Judy Smetherham (left above) and Di Rapson are truly veterans of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela! It was their fourth appearance as Guests on our show when we featured them on the first 2014 edition of the programme last Sunday night. The show has been running on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station since late 2007 so this marks our seventh year on air. “Why do you keep coming back to Zambia?” Milli Jam wanted to know at the beginning of the programme. “We love the people of Zambia!” The ladies replied and went on to tell listeners that they had arrived back in Zambia on December 22nd flying in from Perth, Australia where they live, and work in education.
Their first stop in the country was Lusaka from where they flew to Mfue in the South Luangwa National Park where they enjoyed Christmas, explaining that Santa Claus had arrived at the lodge in a 4 x 4 with presents for all the Guests. “Not on an elephant?” We wondered. Whilst in the Luangwa they had seen just about all the game there is to see, apart from rhino, but including leopard and wild dogs. From Mfue they had flown to Livingstone via Lusaka on January 3rd, taking in the elephant orphanage in Lusaka on their way. The ladies had been on the river safari since they arrived in Livingstone as well as taking a microlight flight over Victoria Falls that very morning. They were lucky on both outings to avoid the incessant rain experienced in the city for the whole of the previous week. The ladies were looking forward to a one day safari to Chobe NP in Botswana on the following Tuesday, with Chris Tours.
The music on the show was great. We featured our new theme tune for 2014 at the top of the show – Avicii’s ‘Hey Brother’. Tracks from Pitbull featuring Ke$ha and Bruno Mars followed. George dropped numbers from Exile as well as Edma featuring Ty2. Milli Jam added a West African flavour with recordings from Niyola, as well as Kcee featuring WizzKid. George picked Harry Belafonte’s ‘There’s A Hole In My Bucket’ as the oldie of the week, but no-one won the prize we offer to the first person to text us telling us the name of the recording artist. Hardly any wonder! My pick of the week for the ladies (who just LOVE elephants) was ‘Come A Little Closer’ by….Cage The Elephant. We closed with an old number from Charlie Pride.
Judy and Di told listeners that they would leave Livingstone the following week and head for Cape Town for a nine day holiday in that super South African city. After that they would fly to Dubai, from there proceeding on a four day tour to Oman before returning to Dubai for some days, prior to flying home. The ladies also revealed that they had plans in the pipeline to visit Canada and the USA. Milli Jam wanted to know what changes they had noticed in Livingstone since their last visit eighteen months ago, and the ladies noted the improvement in the roads, new street signs and the increase in activity prices – the latter reported through clenched teeth!
In an unexpected move, Judy produced a marvellous book of photos taken in Zambia during their three previous visits, including fabulous pictures of the lodge and its staff, the radio show and its hosts, as well as stunning pictures of the Falls, gorges and Zambia’s awesome wildlife. Pictures of all the various activities they have done in Zambia are also featured in the book! Naturally those present felt that they would each be given their own signed edition of the unique volume but this turned out not to be the case, and the book went away with its owner, never to be seen again. The ‘boos’ in the studio were louder than those for David Moyes at Old Trafford as Man U lost at home yet again!
Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years’ time both ladies said they would like still to be happy, healthy, travelling and creating more books of photos!