The Experience! By ‘Remote Control’!

That’s a strange headline you’ll be thinking! It comes about because ‘Remote Control’ is the title of a hit record in Zambian sung by Edma, aka Eddy Kamwenda (above right) and Masautso Mwale, Guests on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz. That’s our weekly radio show airing at 20.30 hrs CAT every Sunday on Zambezi 94.1 fm, Livingstone’s longest established and best loved commercial radio station. ‘Remote Control’ is sung and rapped in various vernacular languages and tells of ladies who want to criticize their men in every regard, controlling them and then end up having affairs outside their relationship! At least that’s the general gist of it! The track is hot on radio stations throughout the land and in the many Livingstone night clubs.

Eddy and Danny (as Masautso prefers to be called) told listeners that they had met by chance a few years ago at the studios of Raising Sounds. Danny sings on their tracks while Eddy raps. Danny has a sweet singing voice. Outside their musical career, Eddy has worked in sales for Gatbro International for the past six years, Gatbro supply Spar Supermarkets in Zambia. Eddy studied hotel management at Fairview in Lusaka and currently undertakes business around Livingstone. Eddy is married with a two year old son Taono while Danny is still single. The duo are looking forward to releasing their first album in April 2015 although it was not immediately clear which studio they would use to record the album. They are currently self managing having parted company with their manager a little while ago.

The music on the show was good and of course we featured Remote Control. On the day of the show the sad news came that Zambian singing sensation PJay had died as a result of injuries sustained in a traffic accident some two weeks ago, so we played Nikamtsiya by Ruff Kaida featuring PJay. The title means ‘When I Leave You’. Very sad. We also featured the UK Christmas Number One – Something I Need by Ben Haenow the 2014 XFactor winner. Other tracks were from Gorgon City featuring Jennifer Hudson, Nicki Minaj ft Ariana Grande, David Guetta and John Legend, as well as Jagua. Our oldie of the week was by Shatel, and we were happy the prize we give to the first person to text us the name of the artist on our oldie of the week was won by Derek who will enjoy his Christmas dinner at the lodge with a friend as a result.

The guys told listeners that their favourite artists are Pompei and Zola. Eddy was into Manchester United, while Danny, wisely, prefers volleyball! Their favourite Zambian soccer player is national team goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene. They write their songs together “Eddy bakes while Danny serves” they said. They told listeners they had played a show for RATSA in the city centre the day before, and were very much looking forward to playing on 24th and 25th December at a local hot spot on the same bill as the famous Mampi and Cleo.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years’ time, the guys said they would like to have visited Australia and to have a prosperous recording studio hosting many great artists. We wished them luck and all our friends and listeners a very happy Christmas.


The Louis Barabbas Experience

Meet Louis Barabbas (above), musician and Guest on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz. ‘The Experience’ is our weekly radio show airing for an hour live every Sunday night on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. Louis told listeners that he was currently on holiday in Zambia with his parents, who were in Zambia to participate in the 50th Anniversary of Independence celebrations taking place in the week ahead. He would be attending a state dinner in Lusaka with them on Independence Day itself. He explained that his grandfather had once been the town clerk of Kabwe! Milli Jam looked surprised. His mum, Pam, was also about to publish a book about Zambia titled ‘Remnants Of Empire’.

Louis, an English language graduate has been involved in the music industry in UK one way or another for about 12 years. He currently heads a band by the name of Louis Barabbas and the Bedlam Six. Given the name of the band I was somehow expecting Louis to be a great big hairy loud rocker not the rather shy thoughtful young man who kept us entertained on the show! Louis explained that the band, which is based in Manchester, had just finished a tour of Europe taking in Germany and Austria and would be on a break until May 2015. The boys had also just completed their second studio album called ‘Youth’ and Milli Jam was delighted to be given a copy. He and Jay assured Louis that tracks from the album would be featured on shows on 107.7 fm during the week ahead. Louis had also finished writing a solo album, yet to be recorded, which would be entitled ‘Gentle Songs Of Ceaseless Horror’……..

The music on our show was good as usual and featured tracks from Avicii, Taylor Swift and One Direction. Milli Jam and Jay chose tracks from Ten Walls and Ma-E, as well as Exile, Adele and the Masasu Band. My pick of the week was a new track from Noel Gallagher called ‘In The Heat Of The Moment’. As this played Louis wondered why he would come all the way from Manchester just to listen to a Manchester outfit in Livingstone. We closed with something rather different – Krishane ft Melissa Steel, with ‘Drunk and Incapable’! None of us were!

Louis told us that he plays guitar and harmonica and is also lead singer of the Bedlam Six. He heads a recording company – Debt Records – which has about eight artists in its’ stable and often operates as a type of co-operative with acts combining their skills to come up with the best results. Louis has a weekly radio show on local radio in Manchester. Surprisingly football wise he supports neither Man City or the other team in the city. Still single, Louis has a partner – a geologist by profession –  with whom he’s been going steady for about ten years. Did he miss her? Yes. His own musical preferences tended towards film music and musicals. He is also involved in the Musicians Union in UK, working for a fairer deal for musicians in that country.

Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing ten years’ from now Louis said he would like be making more music, travelling more and to be making more money. We agreed that this would suit all present in the studio!


The Chanters Lodge Experience! With Teejay Chingobe.

Of course you could go to TripAdvisor and look up Chanters Lodge to see the experiences of Guests who have stayed at the lodge, but it so happens that our weekly Sunday night local radio show, broadcast on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station, is called The Chanters Lodge Experience!

The show is hosted by top Livingstone DJ’s Milli Jam and Jay Hillz and is a nice mixture of chart news, latest local and international pop music, chat with our Guest of the week and social media updates. We also give a weekly prize of dinner, or lunch for two with drinks and a swim, at the lodge to the first person to text us the name of the artist on our oldie of the week. Guests on the show are often visitors staying at the lodge, sometimes local personalities and sometimes young people in music and/or broadcasting looking for a lift up. On the most recent edition Twaambo Joseph Chingobe (above) fell into the latter category.

Teejay, as he likes to be called, told listeners that amongst other activities he’s currently enjoying training as a radio presenter with Zambezi 107.7 fm. Milli Jam wanted to know if Teejay was related to Bradley Chingobe, a previous guest on our show and he confirmed that Brad is his uncle. He however pointed out that unlike his uncle who is a full time Man U supporter, Teejay favours Arsenal. Milli Jam and I were happy about that! Apart from his radio presentation, Teejay has a company called Blue Magic Entertainment that provides management and promotion for up coming musicians, as well as events management. His company also has a clothing label. Teejay is a hip hop musician too, but was rather secretive about his plans to release a single, we told him we would wait! He hoped his company ‘Southern Triumph’ would, in future, really help local Livingstone musicians get good gigs.

Our music on the show was great. We usually play a total of 10 tracks on the show. The opening two are latest top chart hits from the UK – on this show singles from Meghan Trainor and The Magician ft Years & Years were showcased. The next set of two tracks are Zambian hits and the fifth and sixth tracks are favourites of Milli Jam and Jay. Next comes our oldie of the week mentioned above, then my pick of the week – a track I think will soon make it on to the charts. On this show I chose Mr Probz’s ‘Nothing Really Matter’. Our last track is always one that will leave the listeners dancing in the aisles!

Teejay told listeners that he’s still single but has a four year old baby girl – Brooklyn, who lives in South Africa with her South African mum – he misses his little girl a lot. Most of Teejay’s secondary and tertiary education happened in South Africa where his parents stay, although in his early years he was nurtured in Livingstone by his grandparents – sadly his grandad had very recently passed away.

Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing 10 years’ from now, this bright, sharp 24 year old said he would like to be a successful entrepreneur in the entertainment sector. ‘Marriage?’ We wondered. “I’m scared!” The reply!


Fear! And How To Cope….

I loved this from Chris Heivly writing in Inc Magazine. If you run your own business you’ll know exactly where he’s coming from, and even if you don’t, it’s well worth a read:

“On the outside, I am an extroverted, sometimes over-the-top cheerleader for my portfolio companies. The Startup Factory (TSF), the accelerator I run, has 31 investments. But I have a secret. I worry. I worry a lot. At its core, my worry is all about fear. What do I fear? I am afraid that my investments are bad and I won’t return capital back to my investors. I am afraid that my reputation (whatever that is) will be crap and I won’t be taken seriously. I am afraid that I will have wasted three, four, five years for no gain. Ultimately, I am afraid that I will be a failure. Again.

Why me, you might ask? I have had success. I co-founded MapQuest, served as the president of Rand McNally, and worked as a corporate venture capitalist. Now I operate one of the best seed investment funds in the Southeast. But I have had real failures as well. In the late 1990s, I spent a year raising investment capital to roll up and combine a handful of map publishing companies that never materialized. I was brought in as an executive (along with a CEO I had worked with before) of a multimillion-dollar software company that was losing millions a year. We got close to rescuing the company before the recession hit us hard. It is a shell of its former self today.

The Startup Factory is on its third iteration.

You want full transparency? I feel like the successes were lucky and that the failures were entirely my fault. I think about it every day. And I worry. I’m not the only one, of course. Everyone worries. The difference is I now know how to cope with my own insecurities.

Take credit for the good, along with bad. Ultimately, with age, I have come to realize that I had something to do with both the successes and the failures. There it is. I said it out loud. I am responsible for the successes. I earned that. My brain, my experiences, my personality, and my drive can make positive things happen. This is a positive building block for my own daily psychology.

Develop a support system. A few years ago, a very close friend and I were talking about this issue and how our brains naturally took us to the dark place (we have a code for it–ask me sometime). We were lamenting how peers we knew had seemed to naturally transcend our demons, and we committed to helping each other. We developed a trick for me. I was raising capital for the first iteration of TSF and I would call him before each meeting. He would ask me one question: “Who’s the king?” My answer: “I am the king!” Corny, but I like to think it helped put me in a different frame of mind.

Let it go. When I look back on what factors are integral to my successes, I can clearly see a distinct pattern emerge. When I had no fear or worry, I was free to be in the business-moment. I operate best when I have released the baggage of fear. I love this quote from Jack Canfield, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

My goal, every day, is to find my way to the other side.


Toxic Workers!

Loved this from Inc Magazine. Do you have these ‘toxic workers’ in your company killing productivity?

1. The Chameleon
In the animal kingdom, the Chameleon changes color in order to escape notice. In the business world, the chameleon changes roles in order avoid work. He volunteers for (or gets himself assigned to) multiple teams and working groups. He then uses that fact to justify never taking an action item within any of the teams because he’s “stressed to the max” due to the “huge workload” that he’s taken on…in other meetings.

When salary review comes, the Chameleon claims credit for “helping” all those teams achieve their goals. The best way to deal with a Chameleon is to assign specific projects that require the Chameleon to work solo and have ambitious deadlines. Use surprise “status update” meetings, to prevent the Chameleon from getting other people to do the work.

2. The Ornament
In the day-to-day world, an ornament, of course, is something you put on a Christmas tree or car hood. In business, Ornaments are people who get by on their looks rather than on their contribution. There are two types: Female Ornaments tend to be model-esque, in a “Victoria’s Secret” way. Men are so fascinated by the Ornament’s appearance that she can get them do to anything she wants. (There was a Seinfeld episode about this phenomenon.)

Male Ornaments have the tall, square-jawed, perfect-hair, perfect-suit appearance that immediately identifies them as authoritative and business-like. (Think Mitt Romney, but without the high IQ.) If you can’t fire an Ornament, put him or her in a “face the public” job where good looks are actually an asset to the company. For example, both the female and male Ornaments mentioned above were quite effective as “demo dollies” at trade shows.

3. The Ball and Chain
In history, a ball and chain was a weight clamped around a prisoner’s leg so that he couldn’t run fast enough to escape. In business, a Ball and Chain is a person inside an organization whose job is to ensure that the company never takes risks, a.k.a. a corporate lawyer.

When asked whether or not the company should try something new, a corporate lawyer will always say no, because if things go right, the lawyer gets no credit, but if things go wrong, the lawyer gets blamed.

Corporate lawyers are also adept at creating legal red tape, ostensibly to lessen risk, but also to strengthen their stranglehold over the organization. If left unchecked, they can gum up the works so that it becomes impossible to do anything at all.


Franchise Loans – Zambia

This caught my eye:


THE Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has set aside a total of K6 million for the establishment of the Zambian tourism franchise. Players in the local tourism sector would be eligible to access the loans through CEEC to set up tourism franchising.

CEEC Head of communication and public relations Glenda Masebe said the funds would be used to promote a special initiative for international standards in Zambia’s tourism industry by supporting targeted citizens to establish franchise tourism businesses.

In a statement issued in Lusaka, Ms Masebe said the commission would consider investments in tourism which include hotels and lodges, restaurants, water sports, theme parks, take aways, travel and tours, cinema, and any other. “This special initiative will be implemented initially in Muchinga, Southern and Western Provinces and each province has an allocation of K2 million to citizens wishing to tender for franchising support. “The maximum loan repayment period for this initiative shall be 5 years at an annual interest rate of 12 per cent,” Ms Masebe said.

She said the provision of collateral would be a strict requirement for this facility and that the applicant will have the responsibility of proposing a franchise business they wish to invest in.

A franchise is an agreement where the owner of a trademark or brand allows someone else to operate a business that sells their products and/or services under license. The one that issues the licence is called the franchisor while the one receiving the licence to operate is called the franchisee.


It’s The Guest’s Story!

As usual, HotelInteractive making a whole load of sense via Larry Mogelonsky!

“One of the better trends that’s taken hold in the hotel industry of late is the notion of delivering an ‘authentic local experience’, or at least thinking in terms of a holistic experience instead of merely a room with its features, all the other property amenities and the staff. We often discuss a hotel in terms of the ‘narrative’ it offers to who visit. But in order for us to successfully deliver what consumers want, this narrative must change from the hotel’s point-of-view to that of each individual guest.

Although it’s a step in the right direction to even contemplate what a property’s narrative is, any efforts along these lines may prove to be a tad blindsided or self-centered if you are only considering what the hotel is doing. In terms of coalescing all operations – guest services, décor, amenities, loyalty member perks, local authentic experiences – into the semblance of a unique ‘narrative’ for your property, you should instead aim to meld them from a guest’s perspective.

It’s a minor tweak in how you approach guest relations, but it can elicit very positive results. The key here – and I say this as objectively as possible and without any inherent misanthropy – is to assume that your guests are selfish. Assume that they are rushed for time, tight on cash and only have enough energy to serve their immediate needs. Superseding any ‘narrative’ you bring to the table, you should be asking: How will this (whatever ‘this’ is) benefit a guest’s story?

Even though it’s your hotel, your property, your team, your operations and your amenities, each guest can only see things his or her own way. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Notice the repetition of the word ‘your’ though. If you really want to deliver an exceptional experience for your guests, you have to steer away from the attitude of bringing guests into ‘your’ narrative and instead focus on helping guests fulfill ‘their’ needs and realize ‘their’ dreams.

As such, you should set each new customer as the protagonist, and then train and position your staff to be attentive supporting characters for each new story that graces your domain. How this philosophic shift is applied in real time to your operations is a far more complex matter that is best articulated on a case-by-case basis. And most of those cases will come through in the form of day-to-day, bread-and-butter interactions between your staff and hotel guests.

These are the fine print changes that might go unnoticed if not otherwise instructed. For instance, instead of starting a reply to guest request with a “We can’t…” or “Our policy is that…” begin with a positive response to bring you both onto the same page. Or, rather than introduce new features of your hotel, ask guests first what their plans were and what they hope to gain from their stay with you (and then launch into the sales pitch!). It’s subtle changes like this that will make your staff feel compassionate and win over guests.”


Staff Motivation

A great short piece from Inc written by Peter Economy is on the spot for managers! The picture is two of our long serving staff at Chanters Lodge appearing as Guests on our local radio show.

1. Interesting Work
No one wants to do the same boring job over and over, day after day. Though a certain amount of routine and repetition is part of almost every job, make sure each employee finds at least part of his or her job highly interesting. As management theorist Frederick Herzberg put it, “If you want someone to do a good job, give them a good job to do.” Find out which tasks your employees most enjoy and use that information when you make future assignments.

2. Information
Information really is power, and your employees want to be empowered with the information they need to do their jobs better and more effectively. And, more than ever, employees want to know how they are doing in their jobs and how the company is doing in its business. Open the channels of communication so that employees are well informed, can ask questions, and can share information. Be transparent, honest, and forthright. Those qualities will have a direct impact on employees’ effectiveness.

3. Involvement
As the speed of business continues to increase, the amount of time you have to make decisions continues to decrease. Involving employees in decision making, especially when the decisions affect them directly, is both respectful and practical. Those closest to the problem typically have the best insight as to what to do. Involving others will increase their commitment and speed the implementation of new ideas or changes.

4. Independence
Few employees want their every action to be closely watched and monitored, or for their every decision to be questioned or micromanaged. Most employees appreciate having the flexibility to do their jobs as they see fit and to make decisions independently. Giving people latitude increases the chance that they will bring additional initiative, ideas, and energy to their jobs.

5. Increased Visibility
Everyone appreciates getting credit when it is due. Occasions to celebrate employee successes are almost limitless, and you should never let one pass. One of the best and most highly motivating forms of recognition is to give your employees new opportunities to perform, learn, and grow in response to their recent achievements. They will always rise to the occasion, becoming even more engaged, productive, and effective.


Nkopola Lodge, Lake Malawi

Nkopola Lodge on the shores of Lake Malawi was the first lodge/hotel which I managed as the ‘in charge’ way back in the 70’s when I was young and green! Not eco green either! What a great experience it was and what a wonderful location. Even in the days of Kamuzu Banda we were ‘where it was at’ and judging from a recent press announcement I saw (below) it is still the case. Water skiing, fishing, mini-sailing or just swimming in the lake……daily…..just imagine the life!

“We are proud to announce that we have once again partnered with Sunbird and will be bringing Lake of Stars to the amazing Nkopola Lodge. The venue is situated on the lakeshore road, 22km north of the town of Mangochi in the southern region of Malawi.

There is a huge range of accommodation in the area, from five star resorts to backpacker lodges, camping and guesthouses.

To book your accommodation and arrange transport to the festival please get in touch at

As well as announced acts Peter Mawanga and Skeffa Chimoto, a host of artists from Malawi, South Africa and the UK will be performing by the lake this September. Our partnership with Proflight Zambia will also allow us to fly some of the best talent in from Zambia, all to be announced very soon.

Hope to see you this September at the festival that Metro has called one of the best three African music festivals for 2014 and that CNN included in their seven African music festivals you really have to see!”


Stress Spreads Like Flu!

Loved this from Inc Magazine – a ‘must read’ for managers and entrepreneurs.

What are you doing to stop the spread of stress around your workplace? “Stress is more contagious than flu, but we don’t take the same precautions,” says Heidi Hanna, Ph.D., author of Stressaholic: 5 Steps to Transform Your Relationship With Stress.

Here’s how to stop the stress flu from making the rounds:

1. Create a place to think undisturbed.
There’s a reason many people get their best ideas in the shower, she says. It’s a time when they can let their minds wander undisturbed. “So if you need or want an open-plan office, create a space for closed reflection time, somewhere people can get away from the noise.”

2. Give people your full attention.
“If you’re talking to me, and I’m having a side conversation or checking my email, then I’m sending the message that you’re not important,” Hanna says. Unfortunately, because people are connected to so many devices, they wind up sending that message all the time.
That’s a good way to pass along stress. Instead, set aside your smartphone and focus all your attention on the person you’re talking with, even if that means you can only speak for a few minutes.

3. Watch out for mirroring.
Studies show that people unconsciously mirror the biomechanical rhythms of others around them. That means standing near a stressed-out person can make you feel the same way, even if you don’t say a word to each other. So, when you start feeling stressed, “ask yourself if it’s truly yours or if you’ve picked up someone else’s stress,” Hanna advises. If it does turn out the stress is coming from someone else, you have a choice: Either help that person or limit your time together.

4. Build your relaxation muscle.
You’ve probably read by now that meditation can bring dramatic antistress benefits. It’s not as hard as you may think. “A lot of people are turned off because they think it needs to be spiritual or 20 minutes long,” Hanna says. Neither assumption is true. “It’s just giving your brain a chance to get out of work mode.”

5. Get out of that chair!

Once every hour, make sure to get up from your desk and walk around or stretch, Hanna says. And once or twice a day, climb some stairs or do something else to get your heart rate up and your circulation moving. “When you sit for a long time, blood starts to pool in your extremities,” she explains. “You’re getting less oxygen to the brain and that triggers a stress response. This is why people get more tired the longer they sit.”
6. Keep your blood sugar stable.

“If you go too long without eating, that sends a message to the brain that there’s a shortage of food, which is one of the quickest ways to trigger the stress response,” Hanna says. On the other hand, too much food, especially the wrong food, can be almost as much of a problem. “You’ll ramp up insulin production, which is taxing,” she says. “Also sugar, when you consume too much, triggers a response in the brain as though it were a foreign substance.”

7. Don’t schedule every minute.
Going straight from one meeting or conference call to the next is a sure way to amp up stress. Instead, Hanna recommends 50-minute meetings, ensuring at least a 10-minute break between them. Adding time between meetings allows people to check their email and messages, decreasing the likelihood they’ll do so during the meeting itself. That will reduce their stress as well.

8. Practice gratitude.
Humans are hard-wired to focus on the negative–a survival mechanism from our days as hunter-gatherers. So fight that tendency by redirecting your focus. “I recommend people write down three things they’re grateful for at the start of every day,” Hanna says.

9. Redefine stresses as challenges.
Reframing the way you look at a stressful situation can substantially decrease your stress level, Hanna says. “See whatever’s stressing you as a stimulus for growth,” she says. “If you think of it as a challenge, you know you have the resources to meet it head-on.

10. Set a good example.
Your employees will notice and likely model how you deal with stress. So show them how to do it right. “The better you take care of yourself, the more you can be an example,” Hanna says. If you tell employees to take care of themselves but don’t do so yourself, they’re more likely to follow your actions than your words. “It’s common sense,” she says. “But unfortunately, it’s not common practice.”

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