His first shifts were at night and he was, apparently, know as 'King of Kadzidzi'. Mystified like me? Well, it means 'King of the Night' - kadzidzi's an owl in venacular! Discussion followed - owls are prominent in witchcraft folklore in this part of the world!

"How long have you been married" Shawn asked Milimo. "6 years". "You must have known Janet for longer than that!" I exclaimed. "Yes, we've known each other since 1994" he explained "we met because I was dating her friend". "And how many children have you" Dollars went on to ask. "5" replied Milimo "3 with Janet plus 2, and I wanna say 'happy birthday' to my daughter Denise!" Milli Jam's wife Janet is the masseuse for Chanters Lodge "is it true she's got great hands like the Chanters Lodge Guests say?" asked Shawn. "I guess!" Replied Milimo, and even managed to look rather shy - which he's not, believe me!

We played 'Is This Love' by Bob Marley back to back with 'Takwakabe' a local track by Danny 'There'll never be another girl like you' it means. 'Waterfalls' by TLC and 'Spotlight' by Jennifer Hudson completed a great play list for this show. Milli Jam's favourite music? "Hip-hop and r&b". Favourite artist? "Michael Jackson - I used to dance just like him!" Said Milimo proudly. The mind boggles! Had he got tickets for one of Jacko's sold out UK shows this year? He hadn't! More's the pity. So instead of giving away a Jacko ticket, we gave away a dinner for two at Chanters Lodge to the first person to text us Milli Jam's real name. Most people didn't know! Shame! A certain Patricia did though, and she won!
Posted: 17 March 2009 at 06:06
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