“You’ve brought ‘The Boss Lady’ to the show!” exclaimed Milli Jam happily when Annastasia Katele and I walked into the studios of Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station, for the latest edition of the ‘Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Kaufela’. The Experience is our weekly Sunday night radio show, comprising a cool mixture of international and Zambian music with lively chat between tracks, airing from 20.30 – 21.30 hrs CAT to a 70 km radius around Livingstone, as well as streaming live on the internet.
Anny doesn’t need much introduction (there she is in the photo above with ‘Kaufela’) to regular blog readers and supporters of Chanters Lodge. She told listeners that she’d been the assistant manager at Chanters for the past three years and had actually been employed at the lodge for the past 10 – it would be her 10th anniversary in May. “The lodge will have been open for 15 years in July” I said, “we’d better have a party in June to celebrate both ‘birthdays’!” “Oh yes!” said the presenters eagerly, who are always up for a party, drinks or lunch, whatever might be available! Anny explained that she had first joined the lodge as a trainee, following her catering course at the Youth Community Training Centre in Livingstone, and had then proceeded to work in the kitchen, restaurant, housekeeping and reception sections before her promotion to assistant manager. Milli Jam wanted to know the biggest challenge in her job. “Those girls!” Anny exclaimed apparently referring to the rest of the ‘Chanters Girls’- our staff! “They don’t give me any problems” I commented helpfully, some would say snidely! “You’re a man!” said Anny, pointedly.
The music on this edition of the show was seriously ‘latest’. ‘White Noise’ from Disclosure back to back with Gabrielle Aplin’s ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’ opened the programme. George played two tracks from Pompi’s popular new Zambian album ‘Mizu’ meaning ‘Roots’ – a charming blend of songs sung in both vernacular and English. Milli Jam dropped tracks from Swedish House Mafia and his favourite Ne-Yo. Our oldie of the week was ‘Step By Step’ from Whitney Houston and the prize awarded to the first listener to text us the name of the performing artist was quickly snapped up. My pick of the week was Avicii vs Nicky Romero’s ‘I Could Be The One’ – debuting at number one in UK as we went on air.
Anny told listeners that she has a daughter Maryam age 14 currently in Grade 9 and doing well in school. Her favourite music is gospel (despite her Islamic faith) and R&B – her favourite singer Chris Brown – and her favourite football team Arsenal. She told listeners that a large part of her job was recommending and booking activities for Guests, saying that the sunset cruise and one day safari to Chobe were amongst the most popular, as well as swimming in Devil’s Pool in the dry season. She expressed the wish that operators were more timely with their payments! I concurred! The presenters wanted to know why ‘The Boss Lady’ spent more time at the front desk than in her super office. “I love company!” she said and so she does.
Asked where she would like to be and what she would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Annastasia said she would love to own her own restaurant as she loved cooking! I’m sure she will – in the meantime we hope she continues to be the loyal, honest, hard working and talented manager she has become at Chanters Lodge!