Isaac Mwanza & Mubiana Jeff Nalwendo

Our Guests on the latest edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient, featuring George Da Soulchild, were Isaac Mwanza (left) and Mubiana Jeff Nalwendo pictured above. Isaac is IT Manager at Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm and Mubiana is Production and Programmes Manager. Bit incestuous you’re thinking, considering our regular Sunday night radio show goes out on their station? Maybe, but they guys were there for a purpose.

As well as being part of the management of the station both gentlemen are very popular local DJ’s! Isaac goes on air as DJ Chin Cavaly 2010 and Jeff is MJ Fabulous! This Saturday 4th December the guys are organizing a show in Livingstone for upcoming musicians where the young and talented can display their music to the fans. (This stirred memories for me as we used to do the same sort of thing at Southern Sun Ridgeway Hotel on Folk Night, every Tuesday. A lot of older musicians in Zambia got their break on that show.) “Who’s starring for you”? I asked. “Locally it’s Kaufela” they replied, “but we’re bringing in BFlow from Lusaka, because we feel the fans should get value for the K15,000 per ticket they’ll be paying”. “Tell me about Kaufela” I continued. “George can tell you more” Isaac said. “It’s me” said George. “Yes” I said “you’re going to tell us about him”. “It’s me”! George said again, “I’m Kaufela”. Well, blow me down! I’d realised George was also a musician, but had no idea he was so well known on the local scene! MJ and Chin took the chance to thank all the many local companies that were helping to sponsor the show, including Chanters Lodge. The final line up of musicians had yet to be confirmed but it was announced that Milli Jam would be MC for the show!

Milli Jam wanted to know how Isaac and Mubiana had come up with their show business names. Isaac was reticent but said he changed his name every year and it was nothing to worry about. Mubiana said that at his father’s suggestion he had had used his initials, and it was the fans early on in his career at UNZAfm who’d added ‘Fabulous’. Mubiana is a graduate in Mass Communications from the University of Zambia and Isaac is expecting admission into the Copperbelt University next year to read computer studies. He’s already an expert in this field. MJ is famous for playing new numbers, Chin for hip-hop and r&b plus his chart knowledge which is legendary.

The music on the show was good but somehow drowned out by the noise! When DJ’s get together – and there were 5 in the studio including Tendai With An ‘i’ but not including me – they talk a lot. Anyway we played ‘Girls Fall Like Dominoes’ by Nicki Minaj, back to back with ‘So Alive’ by Skepta ft NDubz. Kaufela’s selection was ‘Hands Across The World’ by ONE8 the smash hit combination of R Kelly and loads of African artists including JK, a Zambian star. George coupled it with ‘Nibandani Ba Nzako’ from the new as yet unreleased K’Millian album. ‘Where are your friends when you need them’ was the translation. Milli Jam featured Rick Ross with ‘Aston Martin Music’.

Isaac and Mubiana briefed listeners about their roles at Zambezi fm as well as plans for the station’s new website and we gave away the usual dinner for 2 – won on this occasion by the manager of a rival local radio station! It was a good and informative show.


Holey Vision

Holey Vision is the title of Tanvir Bush’s blog and well worth reading regularly. She has an awesome spirit and a wonderful way of writing. She suffers from a degenerative eye disease and writes beautifully too about her guide dog Grace. The two of them are pictured above – having fun!

Here she writes about the progress of Mike Bush – her dad – suffering cancer – my doctor at the Minbank Clinic in Lusaka for years and a very good friend. On a sadder note she writes of the wanton and despicable death of Mark Jellis, late son of John Jellis, very well known orthopedic surgeon in Lusaka. He and his family have also been good friends and Clients over the years. Tanvir writes:

“My Dad is given the thumbs up and a 99% all clear after a follow up check on his stem cell treatment. He flies back to Lusaka immensely relieved. He’ll have to go back again in three months but for the moment it is all really pretty damn wonderful.

“Then, on the Wednesday night my sister calls to say that Mark has died. Mark J was my friend, the older brother of a childhood buddy in Zambia. He was a lovely, handsome, gentle farming (he didn’t farm ‘gentles’..I mean he WAS gentle..and he farmed too..) man who spoke fluent chiNyanja and was a serious fundi of all things ‘Zambian bush.’ He played guitar, drank whiskey, loved to jitterbug (and had once pulled me, back then a rather stodgy teenager, onto the dancefloor and thrown me skywards and spun me around until I was dizzy and besotted.)

A few weeks ago he went to collect wages for his farm workers and a gang held them up and robbed them, shooting, for no apparent reason, Mark directly in the head and chest. And even then..and even then ..he clung on for six weeks undergoing extreme operations in a hospital in SA but his injuries were too much. Violent death makes bloody rents in the world. People stagger listlessly, confused by the news, unable to know what to say to each other, to the close families left behind, the parents, the children, the partners. Those rents don’t heal like tears from other deaths. They go on bleeding for a long, long time. They make us feel shabby with helplessness, angry and weary.

Edani Bwino mzanga, wrote his friend Miranda. Travel well. She posts a photo of Mark on Facebook. He is smiling hugely, all blond hair and teeth, the afternoon sun golden on his face and the big blue sky fading to evening behind him.”

This piece touched my heart.


Mike Tabor

Mike Tabor, above left in the photo, died last week. He was a friend of mine. I knew Connie, his first wife, before I knew him. Connie was involved with the UN Institute for Nambia in Lusaka in the late 70’s early 80’s and Ridgeway Hotel, of which I was general manager, had the contract to cater for that institiution – feeding some 250 students daily as I recall. Later I met Mike and we became good friends through a mutual friendship with late Trevor Ford – the cartoonist ‘Yuss’ in the Post newspaper. Mike was one of the first DJ’s on Radio Mulungushi – Zambia’s first fm radio station allowed to play ‘Western music’ and Mike certainly knew his music. He will be sadly missed. Here’s his obituary from the New York Times

Michael Tabor, one of 13 Black Panther Party members acquitted in 1971 of conspiring to bomb public buildings and murder police officers in New York City, died on Oct. 17 in Lusaka, Zambia. He was 63. The cause was complications of several strokes, said Melvin McCray, a friend and an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism who was producing a documentary about Mr. Tabor.

On May 13, 1971, Mr. Tabor and his co-defendants were found not guilty of all charges of planning to bomb department stores, police stations, train stations and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and to murder police officers. Mr. Tabor, a captain in the New York branch of the Panthers, was not in State Supreme Court in Manhattan when the verdict was read. He and another defendant, Richard Moore, had fled to Algeria four months into the eight-month trial — one of the longest in New York history.

The prosecution’s case rested largely on the testimony of three undercover agents who said they had heard the defendants plan the bombings and killings and had attended classes where they were taught to shoot weapons and make bombs. In a verdict that came after two hours of deliberation, the jury foreman said, “Not guilty” 156 times.

The flight of Mr. Tabor and Mr. Moore came at a time of strife between the East and West Coast factions of the Panther Party. Huey P. Newton, its supreme commander, denounced the two men for abandoning their co-defendants. Mr. Tabor said they had left out of fear for their lives, not because of the trial.

“I am overjoyed that the brothers are free,” he said from Algiers. “I always said that the case was an attempted railroad and that the defendants’ rights were flagrantly violated.”

For a time, he and Mr. Moore were guests of the Algerian government, Mr. McCray said, but they were eventually expelled. Mr. Tabor and his first wife, Connie Mathews, who had been the party’s international coordinator, moved to Zambia in 1972. Mr. Tabor became a writer on politics and culture for numerous publications and a radio host in Zambia. “The old guard of African liberation movements respected him as a freedom fighter,” Mr. McCray said.

Born in Harlem on Dec. 13, 1946, Michael Aloysius Tabor was one of two children of Grace and Michael Tabor Sr. He joined the Panther Party when he was 19 and went by the name of a 19th-century Zulu king, Cetewayo.

Mr. Tabor, whose first wife died, is survived by his second wife, the former Priscilla Matanda; his sister, Lorraine Tabor; a daughter; and three sons.

“I often asked him if he would be interested in returning to the United States,” Mr. McCray said, “but he adamantly said he would remain in Africa.”

May his soul rest in peace.


Maureen Lilanda

Looking for something to blog this morning, I turned to a piece that George Souldchild wrote about the Chanters Lodge Experience, our weekly Sunday night radio show that goes out on Zambezi Radio on 107.7 fm at 20.30 hrs, while I was away on leave:

“How are you? How’s the England weather treating you? Livingstone is hot! Too hot! Despite that I’m OK and so is Millie Jam. We really missed you again last Sunday, the response was very good. The playlist was a mixture as always. We played ‘Your Love’ by Nickie Minaj, ‘Coca Cola’ by Oga Kent (very hot Zambian song at the moment). Also JK featuring Salma – ‘Kapiripiri’, Ne-Yo ‘Crazy Love’ and Chris Brown – ‘Deuces’ – just to mention a few.” Sounds a really good show!

After this George went on to write:

Maureen Lupo Lilanda to just Lupo

Soulful songstress Maureen Lupo Lilanda is re-branding her stage name. Affectionately referred to as Aunt Maureen locally, the singer now wants to be identified as Lupo. At 43, Maureen’s music career is not strange to Zambia, and the singer is confident her latest stage identity will not take anything away from her music.

The Ngoma award winner, whose latest album is being produced by Zamsounds of Denmark, said that her album will be entitled ‘Simply Lupo’. “I’m dropping Maureen and Lilanda, I’m just using Lupo on stage. I think musically Lupo sounds easier to pronounce and easier to remember and also I am pro-Zambian, so really I would like to drop the name Maureen because that’s borrowed culture.” She said she’d slowly been introducing the name Lupo to prepare her fans for the change.

“If you noticed I changed from Maureen Lilanda to Maureen Lupo Lilanda, so people will not notice much difference when it’s just Lupo. It will now be the re-establishment of Maureen as Lupo,” Lilanda explained. She described her musical journey as an evolution, tracing it from the time she was a young African trying to imitate Western musicians, to now a mature artiste who appreciates her own tradition and culture.

“In terms of the first album, I was doing everything myself, dancing and all, and now I’m really appreciating my roots and I have people taking care of the recording. I think I’m more experienced, more mature and more saleable, more convincing and more pro-Zambian,” she said.

Lilanda was reluctant to divulge more information about her latest offering but promised not to depart from her style. “People should just look out for Simply Lupo and I think all the songs have a social concern in them, so just look out for all the songs on the album,” she said.

Lilanda said she decided to record in Denmark as a way of attaching great importance to the quality of the product and promised that Simply Lupo was expected to hit the shelves by February 2011.”

This piece interested me. Maureen made her stage debut at the Ridgeway Hotel’s Folk Night when I was General Manager of that hotel – a mighty popular show it was every Tuesday evening too – a great place for unknown artists to come along and show their talent. Maureen’s father was PermSec in the Ministry of Tourism and a friend of mine. We wish Maureen all the best with her new image and new album! We’ll certainly feature it – and her – on our radio show when we get the chance!


Robyn Agatha Phiri

Isn’t the internet wonderful for getting in touch with people you haven’t seen or heard of for years? Take this message I had on Facebook the other day from Robyn Agatha Phiri, for example! Robyn’s pictured above.

“Wow. Is that you? I used to come over to the Ridgeway hotel to play your piano many years ago. Even though I was playing lunch time at the Pamodzi you were pretty generous and would give me a free room and meals if I stayed for the shows you held. Thank God for that because I was only 17 and it just meant my parents on the Copperbelt kept a bevy of relations having business lunches and dinners at both hotels with the discreet eye, haha.
You were a very good guardian angel and I never did get the chance to thank you for allowing me to watch the many acts you presented. I now mostly write for TV and film but still play and as it was never about the money so can’t say I’ve made my fortune but I guess I’m still in love with music…grew up watching you sing “The Greatest American Hero” theme song. Thanks for everything I never thanked you for!

How about that then?


Living In 2009

Thanks to the lovely Amilha Young for this one! There she is in the photo – we worked together at the Ridgeway a long time ago – since when Amilha has become a high powered London lawyer!


1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2 You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn’t have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12 You’re reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn’t a #9 on this list


Go on, forward this to your friends. You know you want to. ha ha ha ha.

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