Room Renovations

In 2012 we completed renovations of three of our eleven rooms at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone, one in the ‘main house’ which was the last of the three original rooms we opened in 1998 to be completely renovated.

We then turned our attention to the four Lukulu Crescent rooms opened in 2004 and managed to completely renovate two of them, before being hit by a rather a bleak mid-November to mid-December business wise, that curtailed our activities. Following this unusually difficult period we had a reasonably good festive season.

This morning we are happy to report that we have started renovation of the third of the four Lukulu Crescent rooms, and the picture above shows the workers starting to break the bedroom floor tiles. These will be replaced with a larger lighter, brighter ceramic floor tile. A new toilet and pedestal wash hand basin are to be fitted in the shower room and the floor and walls of the shower room will be completely retiled. New drainage arrangements, tap and towel rail fittings to match.

We were happy with the results of our renovation in the first two Lukulu rooms and I’m sure room five will turn out just as well. It gets slightly easier as you go along, as the team are aware of the requirements from the previous work. We will keep you posted!


Mercedes & Miryam Angon Feel ‘The Experience’

Meet Mercedes and Miryam Angon (above) sisters and co-owners of Feeling Africa Ltd, their company that owns and manages North Luangwa Lodge in the North Luangwa National Park in north east Zambia. Mercedes and Miryam live in the house next door to Chanters Lodge in Livingstone, so they were naturals to be invited to appear as Guests on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela. That’s our weekly radio show airing every Sunday night on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station.

Miryam and Mercedes told listeners that they had established their business in Zambia two years’ ago and that they originally hailed from Madrid, Spain. They had left well paid and exciting jobs with MTV and Universal Pictures respectively to come to Zambia. “Why?” We wondered in astonishment. “Because we’re Spanish, crazy and love wildlife!” Was the answer. The ladies explained that their lodge is only open for six months per year, so they spend six months there and six months in Livingstone. Their lodge has four bungalows and prices start from around US$250-300 per person per night all inclusive of food, drink, accommodation and game drives. They described the North Luangwa as ‘wild and exciting’.

The music on the show was up to our usual high standard. We played tracks from Rihanna and Pitbull for openers before Milli Jam moved on with Zambian releases from Dandy Crazy and B1. Songs from John Legend and Kelly Rowland followed. This week’s oldie was Rihanna’s ‘Te Amo’ – much easier than last week and we had a flurry of text messages from listeners correctly telling us the name of the artist in the hope of winning dinner for two at the lodge. Patrick won. Our pick of the week was ‘When I Was Your Man’ a lovely ballad from Bruno Mars featured on his latest album ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’. We closed with Gabrielle Aplin’s No 1 ‘John Lewis’ hit the remake of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘The Power Of Love’.

Miryam and Mercedes told listeners that they were single ladies without children and that they both loved music. One of the aspects of their previous lives in Spain that they really missed was going to concerts and shows as they used to receive free tickets. They had seen many top acts as well as meeting many stars like footballer Christiano Ronaldo and tennis ace Rafael Nadal. We asked them about bull fighting – they hated it. We asked them about tourist activities in Livingstone – Miryam had done the bungee jump while Mercedes likes white water rafting.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing ten years from now, these bubbly, lively, interesting ladies said they wanted still to be in Zambia, single and ‘Feeling Livingstone’ their proposed new project. We wished them the very best of luck as the rain poured down outside the studio!


Room Renovations

 During the course of 2012 at Chanters Lodge we are proud that we have managed to renovate 3 of our 11 rooms and some pictures of the renovated rooms are shown.

The first room to come under the hammer was room 3. This room was one of the three original rooms with which we opened the lodge in 1998, and at that time was the best of the lot. It is a standard sized double room with one double bed but with enough space to pop in an extra three quarter sized bed if required. The bathroom was stripped and a new bathroom suite installed followed by complete re-tiling of floor and walls. The bathroom contains a separate shower cubicle which was also re-tiled. New taps and plumbing were installed throughout. The rate for this room next year will be a very reasonable US$75 per room per night including English breakfast, free transfers within Livingstone on arrival and departure if required, as well as free wifi (subject to availability). Single rate US$59 per room per night, inclusive as above.

We have also renovated two of our spacious rooms which back on to Lukulu Crescent. These rooms were the first additional rooms we constructed, built in 2004 they have had a lot of wear and tear as they are often used by families with young children. The rooms are spacious enough to accommodate one and sometimes two extra beds and all that moving furniture takes its toll! The rooms renovated are numbers 4 and 7 on either end of the block, each have a double and a three quarter bed as standard. These rooms have shower and wc but no bath. They are ideal for Guests travelling with their own vehicles as cars can be parked right outside the rooms, motel style.

We have replaced the old wash hand basin with a new pedestal basin with matching toilet and cistern in the shower rooms, as well as installing new taps and plumbing fittings. The shower rooms have been retiled throughout. In addition we have completely re-tiled the expansive bedroom floors.

The 2013 rate for these rooms will be as follows:

2 persons           ZK445 (US$89)
3 or 4 persons   ZK495 (US$99)
1 person             ZK350 (US$70)

All rates are per room per night and include English breakfast, free transfers within Livingstone on arrival and departure if required, as well as free wifi (subject to availability). The rooms can comfortably accommodate 2 adults and at least 3 children in which case the rate will remain at US$99.

A big thank you to Mr Turner (plumbing and electrical), Mr Benson (tiler) and Mr Andrew Phiri (carpenter and painter) who undertook the work for the lodge. As a matter of interest the total cost of renovations has been about US$10,000.

During 2013 we hope to complete the renovations of the remaining two Lukulu Crescent rooms.
We also hope to tile the floor of the restaurant terrace and install new furniture, fans and light fittings.


Extreme Experience

Meet Tony Pilcher, entrepreneur and owner/manager of Jet Extreme, his company providing exciting jet boat adventures in the rapids below Victoria Falls for tourists to Livingstone, Zambia. Tony was our Guest on the most recent edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela, our weekly Sunday night radio show airing from 20.30 to 21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. Tony kindly donated a jet boat ride for two people to add on to the weekly prize we give away on the show, of a dinner for two with drinks and a swim at Chanters Lodge. We give the prize to the first person to text us telling us who’s singing our ‘oldie of the week’ – this week’s track was Cher’s ‘Believe’ and the great prize was quickly snapped up by Mpezeni – to the consternation of others!

Tony told listeners that he’d started his company in 1999. For five years before that he had been an overland truck driver hosting trips from Cairo to Cape Town passing through Livingstone on many of his trips. He had seen an opportunity for jet boating on the Zambezi and had got himself organized. I pointed out that he and I had started up businesses at roughly the same time. Tony explained that it cost ZK500,000 (about US$100) pp to participate in the jet boat activity, the ride itself lasts about half an hour, the rest of the three and half hour activity is taken up with the transfer to the cable car which takes passengers 220 meters down to the boat launch. Tony’s two directional cable car is unique in Zambia and is a ‘must do’ for tourists. The activity includes a stop over at Chief Mukuni’s village for a spot of culture! The 800 hp boat cruises at speeds of up to 90 kmh, performing ‘jet spins’ leaving you facing the other way in a matter of seconds and generally soaking wet! “Has it put you off?” I asked George and Milli  who were angling for an invite “not at all, not at all, no!” They exclaimed in unison. The company has two boats one eight seater, one eleven seater and the minimum number for a trip is eight people.

Musically Tony expressed an interest in the Bellamy Brothers. We did not have them on the play list but we did have Olly Murs featuring Flo Rida and their number one UK smash hit ‘Troublemaker’, back to back with Bruno Mars ‘Moonshine’ – a great start to the show. George dropped Salma Dodia’s big African hit ‘Wonderful World’ together with Afunika’s ‘Free To Mingo’ and yes that is the right spelling (smh). Milli Jam spun ‘Hope We Meet Again’ from Pitbull featuring Chris Brown together with a Paris Hilton/ Lil Wayne combo. Our pick of the week was ‘Not Giving In’ from Rudimental featuring John Newman and Alex Clare.

Tony told listeners that he is married to Sue, who had been out of Zambia for some time following a family bereavement, they did not have children ‘but who knows what might happen when she comes back’ said Tony to some in studio laughter! Milli Jam wanted to know who were the best clients of the jet boat and Tony said that the Asian community were his best supporters but he really depended on agents for marketing and bookings. Sun International gave him lots of business. Being a New Zealander Tony said he loved rugby but no longer played.

Jet Extreme has expansion plans in the property market with Royal Mukuni Villa Estate. At the top of the gorge near the cable car start point the company has 22 plots already sited, as well as investors lined up including the Mukuni Development Trust. Tony hoped that in ten years time he would still be happily married, would have started a family and would still be driving jet boats as part of an expanded successful company in Zambia.

We wished him the best of luck.


Knotty Leads

I was delighted recently to renew contact with Mary Davies after more years than I care to mention. Her late husband Drew Frayn was a general manager with Hallway Hotels in the early 70’s when I first went overseas with that company, and was my boss for a few weeks in Seychelles. Mary and daughter Melissa with partner Joe are in the early stages of planning a trip to Zambia.

Anyway, Melissa and Mary have a company making different dog leads (pictured above) – looks like a very good idea for Christmas presents if you have friends and/or family with dogs! Here’s all about it and a link to their site!

Knotty-Leads was launched in the Spring 2012 after designing and making leads for my own two Labradors. Very soon, other dog owners noticing the distinctive  and stylish designs and colours were asking for leads not only for their own dogs but as “something different” as gifts for their dog owner friends too.

Enlisting the help of my mother, Mary, a skilled knotter and tutor, we thoroughly researched the best materials for this innovative project and decided on high strength polypropylene cords as standard.

 Since then, due to their high quality, strength and designs, the popularity of our leads has continued to grow.   As well as private individuals and retail outlets, our valued customers also include the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Regimental Museum Shops around the country.

Each lead is individually knotted by myself or my mother and we will do our utmost to meet any special requirements. We are shortly introducing slip leads and couple leads to our exclusive Knotty-Leads range and also leads to order for other pets, so please contact us if you would like further information.


Chanda Chilongoshi

Development of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector is the way forward now, and will be the way forward for Zambia in the medium term. The big businesses should be encouraged to invest in Zambia, but not at the expense of our focus on Small and Medium Enterprises. It has already been acknowledged across the world that SMES are a backbone of any economy.

And for Chanda Chilongoshi, a woman of strong convictions, doing business in a scientific way gives her great satisfaction.
Her mind is scientific; a very inspirational woman of substance and it is no big surprise that she runs a cleaning products business-BroadLine. She is married to Joseph Chilongoshi and they are both scientists who have supported each other through and through.

“My husband has allowed me to blossom. He been very supportive and understanding in and out of season,” she said.
As husband and wife, they started their very own SME which manufactures personal care products and industrial and domestic cleansing products in 1997. For a period of three years, Mr Chilongoshi was running the firm solely.

They then broke off the business and restarted in 2000 with renewed hope and strength for the future of their business, which was located at Langford House on President Avenue, Ndola. Her inspiration for the business came from her deep-rooted love for the country. Her belief was and is that Zambians have the potential to make a large number of the products locally.

She describes herself and her husband as being very ‘patriotic and nationalistic’. Adding a fair bit of humour, she mentioned that one would never find her complaining about Zambia; “Ah potholes, ah Zambia, if it is in a bad state that is our secret, do not cheapen our country.’ She has big plans for the future. The scales of Mr and Mrs Chilongoshi’s dreams are international.

Mrs Chilongoshi, however, is brave enough to understand that every business starts small. Her products are made from petro-chemical derivatives. The flagship of the business is Soft and Shiny Family Shampoo. Shampoo is not the only product in her product portfolio.

She does not feel very threatened by big brands on the market, saying her products are somewhat unique which is why lots of people were using them. “Broadline has superior products formulated and tailored to the needs of Zambian people. That’s where our confidence comes from as a business,” she said.

Mrs Chilongoshi, however, notes that many Zambians are not patient enough to see their business grow. “The reason why Zambia is lagging behind is because we are too satisfied with where we are and do not feel that there is room for improvement,” she said.




From: Lusaka Times

Q & A session with Zambia’s Fast Raising Singer Roberto (above)

:Tell us about you recently released album “My name is…”
ROBERTO: Well “My Name Is…” has been in the making for over 3 years now, it is a very personal album to me, as it brings out stories of situations I have gone through and witnessed through the years.

: Do you feel you have grown as an artist since your first album?
ROBERTO: Most definitely, it’s important to learn from challenges in life, take both positive and negative criticism and be a better person; I have managed to produce and write the entire album alone except for two songs.

7:How did you get started as a DJ?
ROBERTO: Many think I started from Radio then went into music lol, I actually went for a radio interview on Radio Hot Fm while promoting my 1st album and I was on radio with Hope, so during the interview she was like, you actually sound good on radio and we took in some calls asking people if they wanted me to co-host her drive time show for a week, and a week later I got calls from radio stations all over and was offered a job at Qfm as I was at Hot Fm on a voluntary basis, so that’s how my radio career started

: Does being a DJ on Q FM bring about a conflict of interests, i.e. Are you tempted to promote your music more than other local artists?
ROBERTO: The only conflict I face is regarding my time schedule as I have at times reject certain offers because of one of the two jobs. I set a principle not to play my own music but help other artists promote their music, I love Zambian music and I feel I can help others; I’m already on radio so it would be unfair to promote my own music while doing my shows

Do you feel Zambian music gets enough air play as compared to international music?
ROBERTO: First of all I feel some stations are doing a great job promoting Zambian music, then again other stations are hesitant to promote our Music for reasons best known to themselves, others blame the monotony in the sound and content of music.

: Since you came on to the scene how has the Zambian music has industry improved?
ROBERTO: It surely has changed and grown in some areas, and I foresee a situation where Zambian music will dominate Africa, its unfortunate that we do not have much support from the outside market, but I have already seen the interest by many radio stations outside Zambia playing our music and so it is growing and improving

: One of my favorite songs of yours is “Operator” from your first album, I still have it on my playlist to this day. Do you have an all-time favorite song out of all that have been released?
ROBERTO: Wow!!! Operator will always be a classic in my world, I would say Operator as well but of-course with every album comes a song that just gets a little more repeats than the others, its crazy but fun lol

: How has the response been from the fans towards your new album, which song do you enjoy performing the most?
ROBERTO: Response has been terrific and so motivating, when I was putting this album together I had to challenge myself on every song so I could only imagine how everyone would receive the songs more especially the songs I did in English but the response is just motivation for me, I love performing SALAULA and GOOD WOMAN

:You are currently promoting your single “Good Woman”, tell us about the song.
ROBERTO: “Good Woman” is a personal Confession, its interesting as songs like “Love You More”, “Chawama” & “Good Woman” I wrote for my girlfriend after the many situations we would face in our relationship, what I talk about in the song are issues I went through or she complained about!

: Are you promoting your album internationally, how has been the response.
ROBERTO: Yes I am, I have been blessed enough to have a great team working with me to ensure we reach out to countries all over the world, the feedback we are getting is worth a million smiles, the radio stations and people have been so supportive. Zambians abroad have also been so helpful in spreading the word about my music, it’s been amazing!! I am truly thankful

: Besides music what other interests do you have?
ROBERTO: I am in love with directing and script writing videos & films, I studied computer programming so I have a huge passion for Computer programming, I also love graphic design.

: Is there anything your fans will be surprised to know about you .
ROBERTO: I don’t like tomatoes, I don’t eat cheese and I cant speak Bemba fluently yet I sing it

Any last words…….
ROBERTO: It would be unfair if i didnt say my many thanks to everyone who is supporting my music my works and the entire BrathaHood Music camp, Ozzy, Mandela, Manas & Young Riko. We owe our achievements to everyone taking time to support our works, our families and friends THANK YOU


How The Mind Works

This from my friend Des!

Analysis of the above picture can tell us a lot about how different people think.

– For young men, it’s a picture of a lady with a rather large derriere, but only the most observant will notice that she is crossing a street.

– The really observant will notice that she is wearing a thong.

– For older men, she appears to be a respectable woman – with a fairly big bottom – on her way to work.

– Wiser men will ponder the presence of mind of the photographer to take the shot in the face of such beauty and be grateful that they shared it.

– For half of the women, this is an ordinary woman who should not have left home dressed that way.

– The other half will think she is a slut but wonder where she bought that blouse

– Older women will imagine the misery that the woman’s curves will cause by the time she reaches 50.

– But only children, the extremely intelligent, and the celibate will notice that the taxi is being driven by a dog!



Quantum Computing Revolution

This from engadget excited me!

If you’ve been paying attention, you know the quantum computing revolution is coming — and so far the world has a mini quantum network, not to mention the $10,000 D-Wave One, to show for it. Researchers from the University of Melbourne and University College, London, have now developed the “first working quantum bit based on a single atom of silicon.” By measuring and manipulating the magnetic orientation, or spin, of an electron bound to a phosphorus atom embedded in a silicon chip, the scientists were able to both read and write information, forming a qubit, the basic unit of data for quantum computing.

The team used a silicon transistor, which detects the electron’s spin and captures its energy when the spin’s direction is “up.” Once the electron is in the transistor, scientists can change its spin state any way they choose, effectively “writing” information and giving them control of the quantum bit. The next step will be combing two qubits into a logic step, with the ultimate goal being a full-fledged quantum computer capable of crunching numbers, cracking encryption codes and modeling molecules that would put even supercomputers to shame. But, you know, baby steps.


Motor Assembly Again In Zambia?

The motor assembly plant that once produced Fiats and Peugeots in Livingstone has lain idle since 1992, so I was interested too see this article in Times Of Zambia

Two local business entities have partnered to establish a motor assembly plant at a cost of US$1.3 billion that will see the creation of more than 8,000 jobs. And a representative of one of the entities has urged the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) to be proactive in its regulatory role and ensure that regulation does not divorce itself from business facilitation.

Roberto Sabbadin, president of the Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ), said at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Savenda Management Services and Savenda Africa Holdings Limited yesterday that the association was worried that a number of foreign trucks in Zambia dealing in the petroleum transportation sub-sector did not meet the minimum safety standards to move dangerous goods.

Mr Sabbadin wondered what role the ERB was playing in promoting safety in the sector. Savenda Group director, Clever Mpoha said at the same ceremony that his company and its partners had planned to establish a motor assembly plant for 4,000 trucks, representing $1.3 billion investment in addition to the assembly of Savenda Roller Packs (compactors).

Mr Mpoha said out of the 4,000 trucks, 700 had been committed to PTAZ. “This partnership collectively will create well over 8,000 jobs and we are established to manage this process very well because of the economic benefits,” he said.

And Mr Sabbadin said the entities would bring 700 units of brand new petroleum tankers into Zambia which would help improve the standards in the sector and also help in the fight for increased market share. He said the investment would as a result create more than 4,000 jobs which would represent an investment of $300 million. “These tankers will help up the standards in the sector and help us in our fight for increased market share.

“This investment will create more than 4,000 jobs and will represent an investment of $300 million,” he said. Mr Sabbadin said the entry of the trucks would enhance movement of petroleum products within the country and internationally. He called on the Government to deliberately provide special incentives for the special exercise, adding that “in the second place we want as an association to call upon ERB to be more proactive in their regulatory role and to ensure that regulation does not divorce itself from business facilitation. We believe as an association that ERB needs urgent reform.”

Mr Sabbadin said the association was committed to helping Zambia’s long-term vision by the year 2030.

The article does not say where the plant will be. The picture is an image of a Peugeot 504, similar to those that used to be assembled in Livingstone – I had one as a company car when I worked at Ridgeway Hotel. They were pretty basic, but like all Peugeots of that vintage, very strong. You could choose any colour as long as it was white – as I remember!

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