Ron Jere – Contact Trust Youth Association

We have had occasion in the past to feature Contact Trust Youth Association (CTYA) on the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Kaufela, our weekly Sunday night radio show on
Zambezi 107.7fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. We were, however, delighted to welcome Ronny Jere (pictured above), one of the Association’s pioneers and currently director and programme manager, on to our most recent edition. Ronny explained to listeners that the Association is a non-profit concerned with the good sexual health of young people in Livingstone, especially in connection with freedom from HIV Aids. It aims to encourage youth aged between ten and twenty four years to vote (if eligible) and to participate in government, as well as teaching young people job skills, economic empowerment and entrepreneurship.

Ronny said that the CTYA was formed some ten years’ ago out of the Cross Border Initiative now know as Corridors of Hope. Ronny had been inspired to start a youth group and hence CTYA was born.The Association’s offices are donated by Livingstone City Council in that they occupy council property rent free. There are eight full time employees. Ronny’s main job is to raise money for the programmes to be undertaken and to ensure that those resources are spent properly. He is also responsible for human resources management within the Association, including skills training. Some of the Association’s sponsors include or have included the South African Aids Trust and the German government.

The music on this particular show featured The Wanted, Rudimental ft Emile Sande, as well as Zambian artists Salma and Urban Hype. Milli Jam chose tracks from Lady Antebellum and Chris Brown. Our oldie of the week was Kriss Kross’s ‘Jump’ topical due to the untimely passing of Chris Kelly, one of the band. We were surprised that no-one won the prize we give each week to the first person to text us telling us the name of the artist on the track. We closed with Mafikizolo’s ‘Khona’ (Uhuru Mix) a very hot South African track.

Ronny told listeners that he is married and has three children including twins who have just turned three. “Naughty?” We wondered. “Very!” The reply. He owned up to supporting Man U, which we ignored but did say that his ‘real football team’ was the Zambian national team. That was ok! Ronny loves gospel, oldies, r&b and local music. He thanked Chanters Lodge for their sponsorship of the Association in the past and in thanking him we expressed our willingness to help again in the future if we could.

Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing in ten years’ time Ronny said that as he would be moving out of the youth bracket during those years, he hoped to be serving the Zambian population at another level. Sounded like politics to us and we wished him all the best, thanking him for the great job his Association was doing for Livingstone’s youngsters!


‘Nearly’ Doctors Rock The Experience!

“Is there a doctor in the house?” We wondered at the start of the latest edition of ‘The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Kaufela’. That’s our weekly Sunday night radio show airing at 20.30 hrs CAT for an hour on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. Why? Well Adam Moody and Courtney Fiebig (pictured above) are both medical students in the final phase of their training and hence are ‘nearly doctors’!

The guys explained to listeners that as part of their course they have to spend eight weeks working in hospitals overseas, and they were spending four of those weeks working at Livingstone General Hospital while staying at Chanters Lodge. Adam said that his first four weeks he had spent at a hospital in Soweto, South Africa while Courtney had worked in Hanoi, Vietnam. Did they enjoy South Africa and Vietnam respectively? ‘Challenging’ seemed to be the word.

Both Adam and Courtney hail from Sydney, Australia and are single. Courtney has a fiancee back in Australia, also a doctor, while Adam admitted he’d been going out with the same girl for a mere 13 years. We teased him as to when he would tie the knot but didn’t really get a satisfactory answer!  Adam and Courtney are both students at the University of Sydney, and for both of these bright, cheerful and clever young people, medicine was their second university degree. Adam had run away from engineering, while Courtney had found herself working in a hospital after her first degree and realised that medicine was what she wanted to do!

The music on the show was good. We opened with One Direction’s charity single for comic relief – a cover of Blondie’s ‘One Way Or Another’, back to back with ‘Falling’ from Haim. George chose Shyman’s new single ‘Longa Katundu’ featuring Shimasta, coupled with JK’s ‘Allow Me’. Milli Jam played Justin Timberlake’s beautiful ‘Mirrors’ along with Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’. Our oldie of the week was ‘Guys Do It All The Time’ a tribute to Mindy McCready the American country star, recently sadly passed away. I picked Mariah Carey’s ‘Almost Home’ as my track of the week.

Adam and Courtney told us that Adam had been doing more of the tourist activities available in Livingstone than Courtney, as Courtney was visiting Livingstone for the second time and had done many of the popular activities before. They had both, of course, been to Victoria Falls – and gotten drenched – as you do at this time of the year. Adam had taken the helicopter flight over the Falls and had also done the rhino walk in our local Mosi-o-Tunya national park and thoroughly recommended this great activity. The guys had been to Chobe in Botswana for an overnight with four safari activities and had enjoyed that too! They told the presenters that they had chosen Chanters Lodge for their four week stay in Livingstone based on the lodge’s reviews on Trip Advisor, its location and the good rates on offer for a long stay. They said it had worked out well.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years’ time Adam said he would like be only working part time and to have plenty of time for fishing, while Courtney hoped to be married with two children and living by the beach. They both favoured going into general practice when they had qualified rather than any specialization. They went on to thank the people of Livingstone and in particular the staff at Livingstone General Hospital for being so welcoming and hospitable toward them during their stay.


‘Boss Lady’ Bosses ‘The Experience’!

“You’ve brought ‘The Boss Lady’ to the show!” exclaimed Milli Jam happily when Annastasia Katele and I walked into the studios of Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station, for the latest edition of the ‘Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Kaufela’. The Experience is our weekly Sunday night radio show, comprising a cool mixture of international and Zambian music with lively chat between tracks, airing from 20.30 – 21.30 hrs CAT to a 70 km radius around Livingstone, as well as streaming live on the internet.

Anny doesn’t need much introduction (there she is in the photo above with ‘Kaufela’) to regular blog readers and supporters of Chanters Lodge. She told listeners that she’d been the assistant manager at Chanters for the past three years and had actually been employed at the lodge for the past 10 – it would be her 10th anniversary in May. “The lodge will have been open for 15 years in July” I said, “we’d better have a party in June to celebrate both ‘birthdays’!” “Oh yes!” said the presenters eagerly, who are always up for a party, drinks or lunch, whatever might be available! Anny explained that she had first joined the lodge as a trainee, following her catering course at the Youth Community Training Centre in Livingstone, and had then proceeded to work in the kitchen, restaurant, housekeeping and reception sections before her promotion to assistant manager. Milli Jam wanted to know the biggest challenge in her job. “Those girls!” Anny exclaimed apparently referring to the rest of the ‘Chanters Girls’- our staff! “They don’t give me any problems” I commented helpfully, some would say snidely! “You’re a man!” said Anny, pointedly.

The music on this edition of the show was seriously ‘latest’. ‘White Noise’ from Disclosure back to back with Gabrielle Aplin’s ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’ opened the programme. George played two tracks from Pompi’s popular new Zambian album ‘Mizu’ meaning ‘Roots’ – a charming blend of songs sung in both vernacular and English. Milli Jam dropped tracks from Swedish House Mafia and his favourite Ne-Yo. Our oldie of the week was ‘Step By Step’ from Whitney Houston and the prize awarded to the first listener to text us the name of the performing artist was quickly snapped up. My pick of the week was Avicii vs Nicky Romero’s ‘I Could Be The One’ – debuting at number one in UK as we went on air.

Anny told listeners that she has a daughter Maryam age 14 currently in Grade 9 and doing well in school. Her favourite music is gospel (despite her Islamic faith) and R&B – her favourite singer Chris Brown – and her favourite football team Arsenal. She told listeners that a large part of her job was recommending and booking activities for Guests, saying that the sunset cruise and one day safari to Chobe were amongst the most popular, as well as swimming in Devil’s Pool in the dry season. She expressed the wish that operators were more timely with their payments! I concurred! The presenters wanted to know why ‘The Boss Lady’ spent more time at the front desk than in her super office. “I love company!” she said and so she does.

Asked where she would like to be and what she would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Annastasia said she would love to own her own restaurant as she loved cooking! I’m sure she will – in the meantime we hope she continues to be the loyal, honest, hard working and talented manager she has become at Chanters Lodge!


How To Irritate Your Guests!

I liked this piece from Mr. Larry Mogelonsky, CHA on HotelInteractive. This is how Larry says hotels irritate their Guests. Underneath each point I’ve written how I think we fare at Chanters Lodge.

1. Overpriced minibar and bottled water.

Why exactly is an in-room bottle of water $5? Every traveler knows this is shamefully marked up. It’s perceived as an aggressive cash grab for the hotel; you’re not winning your guests over with this exorbitant price. In fact, you’re insulting their intelligence. Ditto for the minibar.

Our bottled water is the equivalent of US$1

2. Weak in-room coffee and tea selection. 
It’s always highly assuring and soothing to know that there’s a warm cup of stimulating beverage waiting for you across the bed, except when that beverage tastes like watered down battery acid. So I try to alleviate this insipid rot with cream and sugar, only to my dismay, there’s only one of the former and none of the latter. A little extreme, yes, but consider your coffee accessory allotment for when you’re dealing with more than one person per room.

We provide a kettle. We supply milk, sugar, tea and instant coffee on request with no limit on quantities. Our instant coffee is not of the highest standard………

2. Charging for local calls. 

Why are you billing guests a full dollar per five minutes for each completed local call? Anyone who has ever owned a phone, landline or cellular, knows that local calls never amount to such incredulous fees. When you do this, the guest perception is one of hostility. You’re not doing your part to develop the friendship and positive emotional connection between the hotel and its patrons, which is an essential if you ever want such a guest to give you an actual recommendation.

We do not have much demand for local land line local calls but when there is, we do not charge.

3. Housekeeping knocks too early. 
When is the earliest time that housekeeping should start making their rounds? How does this vary for weekdays versus weekends? Every traveler has a different routine and itinerary, so this is a tough call, but keep in mind that knocking too early and disturbing someone’s sleep is an instant deal breaker. I remember staying at a budget chain hotel where housekeeping knocked at 8am on a Saturday. And then, after I muffled out a half-reply, they proceeded to enter my room! Not only will I never stay there again, but I’ve been very vocal to advise my friends never to stay at this particular chain. Don’t let this be you!

We do not disturb guests in the room unless they have not appeared for breakfast before 10.00 hrs on departure day. On the whole the lodge is quiet, though there is noise from neighbourhood dogs at night – common in Africa. We have no time limit on the availability of breakfast, which is included in the room rate.

4. Not enough bathroom amenities.
Towels, soaps and shampoos primarily. Picture this: you are staying in a room with your significant other, getting ready for the day’s events, and he or she decides to shower first. Then you shower. Upon getting out, you notice that all the towels have been used. So now, drenched and sparsely clothed, you have to await housekeeping to deliver more of what should have been there in the first place. Not a good way to start your day.

We do not provide as many bathroom amenities as we should, mainly due to the absence of a reliable local supplier. We are happy to provide extra towels on request, as well as for the swimming pool.

5. Not enough pillows or coat hangers. 

Some people are used to sleeping on one pillow, others two, and some even three. Is appeasing the latter two groups really that hard to do? True, a guest can always call down to request more pillows, but why start off on the wrong foot? Furthermore, too often I’ve entered rooms that only have five coat hangers or less. When this happens, I think to myself, “Do they really not trust me?” Apart from the obvious inconvenience of having to jockey for coat hanger real estate, this is just one more pesky, little thing to drive a wedge in an otherwise positive guest-hotel relationship.

Most travellers to Victoria Falls do not have a huge demand for coat hangers as clothing is strictly casual. We provide extra pillows on request. As Sod’s Law would have it we had a complaint about pillows as this blog was being prepared!

6. Noisy air conditioner or heating unit.
Less a problem during the day, but if your guest is a light sleeper and this stops him or her from getting a full night’s sleep, you’re in for big problems. Without their seven hours, your guests will be put in irrational states of mind and they’re bound to do anything, including actions like loudly complaining at the front desk, writing derisive online reviews and making it their mission to tell all their friends about their experience. Mind you, this one is substantially more expensive to fix and it requires a total maintenance overhaul, but that doesn’t preclude its importance. You’re going to have to upgrade these units eventually, why not know?

Our split unit air conditioners are generally quiet.

7. Too many promotional tent cards.

Once a guest is in the room, you don’t need to beat them over the head with endless advertisements for your own F&B or spa programs. The worst I’ve seen is when these cards and papers clog up the counters so much that it prevents a guest from using them. A polite, concise reminder will do. The guest is already staying with you, right? This is one area where tablets will shine as they can get these types of messages across neatly and colorfully without cluttering the room.

We don’t do these.

9. Charging for WiFi
 In-room internet connectivity is no longer a value-added service. Wake up; it’s 2012. For many people, internet access is an essential part of their way of life, much like breathing, sleeping, eating and hydrating. Charging for this service is highway robbery and guests won’t see it any other way. Whatever objections you have – legacy contracts or bandwidth overload for instance – get over them and think like a guest for a minute. Nowadays, why would I pay $15 per day to use the hotel’s internet when I could run down to a nearby cellular store and get 200 MB of data for $2 per day on my 4G smartphone, which downloads at a rate that’s at par with the hotel’s service?

Our wifi is free, it needs a booster to reach all and not just some of the rooms.

10. Worse – no WiFi at all! 
Let me reiterate: Internet access is a necessity for the modern traveler. Your guests will treat the room as their ‘home base’ – planning the next day, answering emails, posting to social media and unwinding with a quick Netflix television episode. For some, denying them internet access is equivalent of denying them running water! It’s a given that travelers will research their accommodations before booking and lack of WiFi, free or not, is an instant deal breaker. If you operate at a hotel that doesn’t offer internet access, you’re not likely to receive any complaints about this, because every discerning guest has already booked and stayed elsewhere.

We were one one of the first small lodges in Livingstone to have wifi. We wish our provider’s speeds were better.


‘Serious’ Sibu Malambo on ‘The Experience’!

Meet Sibu Malambo (above), programme co-ordinator at Contact Trust Youth Association in Livingstone, Zambia, and Guest on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient, featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela, our regular Sunday night radio show on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. The show airs from 20.30-21.30 (CAT) live and is a great mixture of latest international and Zambian music, and chat. Streams live on the internet too and links can be found here and here.

Sibu told listeners that 10 years ago he had been one of the founders of CTYA (Contact Trust Youth Association). The NGO is involved in motivating and educating  the ‘youth’ in Zambia – the age of youth apparently stretches from 10-35 years old in this country but CTYA’s main focus is on 10-24 year olds. The primary objectives of CTYA are HIV/AIDS prevention as well as civic education, and Sibu estimated that since inception, they had helped thousands of young people. The NGO has several sponsors, one of which is partially financed by USAID. There are seven full time staff working in the CTYA premises in Maramba. As well as HIV prevention and civic education CTYA also educates about care for the environment and entrepreneurship.

The music on the show was great. We opened with latest tracks from The Killers and Robbie Williams. George chose Zambian tracks from Macky 2 and Judyo. Milli Jam dropped Beyonce’s ‘Put A Ring On It’. The musical bombshell of the night came from George who had been asked to pick the ‘oldie of the week’ – we give a prize of a dinner for two at Chanters Lodge each week to the first person to text us the name of the artist on our ‘oldie’ track. George chose the most obscure track ever played for the prize – ‘For The Good’ by Ray Price. None of us in the studio had ever heard of the artist or the track and needless to say the prize went un-won – amidst sms protests by listeners complaining that it was ‘just too tough’! Nice one George! My pick of the week was Tulisa’s ‘Sight Of You’ and we closed with AC/DC’s smash ‘You Shook Me All Night’.

Sibu told listeners that he was married ‘to the most beautiful girl in the world’ – after some in-studio debate and observation of photographs on Facebook, we decided he had some right to the claim! He and his lovely wife have one son – Sibu Junior- just 1 year and 8 months old. Sibu has lived most of his life in Livingstone receiving his secondary education at Linda High School in the city. He explained that he is currently pursuing a course in development studies with the University Of South Africa. He told us that CYTA from time to time hosts beauty pageants, one of the most popular was ‘Miss VCT’ which Chanters Lodge and other business houses in Livingstone had helped to sponsor in the past. Musicians like Shyman and Camouflage had been helped in their musical careers by CYTA with assistance from our own Kaufela.

Sibu is a Chelsea supporter – as evidenced by the shirt he wore for the show.  He said he did not agree with the latest managerial sacking and that Didier Drogba was his favourite all time player. Music wise he said he liked R&B as well as Zambian music. Sibu is well known to Zambezi 107.7 listeners because he hosts a popular CYTA show every Wednesday evening on air, sponsored by the station. “Wow!” I said (on behalf of those who have to pay for their shows!).

Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing 10 years from now, he hoped still to be helping the Zambian youth in an expanded NGO, and to have one or two more children with ‘the most beautiful girl in the world’! He also mentioned that he would like to be involved in policy making for youth development in the future in Zambia. “Politics?” I queried. “Maybe” was the reply.

In thanking him for appearing on the show, I made the point to listeners that people like Sibu Malambo are the unsung heroes in Zambia – just look at the falling statistics in HIV infection in Zambia and you’ll see why I said that!


David Kwalela on ‘The Experience’

David Kwalela, pictured above, was our guest on the most recent edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient, featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela. ‘The Experience’ is the weekly radio show broadcast by Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm between 20.30 and 21.30 hrs every Sunday night, sponsored by Chanters Lodge Livingstone, now in its fifth year. The programme is a lively mixture of local and international music, interspersed by conversation with our guest, and we also offer a weekly prize of a dinner for two at Chanters Lodge to the first person to text us, telling us who’s singing our ‘oldie of the week’. On this particular show the oldie was ‘Hail Mary’ by Tupac and the response was excellent!

David told listeners that he is a Livingstone resident and Director and Principal of Livingstone College for Tourism Studies, a college started in 2006 and gaining affiliation with the Zambian Technical, Vocational and Training Authority in 2009. The College offers 3 month courses in food and beverage, front office management, hotel management, tourism studies and housekeeping and also offers practical training on campus – unusual for small colleges such as this. David explained that he arranges industrial placements and attachments for his students at local Livingstone hotels and lodges as part of their course. “Course fees are tailored to make it as easy as possible for students to afford in these difficult economic times” David said “and we also offer advice on career development”.
The music on the show was smart. Opening the show with Usher’s ‘Scream’ back to back with Cover Drive’s ‘Sparks’, we were off to a lively start. George played Roberto’s ‘Salaula’ featuring Enipal and confirmed that Roberto had been in town during the weekend appearing at a show with 107.7 DJ’s at another hotel in Livingstone. Milli Jam dropped Ne-Yo’s ‘Tonight’ featuring Just You and Me together with Lil Wayne and Drake’s smash – ‘The Motto’. Richard – who can spot ’em – featured Tulisa’s ‘Young’ as his pick of the week – not bad seeing the play list is finalized on Thursday and Tulisa topped the UK charts with this single on Sunday! The closing track was Trace Adkins’ country hit ‘Ain’t No Thinkin’ Thing’.
David told listeners his favourite musical genre was R&B and that his football team had been Arsenal since 2000 – that went down well with some of the hosts, especially Milli Jam who shares those tastes! “How did you come to start a college?” Milli Jam asked our guest. David explained that he’d worked for 15 years as a chef at Fairmount Hotel in Livingstone. When he retired he had undertaken a course in hotel and catering studies at the University of Zambia, which gave him the knowledge he needed to fulfill his ambition. He told listeners he was married to Imelda and they had five children – 4 girls and one boy.

Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing in ten years’ time, our interesting, ambitious and hard working guest told listeners that he would like to be a role model in hospitality training in Zambia, and principal of his own much larger, expanded college. We wished him the the best of luck in his ambition.


Trine Lise Sletteng & Britania Lomax on ‘The Experience’

Chanters Lodge has enjoyed tremendous support from the Norwegian community in Zambia, and indeed from Norwegians in Norway, since the lodge opened in July 1998. In recent years, we have often accommodated students during the notoriously ‘slow’ months in Livingstone of January and February. This year is no exception, so we were delighted to invite Trine Sletteng (left) and Britania Lomax (above) on to the most recent edition of  ‘The Experience’ – that’s our regular Sunday night radio show on
Zambezi 107.7 fm, airing at 20.30 hrs for an hour, and streaming live on the internet. Our show is a great mixture of Zambian and international pop music as well as lively chat with our guests of the week, and is hosted by Milli Jam and George Kaufela, two of Livingstone’s top DJ’s/radio presenters.

Trine and Britania, guests at the lodge, are student teachers at the University of Tromso in northern Norway, Trine is in her 4th year of study and Britania her 3rd. The girls told listeners that they were in Zambia for one month’s practical teaching training at Nansanzu Basic School in Livingstone, but they had not yet started their work due to a string of unforeseen circumstances at the school. They were scheduled to begin their teaching stints the following day. “Nervous?” We wondered. “More nervous about appearing on radio right now!” They replied, but we assured them that there was no need to be nervous about either event! We were sure the Grade 8 and Grade 9 students they were scheduled to teach would be delighted to see and learn from them. Between them the girls would be teaching art, history, home economics and English.

The music on the show was great and rather different on this edition. We opened with ‘Drive By’ from Train – not a well known band in Zambia. This was coupled with ‘Only Human’ by Tim McGraw featuring Ne-Yo, a track from Tim’s latest country album. George featured ‘Vitumbuwa’ a huge Zambian hit for 2in1 (the word means fritters, fried food hawked by street traders in Zambian cities). He coupled that with Slap D featuring Maureen Lilanda with ‘Iyo Nyimbo’. Milli Jam picked Sean Paul’s ‘Hold On’, back to back with K’Naan featuring Nelly Furtado with ‘Anyone Out There?’

One of the reasons our show is popular locally is that we give away a prize of a dinner for two with drinks at Chanters Lodge every week to the first person to text us telling us who’s singing our ‘oldie of the week’. This week the track was Destiny’s Child’s ‘Bootylicious’ and the prize was quickly snapped up! Another regular feature on the show is our ‘pick of the week’ – a track that we’re tipping for chart success in the future. This week our selection was Flo Rida ft T_Pain and LMFAO with ‘Run To You’. We closed the show with Cover Drive’s hot single ‘Twilight’.

Trine and Britania told listeners they were single and married respectively and that Tromso had been very warm recently but was very cold when they left for Africa. “Very warm?” we queried. “Yes” they said, it was +1C. We laughed and gave them an idea of what ‘very warm’ meant in Livingstone! The girls told us about the walking safari they’d done a few days previously in the Mosi-o-Tunya National Park as well as the gorge swing and flying fox they’d braved that very day. Had Livingstone been what the girls expected? “Oh yes!” They said “we were told its real name is Luvingstone and we do love it!” We loved them too, wishing them the best of luck while they were here!

Faced with the inevitable ‘last question’ Trine said that in ten years’ time she’d like to be settled down with a good job, nice home and two children. Britania told listeners she would be ‘travelling the world one day at a time’. “Good luck!” We said!


‘The Experience’ is Mission Possible!

Meet Ruth and Richard Wallis from Cambridge, England, guests on the most recent edition of ‘The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela’, our weekly radio show. ‘The Experience’ is a great mixture of local and international music, as well as lively and interesting conversation with our guests. Chanters Lodge sponsors the show which airs live every Sunday from 20.30 – 21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm. The programme has been a popular regular feature on local radio more or less continuously since October 2007. The station reaches an audience within a 75 km radius of Livingstone and also streams live on the net. The links are on the station’s site here, and on the lodge site here.

Richard told listeners he’d worked in Zambia for ZCBC (Zambia Consumer Buying Corporation) between 1972 and 1977 and explained that ZCBC were the stores in which Zambians shopped before there was Shoprite! The company was a parastatal (quasi Government) organization. He must have shocked our audience telling them there were so many shortages in those days, that when the stores were due to receive a consignment of cooking oil, sugar or other essential commodities, the first thing management did was to call the police, asking them to come and control the inevitable crowd who would flock to the store the moment they heard that a commodity was back in stock! Long queues and rationing were the order of the day.

After Richard returned to UK amongst other positions held he was the managing director of Scripture Union‘s chain of retail book stores. Ruth had been working for the same chain. Steven told listeners his first wife Susan had died in 2005 and in 2007 he and Ruth had married. In the same year Richard established Mission Possible with a mission to advance the Christian faith by serving the poor, forgotten, and marginalised by serving children and families at risk, training Christian leaders and distributing Christian literature. Mission Possible works in Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda as well as Zambia in Africa, and in some European countries too. While back in Zambia Ruth and Richard would be conducting leadership training for upwards of 100 interdenominational pastors in Livingstone. “Great stuff!” We said, and meant it!

The music on the show was right up to date. We opened with Jesse J’s UK number one ‘Domino’ back to back with ‘More Than This’ from One Direction. George’s Zambian selection promoted CQ featuring Exile with ‘Ndekeleni’ and ‘Ikashishita’ by Pilato featuring Chif. Milli Jam dropped ‘Losing’ by Joe Thomas and ‘Try’ by Frank Ocean. We usually give away a prize of a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge every week to the first person to text us telling us who’s singing our oldie of the week, but this week no-one listening knew it was Paul Simon singing ‘Boy In the Bubble’, so no prize! Sometimes I do make it tough! My pick of the week was Madonna’s ‘Masterpiece’ and we closed with hot Nigerian Davido’s hot ‘Demi-Duro’.

We wondered whether Ruth and Richard would have time to do any of the tourist activities during their week in Zambia with daughter Anna and grand-daughter Beatrice. “Well” said Ruth “we’ve already seen, heard and felt the Falls!”. “Felt the Falls?” I wondered. “Yes” said Ruth “I’ve never felt so wet in my life!” We laughed. “Do you work?” I asked Ruth and she explained to listeners that apart from helping Richard with Mission Possible she drives a mobile post office for Royal Mail back in England. Richard also revealed that he chauffeur drives for a limousine company to help meet the expense of running their NGO. “Any famous passengers?” I wondered. “Sometimes” he said “recently Ken Clarke”, explaining to listeners that Clarke is currently Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice in UK.

This Christian, engaging and loving couple told listeners that when they left Zambia at the end of the following week they would be proceeding to Rwanda for more missionary work. Their answer to the inevitable question? In ten years’ time they hoped to be still fit, strong and fulfilling Mission Possible’s mission! Bet they are too!


Laura Goble & Carla Roberts Have Impact on 107.7fm

Meet Laura Goble (left) and Carla Roberts pictured above, project and volunteer co-ordinators respectively with African Impact in Zambia, an organization with over 5 years experience facilitating quality volunteer programmes they are the African specialists in volunteering. These two pretty, funny, lively, vivacious young ladies represented the organization brilliantly on the latest edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild, our regular Sunday night radio show airing live on Zambezi 107.7 fm at 18.30 hrs GMT and now streaming live on the internet. We had proof that the streaming is normal, receiving messages from England and Scotland while we were on air. Very excited about that we were too! Thanks to Edward Chanter and Isaac Mwanza 107.7 fm is now available on the Chanters Lodge website too! Scroll to Radio Show on our site!

Laura comes from South Africa while Carla hails from Ireland, we discovered as Milli Jam started to interview the girls. They explained to listeners that at the moment African Impact has 20 volunteers in Livingstone, all staying at Livingstone Backpackers and involved variously in education and health projects. We were told that the majority of the volunteers came from UK but also from other European countries such as Holland and Germany. Milli Jam seemed taken aback that Laura and Carla were not staying at Chanters Lodge – “how did you meet Richard then?” He wanted to know. “We met him at the airport while we were all waiting for clients” the girls explained. “Are you in the habit of picking up old men at airports?” The clearly envious Milli Jam continued. “Only if they’re good looking like Richard!” was the wonderful reply. (Flattery will get you dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge! Lol!)

The music on the show was a great mixture. The girls requested Flavor’s track ‘Sawa Sawa’ a smash hit in Zambia for the Nigerian star, which they dedicated to all the African Impact and Livingstone Backpackers staff, as well as volunteers listening to the show. Before that track we’d opened with ‘She Makes Me Wanna’ by JLS featuring Dev, the current UK number one, back to back with Ester Dean featuring Chris Brown and ‘Drop It Low’. More African tracks were Dandy Krazy with ‘Donchi Kubeba’ and Ty2 ft Kaufela with ‘Spotlight’. We played Ice Prince ‘Oleku’ as well. Oldie of the week was the late Akim Simukonda’s haunting ‘Bana Bandi’ (‘don’t hate each other when I’m gone’ his advice to his many children recorded just before he died). We asked for the name of the artist singing Bana Bandi by text to win a prize of dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge with drinks and the prize was quickly snapped up!

The girls told listeners they’d done loads of the activities available for tourists – everything from elephant riding to the zip line, excluding bungee! That very day they’d returned from a weekend on Bovu Island which they’d loved. “It used to be famous for fun and games” I commented. The girls just giggled. Enough said.

“Are you married?” Asked Milli Jam. “No” the girls replied. “Boyfriends?” Milli Jam persisted. “No” replied the girls. “George!” said Milli Jam as we laughed. Asked about their musical tastes, Carla surprised us ‘Aqua’ she said. “What!?” I exclaimed “Barbie Doll Aqua?” “Yes” said Carla. I was stunned. ‘Pink’ said Laura much more understandably. Milli Jam closed with the usual question of where the girls would like to be and what they’d like to be doing 10 years from now but the answer didn’t go much further than “errr Africa”.

Good show this one!



“What’s your real name?” I asked our most recent guest (pictured above) on The Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George Soulchild, our regular Sunday night radio programme airing from 20.30-21.30 hrs on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s most popular local radio station. “Just call me Skoolboy” he replied. “I really need to know your name” I persisted. “Very well” he said “it’s Gift Zhinga but please don’t mention it on air” – and we didn’t! But we weren’t finished with the matter – “How did you get the name ‘Skoolboy'” Milli Jam asked immediately we started the show. Skoolboy (we won’t use Gift Zhinga here either) explained to listeners that he came from a very poor background. He’d been at secondary school at Linda Secondary School in Livingstone and he’d been forced to drive a taxi at night to raise the money for his schooling, his Clients had christened him ‘Skoolboy’ – though it was his granny who’d first given him the name. And it stuck!

Skoolboy was good value on the show. He contacted St Michael and Dandy Krazy, two local music stars for live phone interviews during the programme and we spoke to both of them about an upcoming European tour for Zambian musicians which Skoolboy is trying to arrange. He splits his time between The University of The Hague where he’s studying for a degree in international law and the USA, where he is trying to promote the activities of Dutch Water Dreams, a company with whom he’s involved. He’s certainly been very active since his days of taxi driving at night and trying to stay awake for Grade 12 lessons during the day! Milimo asked him if he’d met Naomi Campbell when he was watching the Charles Taylor trial at the International Court in The Hague, but oh! He had not! “She was well protected” he said.

The music on the show was great. We opened with ‘Up’ – the latest from Justin Bieber featuring Chris Brown. The track went back to back with ‘Never Forget You’, an interesting co-operation between Lupe Fiasco and John Legend. George featured Hamooba with ‘Song Of The Year’ and K’Millian’s ‘Nizakukonda’ on our local music spot, while Milimo played the Dixie Chicks ‘Wide Open Spaces’ back to back with ‘Take Me Away’ by Keisha Cole.

We told the public how to find Lodgeblog and gave them some information about the stories that had featured on the blog the previous week, and as usual we gave listeners to the show news of the charts – UK and USA Pop and USA Country – concentrating on the top 3 in each case. After this spot we played Luke Bryan’s ‘Someone Else Is Calling You Baby’ – the current number one on the US Top 100 Billboard Country! Right up to date on the ‘The Experience’!

Skoolboy revealed that he’s still single (“careful” I cautioned “we have a lot of female listeners and you’ll be getting them worked up!”) He looks forward to being married and having children. He dreams of becoming a fully fledged international lawyer and running his own big enterprise. Seeing what’s he’s achieved so far, we wouldn’t bet against it!

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