Dave and Sally Sanger play 107.7 fm

You’re tuned to The Chanters Lodge Experience with the DJMJ Ingredient ft Soulchild on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm announced Milli Jam (DJMJ) the presenter, when our show went on air at 20.00 hrs last Sunday. “107.7 fm?” I queried. “Yes, the frequency transmission has changed” I was told. No worries, 107.7 fm rolls off the tongue rather nicely!

Our guests on this show were Dave and Sally Sanger pictured above with daughter Kate and her boyfriend Chris just on their way to see Victoria Falls at the time I took the shot. “Are Chris and Kate an item?” I asked Sally on air. She laughed. “You’d better ask them!” She replied, but went on to admit that “they seem very fond of each other!” “Is it true” Milimo wanted to know “that you’re all from England but you’ve come to Zambia to meet Kate and Chris?” It was! Dave explained that Kate and Chris had been travelling for almost six months, all over South America in particular, and that when he and Sally heard the couple would soon be in Victoria Falls in Zambia, they made arrangements to come and see them. It had been a joyful reunion!

“What made you choose to stay at Chanters Lodge?” Asked Milli Jam (Dave and Kate were staying in our accommodation). Dave explained that he’d found Chanters in the Zambia Travel Guide produced by Bradt where the Lodge is well written up. “Is it true you’re an expert on trees?” Milimo asked Dave who acknowledged that he’d worked with trees and in landscaping all his life. “Don’t know much about trees” said Milimo, rather stumped (sorry!) “What do you do?” He asked Sally instead, who told him she’s a primary school teacher of 9-11 year olds in UK. “Do they work with computers?” I was interested “Gosh! Yes!” replied Sally and went on to say that they teach using computers in UK primary schools these days. “We’re so far behind in Zambia” I moaned to the assembled company, who agreed.

“Richard told us that you broadcast on hospital radio in UK” Milimo commented to Dave, “can you tell us about it?” Dave explained that he broadcasts once a week in Basingstoke General Hospital south west of London which has roughly 1000 beds. We wanted to know all about that, and Dave told us that he plays a lot of music on his weekly 2 hour show, both requests from patients as well as requests for patients. It’s a purely voluntary arrangement but he felt he might well start doing more than one show a week in future, as he was now semi retired and really enjoyed radio broadcasting. Amongst the patients’ favourites were Westlife and Frank Sinatra but Dave said you could get asked for any artist anytime.

On our show this week we played two local numbers so Sally and Dave could hear some Zambian music: Mumpi with her single ‘High On Me’ and then ‘Ndiwe Zuba’ by Baska Baska, apparently a hot single meaning ‘you’re my sunshine even though you trouble me’. As usual the translations were in some doubt! Riding high in the UK charts we played ‘Beat Again’ by JLS and ‘Supernova’ by Mr Hudson ft Kanye West. We also played the lovely new Whitney Houston number ‘I Look To You’ from her soon to be released come-back album, as well as ‘She Is A Bad Mamma Jamma’ and ‘Confusion Girl’ for the Chanters Girls who were hard at work on a busy night back at the lodge.

“Is it true” Milli Jam asked Dave and Sally, “that you recently climbed Table Mountain in Cape Town”. “The cable lift wasn’t working, so if we wanted to see the view from the top we had no choice but to climb – it took 3 hours and it was tough!” They replied. “The cable lift wasn’t working?” I said “that’s got a familiar ring to it” (the lift to the 107.7 studio on the 6th floor hadn’t been working that night) “Sorry!” said Milli Jam “we forgot to warn you!” “We climbed down to the Boiling Pot and back up again today too” said Sally proudly and irritatingly! I’d struggled with the 6 flights up to the studio, but got very little sympathy.

As usual we greeted Guests and staff at the lodge and gave away our standard dinner for two. “Where are you off to when you leave here?” Milimo asked, and Dave explained that he and Sally would take a Mazhandu coach to Kafue, then a taxi to Gwabi and from there would be spending time on the Lower Zambezi. Can’t be bad……


Richard Downey & Family

I first met Richard Downey in 1979. He’s pictured above with his wife Anne, and daughters Jenny and Katherine, enjoying the poolside at Chanters Lodge last weekend. I was General Manager of Ridgeway Hotel in 1979, (now Southern Sun Ridgeway) and one of the first things that happened after I’d taken up my new appointment was that our Chief Accountant, John Fletcher resigned to take up a similar post at the Pamodzi Hotel, now Taj Pamodzi, across the road! As this was roughly a month before the famous, and for us huge, Commonwealth Conference held in Lusaka that year (which incidentally decided the independence of then Southern Rhodesia) it was a crisis. Luckily we were able to recruit Richard, then working for Deloitte, Haskins and Sells on the Copperbelt. Richard held the appointment for about 3 years before returning to UK to further his career.

So, having not seen Richard for about 10 years since his last visit to Zambia, I was delighted to receive an accommodation request for a three night booking at Chanters Lodge for him and his family for last weekend. At the time we confirmed the reservation we also confirmed that he, and at least one other member of his family, would guest on the Chanters Lodge Experience with the DJMJ Ingredient ft Soulchild, our regular sponsored Sunday night radio show which airs at 20.00 hrs every Sunday on Zambezi Radio 107.5 fm – ‘Let The Waves Flow’. Richard duly appeared last Sunday with daughter Jenny and it was a super occasion.

“Why did you first arrive in Zambia?” DJMJ wanted to know, and Richard explained that he’d first come to take up an appointment with Deloitte Touche on the Copperbelt in 1975. He’d been planning to return to UK in 1979 when the call came about a possible appointment at the Ridgeway, and thus he’d taken up his first accountant’s job in industry as opposed to the ‘profession’. In the end he’d been happy to stay in Zambia because he’d met his wife Anne through his job at the Ridgeway. Anne’s also a CA and had been working for Deloittes in Lusaka when they met.

Richard explained to listeners that when he’d first gone back to UK, he’d taken up an appointment with Anchor Hotels, after which he moved on to work for the Harvesters chain, helping to hugely multiply their number of pub and grill outlets. Currently he was working for Balls Bros. “Did he have regrets about leaving Africa?” we asked, and he replied that although he missed Africa he felt he’d made the right career decision. He added that he’d love to return one day and ‘put something back into Zambia’. We hope he does.

Daughter Jenny was in good form. “How old are you?” “13”. “Where do you go to school?” “Surbiton High School” “Have you got a boyfriend?” “No!” Followed by giggles! “What have you done since you arrived in Livingstone?” We asked her, and she explained that she’d been all the way down to the Boiling Pot when they’d visited Victoria Falls and ended up having to be carried across a stream. They’d also been on a brilliant game drive in the Mosi-o-Tunya National Park that afternoon with Bwaato Adventures, and had seen loads of different animals including elephant, buffalo and impala. What else had the family planned for their short stay in Livingstone? A half day canoeing/dinner cruise combo for the following day which Jenny was looking forward to, and thereafter they were off to Luangwa Valley and to the Lower Zambezi.

The music on the show was right up to date and super as usual. To give Richard and Jenny a flavor of the latest Zambian music we played two tracks from Haamoba – ‘Tizakondana’ meaning ‘we’ll take care of each other for ever and ever’ and ‘Mooye’ which is Chitonga apparently meaning ‘woman’ or ‘he’s found a girl’. As usual there was debate about the precise meaning of the songs… ‘Room Service’ by Pitbull for all the hoteliers, and ‘Beat Again’ the track from JLS that had taken the UK charts by storm the previous week and is the current UK number one, both featured. Now that surprised young Jenny! Old and current favorite tracks of mine were both on the playlist. ‘You Saw The Whole Of The Moon’ by Waterboys from the 80’s and ‘She Is A Bad Mamma Jamma’ by Carl Carlton a great fresh number. “What’s a Mamma Jamma?” I wanted to know. “A hot black girl” replied Milimo quick as a flash! I’ll take his word for it and the Urban Dictionary link there shows he was right!

We had an extra prize on offer this week – a brilliant Barak Obama T shirt sent from the States by Shel And Claire Weissman, previous guests on the show and we simply asked listeners to text us the name of the President of the US – you can imagine the response! We gave away the standard dinner for two as well, for the first person to text us the country that Richard and Jenny live in. That prize was quickly won as well. It was great to catch up with old times “Were you at the Ridgeway when Richard used to sing?” DJMJ asked Richard Downey “No” was the reply – “I didn’t know that he could!” “We’ve never heard him either” was Milimo’s helpful answer!


Derek Lee & Lorretta Williams

“What temperatures do you experience?” We asked Derek Lee pictured above with partner Lorretta Willams. “About 40 degrees below!” Replied Derek. “Play some music!” I said quickly to DJMJ. “My favourite track at the moment is ‘Walking On Snow’ by Jordin Sparks” chipped in George Soulchild, “can we play that?” “Wait until next week, we’re playing Leona and Alexandra this week!” I replied. “And anyway have you ever walked on snow? He hadn’t! You’ll have guessed that all this conversation took place on the latest edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the DJMJ Ingredient ft Soulchild, our regular Sunday night radio show airing at 20.00 hrs on Zambezi Radio 107.5 fm, Livingstone’s best loved local radio station.

“And why does Derek experience temperatures of 40 degrees below?” I hear you ask. Well first of all he hails from Falkland Islands (which is a pretty cold and bleak place in its own right) but although he now lives with Lorretta in Ilfracombe, Devon he works as a steward on board the British Antarctic Survey Vessel the James Clark Ross and frequently experiences temperatures that low during his ‘four months on’ which he works. “What’s life like when he’s away for that long?” DJMJ asked and Lorretta replied that they missed each other a lot but were able to keep in touch on MSN. And, they made up for the parting when Derek had his ‘four months off’! “How long have you been going out together?” We asked, and this entertaining and lively couple told us they’d been together for about 14 months, and though it wasn’t quite love at first sight, they’d fallen in love with each other after 10 minutes when they’d met on Barnstaple Station in North Devon, UK.

(I was getting incredibly ‘homesick’ throughout this show as Lorretta and Derek talked about the North Devon coast which I love, and on which, as a family in the 60’s, we used to have wonderful days out with my parents and siblings in places like Saunton, Braunton, Lynton and Lynmouth. And who could forget stopping for home-made ice cream in Dulverton on the way home to Tiverton having crossed the stunning landscape of Exmoor which my late mum and dad loved so much. Anyway, I digress.)

“Uno, Dos, Tres, Quatro – You Know I Want You” thumped out Pitbull, just one of the tracks we played showing that we’re right up to date on the Chanters Lodge Experience! Alexandra Burke’s “Overcome” was next. “Who’s she?” DJMJ and Soulchild wanted to know, and I explained that she’d been singing on X-Factor when I was in UK last November, and that she’d eventually won the tournament. We played two Zambian tracks so Derek and Lorretta could get a taste of our music, Sikifuna Chabe (‘it’s not my wanting that things are like that, what can I do?’) And ‘Could I Be’ a great track which my 7 year old son Henry loves, both taken from Danny’s latest album ’10 Years’ a smash hit here in Zambia. ‘Could I be the one to be?’ ‘Obsessed’ by Mariah Carey and ‘A Little Too Not Over You’ by David Archuleta contributed to a balanced and popular play list.

“How was your one day safari to Chobe National Park in Botswana?” DJMJ asked Derek and Lorretta, and they told listeners that they’d been incredibly lucky. Just after they’d started their trip they’d come across a leopard sitting in a tree admiring its kill, an impala, which was hanging in the tree next to the big cat. “What other activities have you got lined up for your visit?” We wanted to know, and Derek and Lorretta told listeners that they had a 15 minute helicopter ride organized for the following day and on Tuesday, they’d visit Livingstone Island. They explained to listeners that they’d made their bookings for their visit to see Victoria Falls through Wildside Safaris and had chosen accommodation at Chanters Lodge partly because of the good reviews about the lodge on TripAdvisor. Were they pleased with their choice? Of course!

“What job do you do?” DJMJ asked Lorretta and she explained that she was a medical secretary with the NHS in UK, working in administration in a health care centre dealing with children with special needs, especially autistic children. “Stressful?” I asked. “Can be!” Was the predictable reply. “The children?” I continued. “No the NHS!” Replied Lorretta. LOL! As they say on Facebook. Lorretta told listeners she has two sons in their early twenties both with a mind to go into the media for a career. Derek told listeners about his family life back on the Falklands when he was younger and about farms with 36,000 sheep. “That’s a lot of lamb!” We said. “Did you fight in the war?” He didn’t but told us that the Falkland Islanders were jolly happy that the Brits had won, and that Maggie Thatcher could be Queen of the Falklands any time she liked!

What music were they into? 50’s, 60’s and 70’s they replied, Lorretta especially Dr Hook and Smokey. And sport? Nope. DJMJ as usual asked us about Twitter, the Blog and Facebook and asked me my favourite track right now. It was Lemar – “You Got Me”. “You know” sighed DJMJ to our guests “Richard used to be into 50’s, 60’s and 70’s music now we can’t even keep up with him!” Lols all round!


Christine Sessa

We had this wonderful e mail from Christine Sessa a little old lady from, not Pasadena, but Australia. While she was staying with us here at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone she did a lot of adventurous activities (check the microlight picture over Victoria Falls) and this is what she wrote when she got back home:

“Hi, Richard – back home (finally) and trying to catch up with the 400+ emails!! That was so nice of you to write – it is I who should be thanking YOU!! I’ve shown one of the micro light photos to everyone I meet here in my small town and they all have the same reaction: NO WAY I would have done that! and some today told me of friends who sold them to farmers who used them for cattle roundups BUT some of them fell to the ground ending in death (of the farmers, not the cattle). I play the elephant DVD and show those photos as well and the memories cause me tears and joy. I think of you and your girls so often and can’t tell you how much I appreciated all your kindnesses and how you helped with transport.

Yes, I did indeed enjoy the rest of SA, especially Addo Elephant Park and the Garden Route and, of course, Capetown. I’ve realized that one cannot mention a need to a SA’er (or a Zambia’er), because they will go out of their way to fulfill it – they are the most helpful people I’ve known, even more so than Aussies, who are pretty special people, too. I have such lovely memories of Africans and their sweet smiles and friendliness and their giggles to my response to being called “grannie” – “did you call me GRANNIE??”

Something you probably won’t expect to hear from me is that I was a passenger on the MSC cruise ship the Melody that was nearly boarded by pirates!! just a few hours after we had sailed from Seychelles. Quite an adventure, though I slept through most of it. They fully intended to board, but when their grappling hook failed and passengers threw deck chairs down on them and crew used the hoses, they decided, I guess, it was too risky….but still used their kalashnikovs (spelling?) – holes in some of the lounge windows and life boats and hull. Then, I was interviewed by and appeared on Italian RAI-TV asking if I had been afraid. Lots of my friends and family on Capri saw me on the news program (all in Italian). I spent 6 weeks there and then returned home to cooler weather. I still haven’t been able to get all the mail and paperwork seen to + it’s Aussie tax time.

That’s all for now – please give your girls my fondest best wishes. I wish it were all ahead of me, but I do have the most fabulous memories, thanks to you all. Hugs – Christine”

Now how nice is that?


Greg & Donna Fox, Jamaica

Meet Greg and Donna Fox from Kingston, Jamaica, who guested on the Chanters Lodge Experience last Sunday, our popular radio show going out live on Zambezi Radio 107.5 fm, Livingstone’s popular local radio station, at 20.00 hrs every Sunday. We always give away a prize too, this week as usual a dinner for two with drinks at Chanters Lodge for the first person to text us the right answer to a simple question. In this instance ‘which country did this lovely couple come from?’ Junita texted ‘Jamaica’ right away and won!

Junita Hepplethwaite just happens to be the activities supremo and in charge of the Lady Livingstone sunset cruise reservations, based at the David Livingstone Safari Lodge, Livingstone’s latest upmarket 5 star hotel, with a fabulous location on the banks of the Zambezi overlooking the mile wide spray thrown up as the mighty River Zambezi plunges some 120m over the awesome Victoria Falls! We get great service from Junita and her team for our Guest activity bookings, so we were delighted she was listening, and that she won!

Greg and Donna reserved accommodation and stayed at Chanters Lodge for their visit to Livingstone. Greg was involved in a conference concerning aviation safety in Africa. This is his speciality and he holds a senior position with the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority – formerly Director of Flight Safety now Coordinator at Regional Aviation Safety Oversight System. His roots are in England but he migrated to Jamaica via Canada where he was educated. Donna’s pure Jamaican, they’ve been together 14 years and have two sons. Before the show Greg thrust the inch thick FCTP for the Airbus A340 into my hands saying “read this!” ‘FCTP?’ I hear you ask. ‘Flight Crew Training Programme!’ would you believe! I tried and failed! Greg was to give at least two keynote addresses at the ongoing conference being held at Zambezi Sun Hotel.

Greg and Donna’s appearance on the show had been arranged by e mail a long time ago and they’d kindly brought two fantastic Jamaican CD’s for us – a double album of Beres Hammond, one of Donna’s favourite Jamaican artists, and a compilation of great reggae dancehall artists including VYBZ Kartel and Terry Linen. Some tracks were supposed to be played on the show but we had technical difficulties, so reverted to Bob Marley and Peter Tosh instead! Was it true, DJMJ wanted to know, that they’d also brought two bottles of special Jamaica rum for Richard? It was, and the 107.5 fm guys were ‘red-eyed’. Red-eyed? Jamaican slang for jealous!

We played Zikomu by Ty2 his latest smash, to give Greg and Donna a taste of Zambian music, and Cascada’s ‘Evacuate the Dancefloor’ which had successfully held off the Michael Jackson challenge at the top of the UK singles pop charts the previous week. ‘Strangers’ from Leona Lewis and ‘Obsession’ from Mariah Carey showed how right up to date we are at 107.5 fm! ‘Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer’ by Freemasons ft Sophie Ellis Bexter and Emergency 911 by Jordin Sparks are pretty hot songs and artistes and we featured them too on the show!

‘What’s happening on Twitter?’ DJMJ asked me. I took some time to explain #followfriday #traveltuesday #unacceptable, #ihavetoadmit and other trending topics on that site. I also pointed out that Greg and I had contact on Twitter where he’d been reporting on the bbq he’s been building at home. Talking of which, I was happy to report good progress on the construction of our new rooms to the listeners.

Donna and Greg told our audience about their one day safari to the Chobe National Park they’d been on that very day with friends Jorge and Felicia Vargas from Costa Rica also in Livingstone for the conference and staying at Chanters, and the group had been lucky enough to see lion and lots of other game as well. It really is a great one day trip. ‘Where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing ten years’ from now?” was the closing question. Greg said he’d like to be retired and relaxing somewhere nice with Donna, and Donna said she hoped to still be the family co-pilot! Cute, just like her! Don’t believe me? Check the photo!


TripAdvisor – 100 Reviews

Today we clocked 100 reviews on TripAdvisor for Chanters Lodge! Not bad for a small establishment! Thank goodness it happened to be an excellent one, they aren’t always! Happily we have more good than bad on that important site: Here it is, for the record:

“My wife and I along with our two adult daughters and their partners had the pleasure of staying with Richard and staff in early May. The abundant advice and help Richard offers are what makes his establishment so unique. Nothing is too much trouble for him to assist with. We really enjoyed relaxing by the pool and thought the restaurant with it’s large menu was excellent value. We ate almost all our meals there and especially enjoyed the local dishes. The rooms are very basic and adequate. We were only in our rooms for sleeping and the rest of our time was spent either sightseeing or relaxing in the pool and gardem area. I can’t recommend Chanters Lodge enough and it’s the only place we will stay when we return. Congratulations to Richard and his staff, they’re providing excellent value for travellers!!”

Couldn’t have put it better myself!! Thanks to everyone who’s ever reviewed our lodge, good or bad – without Guest feedback we’d be nowhere.


Teresa Sensada & Willy Bynens

Meet Willi Bynens and Teresa Sensada, pictured above, who kindly agreed to appear as Guests on the most recent edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient, our sponsored show which airs at 20.00 hrs every Sunday, on Zambezi Radio 107.5 fm Livingstone’s popular local radio station.

Willy and Teresa were staying in Livingstone at accommodation provided by Chanters Lodge. “How did you choose Chanters?” Milli Jam wanted to know. “We arrived in Livingstone by coach” explained Willy “and a taxi driver took us to the lodges near the Zambezi but we found them very expensive! After we’d explained to him what we were really looking for, he took us to Chanters Lodge.” “Has it proved to be what you wanted?” Continued Milimo. “Absolutely!” This nice couple agreed. (“Big up to that taxi driver” said I!)

“What made you choose to come to Livingstone in the first place?” We asked. Teresa and Willy explained that they’d been on a project in Katanga Province in the DRC (Congo) around Mbemba National Park, installing lap top computers in village situations. They’d needed a holiday on completion of the project, so they chose to come and see the mighty Victoria Falls.

We asked them to tell us more about their project. Willy explained that he’s an economist and computer science lecturer at CVORivierenland in Antwerp. Louis Daerden, a missionary friend of his, whom he’d met on a previous visit to DRC, had instigated a charitable project to install lap top computers in remote regions there, and asked Willy for help. Willy volunteered but didn’t want to travel alone, so he invited Teresa, an expert teacher and old friend, to accompany him on their 3000 km trip around that vast and rather unstable country. They had 100 computers and 7 satellite dishes with them and successfully installed them into 7 mission stations. Fantastic!

“How did you feel” we wanted to know “installing computers into villages that barely have electricity and running water?” “Strange” they said but expressed the hope that “perhaps the computers will help lead to further developement.” They explained that most of the mission stations had stand-by generators and said the local population were desperate to learn about computers and to get on line. (Using Vodacom modem sticks, apparently – why don’t we have Vodacom in Zambia I wonder).

Although Willy felt we hadn’t played enough local music on the show, for me the music and the presentation of the show were very good. “Battlefield” the latest Jordin Sparks. “Mama Do” by Pixie Lott (no 1 in UK) were followed by “We Are The People” by Empire Of The Sun and “Please Don’t Leave Me” by Pink – both current hits. “Days Go By” by Dirty Vegas is a great dance number and “Right Round” by Flo Rida is a retake of the old Dead or Alive hit – (‘you spin me right round like a record baby’) Aah! Tell me about “Lost Inside Your Love” by Enrique Iglesias ft Johnta Austin and “Overtime” by Ace Hood ft Akon and T Pain, and I’ll tell you we were ‘overtime’ on this show before we knew where we were! We played ‘Chintelelwe’ by Dandy Crazy (his girlfriend is ‘his shelter’), and yes we probably should have featured more local talent! Never mind! The music was hot!

Teresa explained to listeners that she has a regular spot on Radio Sabadell a Catalan radio station, telling her Spanish audience about life for Spanish people living abroad – Teresa lives in Belgium, speaks five languages and is by all reports a great teacher! Milli Jam and I were both on good form in this show. Me? Because of David Abel‘s great write up of his Livingstone trip, Chanters Lodge and Richard Chanter in that days’s Boston Globe! (Still can’t quite get over it). Milimo for once seemed cheerful, well rested and apparently enjoyed presenting and doing the technical side of the show by himself too. Where was George Soulchild? I wondered, but knew better than to ask!

How long are you staying in Livingstone, Milli Jam wanted to know. “We’re leaving tomorrow” Willy and Teresa explained. Milli Jam laughed. Why? He’s convinced I only bring Guests on the show who are leaving the next day! Not true! To end the show we gave away a dinner for two with drinks at Chanters Lodge to the first person to send us an sms telling us where this nice couple came from, and the response was a lot better than the week before. Belgium of course! A certain Emason won. “What do you know about Belgium” Willy asked me. “Trapiste Beer and chips” I replied. “What about chocolate!” he yelled. My God, how could I forget, I’m an addict! Milli Jam pointed out that Arsenal had just signed a Belgian player Thomas Vermaelen!

We closed with ‘Believe It Or Not’ as usual.


Helenor Webb in Livingstone

As promised here’s a picture that does include Tamara Webb’s mum Helenor. Left to right Denise Anderson, Tamara and Helenor just after they’d arrived to take up their accommodation reservation at Chanters Lodge Livingstone. They’d arrived by the overnight Intercape Bus from Windhoek, Namibia, were they tired? “No, Richard, we’re hungry!” They said in unison! So we fed them!

The ladies appeared on the latest edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient last Sunday night on Zambezi Radio 107.5 fm and they laughed, danced and sang their way through an edition of the show right up there with the very best we’ve produced in the past 19 months. They loved ‘Believe It Or Not’ the number with which Milli Jam closes our show! Theme from Greatest American Hero. Check yesterday’s blog post for the whole story.

It’s thanks to them and thanks to everyone in Livingstone and surrounding districts who listen to the show!


Helenor & Tamara Webb with Denise Anderson

“You see, when I was talking to President Obama last week….” Helenor Webb (not in the ‘gang’ picture above – I’ll post a photo of ‘mum’ tomorrow) started to say….. “What!” we all yelled at once! It was true! Helenor went on to explain that the previous week she’d taken part in a conference call with the US President. He’d spoken from Air Force One, to a group of supporters about the US Medicare system. Helenor’s roots are in Belize, she’s an Obama supporter, and has been involved in the Medicare reform issue since she retired last year from her job with Ticketmaster. Milli Jam and George Soulchild’s eyes were on stalks!

Helenor and daughter Tamara are visiting Zambia with friend Denise Anderson and were kind enough to Guest on the latest edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient, the radio show we sponsor every Sunday night on Zambezi Radio 107.5 fm, Livingstone’s best loved local radio station, despite therefore missing the sight of the famous lunar rainbow over Victoria Falls on the night of a full moon! “Shame!” I hear you cry.

“What sort of company is Ticketmaster?” Milli Jam wanted to know, and Helenor went on to explain that the company sold tickets for events and shows. “Did you get tickets to see shows yourself during your 18 years’ service?” We asked. “You bet” said Helenor “the best two shows I ever saw were Tina Turner and Janet Jackson – I had a box seat!” Milli Jam and George Soulchild (on technical) were agog again! “Milimo’s been in love with Janet Jackson for years” I commented, turning to him “haven’t you?” “I like Janet Jackson” he admitted shyly!

We made a mistake. We played ‘Macarena’ by Los Del Rio. What happened? These raucous American ladies, who of course were guesting on the show because they had accommodation reserved at, and were staying with us at Chanters Lodge, got up and danced. I had a strong suspicion people were dancing all over Livingstone to this great number! Tamara and her mum had all the moves!

Tamara’s on a six month volunteer programme in Khorixas, Namibia, some 4 hours from Windhoek. She’s working with the Namibian Ministry of Education through Worldteach, administering classes for students of all ages learning Maths and Science on a computer programme – Plato. Helenor and Denise are visiting her from the States. Denise hails originally from Guyana and is an Adoption Social Worker with Montgomery County in Maryland. “How did you get from Windhoek to Livingstone?” Milli Jam wanted to know. “On the Intercape bus” they replied “and we’re gonna make sure we buy blankets for the return journey – we were very cold! Other passengers looked at us quite pitifully!”

“How did you choose Chanters Lodge?” Was the next question. “By surfing the internet and checking with Lonely Planet” Tamara replied. “Pleased with your choice?” Asked Milimo. The girls all agreed that they were. Apart from ‘Macarena’ we played ‘Missing You’ by Black Eyed Peas a great track from their new album. ‘Dance With My Father Again’ that wonderful number by the late great Luther Vandross went down well, and our American visitors enjoyed hearing two local numbers – ‘Masese’ by Tommy D (a number for his boss meaning ‘I work hard but you pay peanuts, pay me what I deserve!’) And ‘Kokoliko’ by Tobby Zambian (?) meaning ‘we’re gonna party til dawn’. The Chanters Girls were specifically instructed by me on radio to ignore the lyrics of both these two songs!

“Where would you ladies like to be and what would you like to be doing ten years from now?” Milimo wanted to know. Denise replied that she’d like to be raising a family and still helping other chidren. Milli Jam asked her if it was true she’d attended Barak Obama’s inauguration in Washington last January. “Yes”, Denise replied “along with millions of other people”. “What was it like to be there?” “Amazing!” was Denise’s one word answer. I bet it was too!

Tamara also said she’d like to be raising her own family ten years from now and helping other children too. Mum? Helenor would like to see Obama’s Medicare plan through to fruition. “Where’s your husband?” Milli Jam asked Helenor and she explained that he was still working but would be visiting Tamara in Namibia later. “And yours?” Milli Jam turned to Denise. More hoots of laughter. “I’m single” she eventually replied. “Single fit to mingle” murmered Milimo. “Is it true your boyfriend’s working in Iraq?” Milli Jam asked Tamara. “Yes” she replied “he’s a radio broadcaster over there”. “Is it serious?” “Very!” “Isn’t love at a distance rather difficult?” pursued Milimo. “Yes it’s very difficult and sad” replied Tamara giggling! “Do you have political ambitions?” I asked Tamara, taking a guess. Good one, she does!

The ladies talked of their sunset cruise on the Zambezi that day, their excitement about riding elephants on a safari lined up for the following day, and a sense of anticipation about their trip to Botswana for a one day safari in the Chobe National Park on Tuesday. In between times Helenor had enjoyed a church service at St Andrew’s anglican church in Livingstone and the ladies had loved the Livingstone Museum!

The photo? Tamara Webb, me, Milli Jam, Denise and George Soulchild, left to right.
Great show! Fabulous guests, super music! We gave away a dinner for two with drinks, as a prize. Some people texted us what they thought would be the answer to the question before we’d asked it! So we changed the question, and asked them what country Tamara’s working in! Namibia! Replied Irvin and won! Honestly, what some people, (including radio presenters), will do for free food!

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