Jimmy J Priest Maliseni Rocks The Experience!

Jimmy J Priest Maliseni (above) needed very little introduction to listeners when I was asked to introduce him at the start of the most recent edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George Kaufela. That’s our regular Sunday night radio show airing on Zambezi 107.7 fm every week from 20.30 hrs to 21.30 hrs CAT.

Why? Well Jimmy is one of the stalwarts of 107.7 fm, hosting the Zamtel Sunset Cruise show Monday to Friday, The Boiling Point – a weekly controversial, usually political, interview progamme, as well as ‘Reggae Sunday Service’ on a Sunday afternoon. “So you’re full time with Zambezi 107.7 fm?” Queried Milli Jam “No, part time.” Replied Jimmy. “Gosh!” I said “if that’s a part time work load what on earth do the full time people do here?” No reply…Jimmy admitted to a certain amount of nervousness, being ‘on the other side’ of the microphone for our show..

‘J Priest’ told listeners that he’d been involved with the radio station since December 2008 coming from a background as a DeeJay at New Fairmount Hotel in Livingstone, where in fact our own Milli Jam is currently entertainment manager. In 2002 when the disco had closed for renovation Jimmy J revealed that he had been ‘born again’ and since that time had taken a keen interest in religion. “Are you a priest like your name says?” We wondered. “Not really” said Jimmy, more of a ‘street preacher’. “Ah!” We said. Asked whether he had been brought up in Livingstone Jimmy told listeners that he had been raised and educated ‘all over the country’ as his father had been a manager with NIEC in Kenneth Kaunda days (National Import and Export Company) – a parastatal organization with the habit of regularly transferring managers at a moment’s notice to anywhere in Zambia.

The music on our show was up to the usual high standard. We opened with our 2013 theme by Rudimental ft John Newman – ‘Feel The Love’. The next two tracks were new releases from long established bands – Bon Jovi with ‘Because We Can’ and Pet Shop Boys with ‘Memory Of The Future’. George dropped Roberto’s latest hit ‘Took You’ which features he himself – and a very good track it is too. We also featured tracks from Pompi, LL Cool J, Pink and David Bowie. Our oldie of the week was ‘Trapped’ by Colonel Abrams but no-one could text us the name of the performing artist, so no-one won the dinner for two we offer each week for a correct answer to the question! The song was dedicated to the road construction company resurfacing Obote Avenue, the road to Chanters, who had managed to trap us in the lodge earlier in the week!

Jimmy revealed that his younger brother was a singer with the band Camouflage (whom we had featured on a recent show) and that they had both been born on May 11th although in different years. We joked about the same at his dad’s expense! ‘Priest’ said he was married and had two beautiful daughters. He also revealed that he was the CEO of a company supplying building materials to the Government and that it was really hard to get paid on time to sustain the company. He told us he was passionate about the construction industry. Asked if he had undertaken any of the tourist activities available in Livingstone he told us he had been white water rafting but had not bungee jumped! His favourite music was ‘gospel reggae’ and his favourite artist ‘Stitchie’. He loved football and was an Arsenal supporter. Some of us liked this.

Asked about his biggest influences in terms of broadcasting Jimmy mentioned Field Ruwe. I reminded listeners of the work Field had I had done together on Zambian television in the 80’s. Jimmy J Priest Maliseni said that in ten years’ time he hoped to be ‘a construction industry magnate’ and we wished him the best of luck.


Brian Suto & Jen Gase rock ‘The Experience’!

What do the average Washington DC investment adviser (with Charles Schwab ) and partner, an IT project manager, do on their Sunday night in Livingstone, Zambia just 10 kms away from the mighty Victoria Falls? Why, appear on the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela of course! That’s our regular Sunday night radio show airing weekly between 20.30 and 21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. Joking apart we were delighted that Brian Suto and Jen Gase (pictured above), our Guests at Chanters Lodge, agreed to appear on our show. Lively and interesting Guests they were too.

Brian and Jen told listeners that although they’d only arrived in Livingstone at lunch time the previous day, on their first afternoon they’d already taken the sunset cruise on the Zambezi on Lady Livingstone which they’d thoroughly enjoyed. On the morning of the show they’d been to Mukuni Big 5 for the lion encounter and then walked out to Livingstone Island to swim in Devil’s Pool, which they described as ‘stunning’. The following day they were scheduled for a half day’s white water rafting before they left Chanters for the Zambezi Waterfront to link up with G Adventures. They explained that they were booked for an eight day camping overland trip with Gap, taking them from Zimbabwe to Johannesburg via Kruger NP. “Looking forward to it?” George, the host for the day, wanted to know. “We are” replied Brian “but I’m not too sure about the camping.” Jen gave a knowing laugh. “Washington investment adviser camping?” She seemed to be thinking, sure……

George wanted to know if the couple lived near the White House and our Guests said that they lived just 10kms away. Had they met President Obama? We wanted to know, they had not, but they hoped to and were delighted he had won the election. So were we. Music wise Brian told listeners he was into rap, whereas Jen liked softer music such as Mumford and Sons. On this show we featured tracks from The Wanted as well as Christina Aguilera at the top of the show. Zambian tracks were from T-Sean and Zone Fam, which we followed up with offerings from Lana del Rey and Keri Hilson. Our oldie of the week was Danny’s ‘Could I Be’ and we had a great response from listeners by text telling us who was singing the track – all trying to win dinner for two at the lodge. Vuuka won.

Asked where they’d met, Brian and Jen said it had been in Florida where they’d been working for the same company. “Was it love at first sight?” George wanted to know “not really” seemed to be the reply. They told listeners they’d been married for two years. Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing 10 years from now, Jen said she wanted still to have Brian by her side along with 2+ children, Brian seemed to want to be running a small lodge somewhere other than in America – as you do when you’re an investment adviser!!


Rafting Is Back!

Safari Par Excellence will be reopening their fun-filled, adrenalin packed White Water Rafting on the Zambezi River this Friday, 11th June.

To start off with they will be rafting from rapid 14 (walk into the gorge) and finishing at rapid 25 (Cable Car lift out of the gorge), details as follows:

07.30 – 07.45 – Pick up from Livingstone Accommodation

08.00 – Meet at Zambezi Waterfront for breakfast and safety briefing before driving out to the gorge to start the days rafting.

14.00 (approx) – Return to Zambezi Waterfront for a well earned lunch and to view the photo’s of your day on the river. (Only photos are taken when going from rapid 14, as soon as we start going from rapid 10 we will do photos and video again)

15.00 (approx) – Transfer back to accommodation in Livingstone

Cost: $130 per person

We’ll be happy to make bookings on behalf of our Clients at Chanters Lodge


The Kwacha and The Jump

Standard Chartered Bank said this during the week:

“Technically, US $/kwacha is now perched at key support levels the 100-week moving average stands at K4,440, and a decisive break of these levels can see an acceleration to the downside a key 50 per cent retracement level lies at K4,210,” said Khan. “We revised our US $/kwacha forecast profile to show more near-term kwacha strength and only very modest weakness further out. Without wishing to downplay slow local event risk, it is noteworthy that at many maturities Zambian government debt offers an attractive prospective total return on our central scenario of very mild kwacha depreciation on a one-year horizon.”

And Standard Chartered Bank has projected that Zambia would record 11.4 per cent rate of inflation this year while GDP is projected at 5.5 per cent with the kwacha expected to close at K4,925 against the US dollar.

I can’t pretend to understand exactly what it all means, just hope they’re right that the Kwacha will be K4925 to a US$ by the end of the year….that will mean a lot to Chanters Lodge

The picture? The Jump – my son Jan jumping into the Zambezi in October 2006 – if the Kwacha goes the other way – just watch me!


High Water White Water Rafting

We had this e mail from Safpar, the company we use for our Guests at Chanters Lodge who like to go rafting.

“Happy New Year to you!

It’s that time of year again when the rains have been falling and the river levels are rising meaning that we need to go onto high water rafting. We will be starting from rapid 7b from Thursday 7th January.


7.30am pick up from town accommodation (this varies slightly depending on which lodge clients are staying at)

8.00am – meet at Waterfront for safety talks and breakfast

8.45am – depart to rapid 7b for a walk down into the gorge to commence rafting

Raft to rapid 25 and get the Jet Extreme cable car lift out of the gorge where the Safpar truck will be waiting with ice cold beers, soft drinks and some fruit to snack on for the journey back to The Waterfront

14.30 / 15.00 – Arrive back at Waterfront for a late lunch and to watch the DVD of the day’s rafting

16.00 – Transfer provided back to town accommodation”
Still an awesome experience!


Activities – Kijubi.com

There are so many different activities available for visitors staying at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone, to a certain extent depending on the time of year – right now the most popular are white water rafting (pictured above), visits to Livingstone Island and the Sunset Cruise. We spend a lot of time trying to guide Guests in the right direction in terms of what they’d like to do. For this reason the following article in the New York Times caught my attention:

“You picked the place, found the perfect hotel, and secured your flights. Now what are you actually going to do on your vacation? Kijubi.com, a new vacation activity site that went live today, hopes to answer that question for you. The site, which is meant to sound like “Could You Be” — as in, “Kijubi surfing?” — allows travelers to easily search and book more than 70 categories of experiences from sea kayaking to skydiving to theme parks, by theme, activity or location. A recent search for activities in Newport Beach, for example, shot back a list of 109 options including surfing lessons, whale watching, theme park tickets, horseback riding and paintball.

“The online travel agencies do a terrific job of getting you to your destination but don’t address what to do when you get there,” said Brian Fried, Kijubi’s chief executive. “No one comes home and says, ‘Man, I had a great rental car experience.’ They say ‘I went shark diving.’”

But the site, which currently lists about 250 vendors and roughly 1,000 activities, still has a long way to go to fill this niche. Only a few states, including California, Florida, and Nevada, are listed and many of the activities are obvious, like rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park. Videos, user ratings and reviews are still to come. “We think we’ve just scratched the surface of reaching a critical mass of recreation vendors,” said Mr. Fried. Other destinations, he said, will include Hawaii, Colorado, and New York.”

Let’s hope Africa, Zambia and Livingstone soon feature on their site too! Or maybe someone needs to start a site like this for Southern Africa?


Relief, Desperation or Fear

When my daughter’s friend Tatenda Dune sent me this picture of her and Alexandra’s recent white water rafting trip on the mighty Zambezi, I asked her whether it should be called ‘relief’ or ‘desperation’! Her one word answer? ‘Fear’!


Kids Go Rafting!

It was really lousy experience for me the night my daughter Alexandra and her friend Tatenda appeared on The Chanters Lodge Experience with the DJMJ Ingredient, our Sunday night radio show on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm almost three weeks’ ago now, I was really not well! And I’d been looking forward to the show so much. I did appear on the programme but only just, and I have very little memory of what took place. In retrospect it probably would have been better if I’d stayed in bed….

Alexandra and Tatenda are both students at Kingsmead College in Johannesburg. Bright, pretty and witty they were, I’m told, great Guests on the show! Were they having a good holiday in Livingstone? “Awesome!” What activities had they done while they’d been here? They’d been, or were going to go rafting, and on the sunset cruise. Alexandra had been on the Cheetah Encounter with Mukuni Big 5 Safaris while she was waiting for her friend Tatenda to arrive – the latter had passport problems in South Africa and was late coming up to Zambia.
We’d also had a great family day out together at the Falls.

How was it living in Johannesburg we wanted to know. They liked it. Were they ever scared given the security problems? “Not reeeeally”. What did they like most about Jo’burg? Shopping and parties! Did they have boyfriends? I seem to remember Alex saying “why’s my dad always asking me that?” or something similar. We played Miley Cyrus (“she’s everywhere at the moment” said Alex) and ‘Supernova’ by Mr Hudson ft Kanye West which will now forever remind me of Alexandra. We played Corinne Bailey Rae who the girls like as well. I also remember ‘Puzzle’ by Alexandra Burke.

“How come Richard invited you as Guests on the show?” DJMJ and George wanted to know. “I’m his daughter!” Yelled Alex and everyone laughed. Which football team did the girls support? I can only remember Alex saying “Arsenal” (yes, all my kids are somehow obliged!). “Are you into sport at school”? The guys wanted to know and the girls explained they were usually too busy with drama. “Are you drama queens?” I wanted to know. “You bet!” They replied laughing. Actually they’ve both been very involved with directing and acting in plays at school.

What did Alex think of her brother Mike’s rap music? “Liquid D? Fantastic!”

The picture, Alex and her brother Mike with Tatenda after their rafting trip. Alex is third from the left, Mike on the far right and Tatenda next to him!

Incidentally, after a two year run, our radio show has come to an end. We might be back on air in some shape or form in 2010, meanwhile thanks to everyone who’s been involved with or taken part in the programme over the two year period! Peace!


Wild White Water Rafting!

Kwameh Anyona from Nairobi, Kenya stayed recently at Chanters Lodge Livingstone and was determined to undertake as many activities as possible. One of the things he did was white water rafting with Safari Par Excellence. Here’s one of the great pictures he sent me!

White water rafting really is an awesome experience, as much for the views and landscape as for the adrenaline rush, as above! And, from Monday 10th August you’ll be able to raft from Rapid 1 to 25! Some of the wildest white water in the whole world!


Rafting’s Back!

High water white water rafting has returned to the Zambezi below Victoria Falls. Check this e mail we received from Safpar:

“We’re very excited to be able to announce that the river levels have dropped sufficiently for us to reopen white water rafting from this Saturday, 6th June. The trips will be running on “high water”, initially from rapids 14 – 25 and shortly after that (once the water levels have dropped further) from rapids 10 – 25.

At rapid 25, all clients will get the lift out of the gorge where our truck will be waiting for them with soft drinks and beers, they will then be driven back to Zambezi Waterfront for a well deserved meal and to watch the video of their day’s trip before being transferred back to their accommodation.”

So there you are, if you’ve reserved accommodation at Chanters Lodge and would like to make a rafting reservation, let me know!

The picture? My son Jan and wife Jo doing it in 2006!