The Gene Thang Experience!

Meet Gene Thang aka Eugene Maboshe (above), Guest on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient ft Jay Hillz. The Experience is our weekly radio show airing at 20.30 hrs CAT every Sunday on Zambezi 94.1 fm and streaming live on the internet. “Where does the name Gene Thang come from?” Wondered Milli Jam at the top of the show. “Well” replied our Guest “Gene is from my first name Eugene. Thang came from the word thing, and somehow the name stuck!” Gene is a well known club and radio DJ throughout Zambia but particularly on the Copperbelt in Zambia. “You’re a Lozi man from this part of Zambia” went on Milli Jam, “how did you come to find fame and fortune on the Copperbelt?”

Gene told listeners that for the most part he had been brought up in Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, his late Dad was an expatriate miner working on the coal mine in Hwange. He had developed a deep love of music from his parents and, as a teenager, had also gained a knack of winning competitions on radio in Zimbabwe and had built up a good library of vinyl singles and albums. On school holidays he would often travel to Livingstone to stay with his granny. Anyway, he had come back to Zambia after finishing his education – to Livingstone in fact, where he had first met Milli Jam and together they had hell raised as DJ’s in the club at Fairmount Hotel in the city – still one of Livingstone’s leading night spots.

Proceeding to the Copperbelt later to further his education, Gene had secured a job as the DJ at The Venue in Ndola. At the onset of local commercial radio in Zambia in the early 90’s Gene had been one of the pioneers as a DJ on Flava FM in Kitwe after some really intensive training. He said it was really tough for DJ’s to get work on radio as they did not have consistent ‘radio’ voices but he had managed and had worked for the station for more than seven years.

The music on our show was good. We opened with new tracks from Luvbug and The Weekend. The guys dropped numbers from Slap D and Jack U ft Keisza. Calvin Harris ft Tinashe and CQ followed. Our oldie of the week was from Judith Sephuma. My pick was Go Hard or Go Home from Wiz Khalifa ft Iggy Azelea and Meek Mil. We closed with ‘What Kind of Man’ from Florence and The Machine.

Gene is a Man Utd fan and his favourite player is Wayne Rooney. We moved on. He’s married and he and his wife have one boy and one girl. He has a wide taste in music himself and gives his late parents credit for this, they were real music lovers and used to listen to many different artists. Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Gene said he wanted to be an established farmer.


The T-Rox and Ace Diamond Experience!

Meet Agnes Hamusonde and Isaac Tapi (above), better known to listeners of Zambezi 94.1 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station as ‘Ace Diamond’ and ‘T-Rox’ respectively. Both are part time presenters at the station and we were delighted to welcome them as guests on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz, our own weekly show airing every Sunday night on the same station.

“Where does the name Ace Diamond come from?” Milli Jam asked Agnes. “Well” she replied, “a diamond is a rare jewel and so am I!” We nodded. “And it happens that my christian names are Agnes Cholwe Emelda – Ace, get it? We did! “And T-Rox?” “Well” said Isaac, “the T is for Tapi and the Rox was a suggestion from Elias, my mentor at Zambezi fm”. “Good names”, we said.

Ace and T Rox explained that they have a show together on the station – Flight 205 every Sunday night/Monday morning which goes from midnight to 05.00 hrs. They are both night owls and have no problem working the ‘graveyard shift’. On their show the previous week they had been priming their audience for Valentine’s Day and were going to continue to do so on their show immediately following ours, seeing there was only six days to go until the great day. Ace was going to get her date for the evening from the listeners! T-Rox told listeners that he also has a show on Zambezi fm on Saturday nights.

The music on our show was right up to standard. We opened with tracks from Ellie Goulding, as well as Mike Mugo featuring Dragonette. The guys dropped work from Young L, Eddie Black, Taylor Swift and Jay Rox. Our oldie of the week was ‘Dakota’ from The Stereophonics, but the prize we give to the first person to text us the name of the artist on the track went unwon. OK it was a tough one. My pick of the week was Imagine Dragons’ ‘Shots’ and we closed with ‘Paradise’ from Usher Raymond.

Both Ace and T-Rox were brought up in Livingstone. Ace attended Linda High School while T-Rox was educated at St. Raphael’s. Both the guys are single. Music wise Ace favours akapela, as well as hip hop and R&B. Her favourite Zambian artist is Eddie Black. Internationally she likes Adele and Beyonce. T-Rox likes R&B, hip hop and country music. His favourite artist is Chris Brown, locally he favours Jay Rox. T-Rox supports Arsenal and his favourite player is Theo Walcott. Ace likes Chelsea and Fernando Torres. “He’s left Chelsea” we said. “I don’t mind!” Replied Ace. An admirer, we gathered.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing ten years’ from now, T-Rox said he would like to be making money and still to be single. Ace Diamond wanted to be living her life to the full, an iron lady and a qualified physiotherapist. We wished them all the best.


Buried Treasure!

Buried treasure? On The Experience? Sure! Richard Francis, Guest on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz, told listeners that for a number of years he has been researching the long time mystery of Lobengula’s hidden treasure. Lobengula Khumalo (1845–1894), was the second and last king of the Ndebele people. Lobengula was a big, powerful, man with a soft voice who was well loved by his people but loathed by foreign tribes. He had well over twenty wives, possibly many more! Richard believes that Lobengula died in Chipata in the Eastern Province of Zambia and that his substantial treasure of gold, diamonds and coins lies in a cave somewhere in that part of the country. He would love to find it!

Richard first came to Zambia in the 60’s as a young twenty year old employed by Barclays Bank. He had subsequently spent 13 years in the country working for the bank in just about every city and area in Zambia. Altogether he had worked for the bank for 31 years before retirement. Later he had returned to Zambia for another four years as a VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas).

The music on the show was good. We opened with tracks from Taylor Swift and Meghan Trainor. We followed with numbers from Maroon 5 and Castro ft D.Black. Labrinth. JK (from Zambia) was also featured. Our oldie of the week was Buddy Holly’s ‘Brown Eyed Handsome Man’ but no-one won the prize we give to the first person to text us the name of the artist on our oldie of the week. Our pick of the week was ‘Higher’ by Sigma ft Labrinth.

Milli Jam wanted to know how Richard had arrived in Livingstone and Mr Francis told us that he had had the pleasure to travel on the new Jubilee Train from Lusaka. Although the journey was slow and the train was late due to problems with the track, he was full of praise for the cleanliness, service and food on the train and thoroughly recommended the trip for people wanting to see rural Zambia for themselves. Harking back to his days as a banker in Lusaka, Richard recalled he had once been banned from the Ridgeway Hotel for ‘provocative dancing’. Milli Jam blamed me but it was before my time, and as I remember I used to encourage such dancing!!

Richard has adopted a family in Chipata and founded a community school which he sponsors. A keen Arsenal fan since he was a kid, he said his favourite all time player was Martin Keown and that he misses Bacary Sagna! He now lives in France although he originally hails from Swindon in the UK. Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing 10 years from now, Richard said he would like to have discovered Lobengula’s treasure and to be on honeymoon with an 18 year old bride! We laughed and wished him luck!


The Latest ‘Experience’

We were delighted to welcome three generations of the same family as our Guests on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz. Fran Baker (above left), granny to Ellie Dawes in the centre and Ellie’s dad Kev Dawes on the left! The family, together with Fran’s daughter Leigh and her grandson Archie, were visiting Livingstone, staying at Chanters Lodge, on holiday from UK. It had vaguely rained in Livingstone on the day so we jokingly accused them of having brought their British weather with them, an accusation firmly denied! ‘The Experience’ is our weekly radio show airing every Sunday from 20.30 hrs for an hour on Zambezi 107.7fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station.

Fran told listeners that their visit to Zambia was mainly to see her other daughter Gillian Langmead. Gillian and husband Peter live in Lusaka and have been guests on our show in the past. Great supporters of Chanters Lodge they are too! Gillian handles the PR and publicity for Proflight and Zambeef, two of Zambia’s most successful companies. Hubby Peter is a great writer and photographer. Kevin told us that his family lives in Dorset in the west of UK and that he is an electronics engineer with Ericssons involved with the installation and maintenance of towers for mobile phone communications. Wife Leigh has her own gardening firm. Fran is retired having worked for many years as a school secretary and for the UK police force. Ellie told us that she’s in Grade 6 at school.

The music on the show was good opening as we did with latest tracks from Fuse ODG as well as Waze and Odysssey. The guys chose work from Edma – ‘Remote Control’ a Zambian track where the singer complains that he is used like a remote control by his girl friend, he must do what she says! Ed Sheeran and Chris Brown were other featured international artists. Jay gave us Flexville ft Karasa and Shyman, another Zambian track called ‘Respect’. Our oldie of the week was Ozzy with Making Me High, and the prize we give to the first person to text us with the name of the artist was quickly snapped up. My pick of the week was Gwen Stefani’s Baby Don’t Lie and we closed with All I See by Bondax.

The family told us that they had really enjoyed some time on the Lower Zambezi during their visit to Zambia as well as a visit to a crocodile farm. While they were in Livingstone they would of course visit the Falls and were looking forward to touring the Livingstone Museum, Railway Museum and Jewish Museum. They had booked for the sunset cruise before leaving back to Lusaka and on to UK in a few days’ time. Music wise Kevin told us that he likes Jamie Cullum and Ellie’s favourite is George Ezra. Ellie also told us about her dog called Bramble. She said she would like to be a vet when she’s older.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Fran said she would like to be alive and kicking and still with all her marbles (not sure if MJ and Jay got that one!). Kevin was looking to be fully supported by his grown up children!


The Dutch Experience!

Meet Michelle de Moor and Bram van Veen from Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Guests 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 at 20.30 hrs CAT every Sunday night on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station.

Bram and Michelle told listeners that they’d met in Cape Town some seven years ago when they were both on internships at the end of their respective degree courses. At that time people in South Africa told them they should take time to visit other African countries including Zambia, and they had made up their minds there and then one day to do just that and here they were! They revealed that although they’d been together all those seven years and owned property together in Amsterdam. they were not yet married. “What are you waiting for?” We wondered. “Errr um err” said Bram while Michelle just ‘rolled her eyes’!

This lively, funny very Dutch couple explained that Michelle was a social worker and Bram a sales manager, but both had given up their jobs in Holland before setting off on their ‘trip of a lifetime’. They’d been travelling for the past six months and had already visited Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi and Mozambique before arriving in Zambia. They’d been to the Lower Zambezi for a canoeing trip but laughingly told us that within five minutes of boarding their canoe they’d ended up in the Zambezi, soon faced by angry and indignant hippos! What a start! They went on to tell listeners that of all the places they had been in Africa, the Lower Zambezi was probably the most beautiful, and they were both firmly against the establishment of a new copper mine planned for the area. They told Milli Jam that they’d arrived in Livingstone by coach from Lusaka a few days before our show.

The music on the show was good. We opened with tracks from Rixton and Nicole Scherzinger. Jay dropped tracks from Tank and Zambia’s very own K’Millian. ‘For You’ is his latest hit. Milli Jam chose Nicki Minaj and Roberto for his selections. Our oldie of the week was Sinzia by Nameless. We give a prize of a dinner for two at the lodge each week to the first person to text us the name of the artist on our oldie and this week the prize was won by Innocent. My pick of the week was John Legend’s ‘You and I’.

At the end of the show we played Diamonds by Rihanna, a special dedication to Edward Chanter’s late special friend Tanya Johnson who had passed away in England during the week. She had loved Rihanna and we felt this was an appropriate song. She was indeed a ‘diamond’.

While in Livingstone Bram and Michelle had visited the ‘amazing’ Victoria Falls and had loved the cheetah walk at Mukuni Big 5. They told us that from Zambia they would proceed to Namibia where they would hire a car and tour around that country for a while. They had no satisfactory answer when Milli Jam asked them why Holland had (again) been unable to win the World Cup. Bram, an Ajax and Manchester United supporter at this point wanted to start talking about England’s World Cup efforts, but we weren’t having that kind of red herring! Michelle told us her favourite band is The Killers and that they both like rock music.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing ten years from now, Bram said he wanted to be in a canoe on the Zambezi, as opposed to being in the water, Michelle wanted to be a mother. Would Bram be the father of her children we wondered, “yes” she said. It doesn’t get much clearer than that!!


Inspired By The Zambezi – David Lisle Whitehead

A new book “Inspired by the Zambezi” by David Lisle Whitehead has just been self-published.
It can be purchased for ZKW 150 from The River Club or from Zig Zag in Livingstone. The book costs US$20 from Elephant’s Walk in Victoria Falls.

The book – a “must read” has been very favourably reviewed by Tony Weaver –

“David has written the most delightful memoir about his life in Barotseland, and his lifelong fascination with the Lozi people and the Bulozi kingdom. Titled Inspired by the Zambezi, and sub-titled Memories of Barotseland and a Royal River – the mighty Liambai, it is one of those gems that anyone travelling to the region simply has to beg, borrow, buy or steal – preferably buy, as all proceeds from its sale are going towards building a school near Makusi Village on the Zambezi in Sesheke District.

It was a remarkable upbringing, all the more so given that David went on to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, studying under Nobel laureate, Prof Hans Krebs – even I knew who Krebs was, having learnt about the “Krebs cycle” in high school biology.

As he says in his memoir about growing up in Bulozi, “relating my experiences in Bulozi will, I hope, serve to illustrate how lucky I was to grow up in such a magical, friendly world dominated by the fantastic Zambezi River. We lived amongst an amazing tribe, the Malozi, from whom I learned many lessons while imbibing their colourful language as if it it were my own. I even used to dream in Silozi; and sometimes I still do.”

The book is populated with colourful characters, some of whom went on to become household names in Southern Africa – the Meikles brothers, after whom the famous Meikles Hotel in Harare is named, the Susman brothers, founders of the modern day Woolworths, and the various members of the royal families of both Bulozi and Lesotho (Constantine Seeiso, later to be King Moshoeshoe II, was his Oxford tennis partner).”


New Bridge At Kazungula – At Last!

 Zambia and Botswana will start building a $259 million bridge in June to replace the ferry service between the two states, the chief executive of Zambia’s Road Development Agency said on Tuesday. Bernard Chiwala told journalists the contract would be awarded in Botswana on Monday.

The bridge, which is expected to improve transport between the mineral-rich regions of Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo and the port of Durban in South Africa, would be completed in four years, Chiwala said.

The project is financed by the African Development Bank and the governments of Zambia, Botswana and Japan. 

The proposed bridge is some 75 kms from Livingstone.


DJ Obby Sims

Meet DJ Obby Sims, (above) leading DJ and supervisor at Livingstone’s hottest night club East Point, and guest on the most recent edition of our weekly Sunday night radio show, the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz. Obby’s real name? Obrien Simbwalanga, Tonga by tribe! ‘The Experience’ is sponsored weekly by Chanters Lodge and airs for a hour every Sunday at 20.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s best loved local radio station. The show is popular with local residents, partly because it offers the chance to win dinner for two at the lodge, to the first person to text us the name of the artist on our regular ‘oldie of the week’ spot. The prize on this show was quickly snapped up when we dropped Tina Turner’s classic ‘I Don’t Wanna Lose You’.

Obby told listeners that he had been DJ at East Point for about two years since the hot spot opened, prior to which he had been at Fairmount Hotel in Livingstone as entertainment manager. He still regarded the Fairmount disco as East Point’s major competition especially since their recent renovations. He recounted to listeners how he had started in the entertainment business in Lusaka at Moon City night club in the 80’s with the help of the late Eddy Groove who had taught him how to DJ with vinyl – “nothing like CD decks in those days!” He said. (This stirred some of your writer’s memories!) Later Obby had worked at Lusaka’s huge Black Velvet night club. This was a controversial place in the end, but in its’ heyday it had held more than 1200 revelers at one time! After working for Hanif Adams and Clouds in Lusaka, later Obby had come back to Livingstone and, as mentioned, started work with the Fairmount Hotel.

The music on this show was good. We opened with latest hits from Tinie Tempah and the Chainsmokers. Milli Jam and Jay chose tracks from Stevo, Shaggy featuring Ne-Yo, Lorde and Karasa with Cleo Ice featuring Zone Fam. Our pick of the week was ‘Dangerous Love’ from Fuse OGD featuring Sean Paul, and we closed with a hit from Enrique Iglesias’s latest album.

Obby sadly revealed that his fiancee had passed away the previous month and that he was still enduring the grieving process. He did not have any children. He also told us proudly that he had done the bungee jump and that he was a regular on sunset cruises on the Zambezi. His football team is Arsenal (as shown by the above photo!) and his favourite all time player Thierry Henry. He was really hoping his team would win the FA Cup this year. His favourite music is tracks from the 80’s and 90’s – his favourite international artist the late Michael Jackson, Petersen his Zambian pick. We were surprised at the latter choice as his first cousin is B1 – also a famous Zambian musician.

Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing in ten years’ time (Milli Jam’s favourite question to our weekly guest) Obby said he would like to be in Livingstone, running his own club with his own workers, married to a beautiful woman and to have lovely children. We wished him the best of luck and told him to keep on rocking his patrons!


No To Mining In The Lower Zambezi National Park!

Minister of Lands Hon. Harry Kalaba has given Zambezi Resources Limited of Australia permission to establish an opencast copper mine in the Lower Zambezi National Park. We strongly believe that this decision is wrong. Your involvement in rescinding the Minister’s decision will:

– Help prevent the disturbance and displacement of people living in and around the Park
– Help prevent the disturbance and displacement of animals, birds and other organisms crucial to the Lower Zambezi ecosystem
– Help prevent irreversible damage from opencast mining to the Lower Zambezi landscape
– Show that we do not want to experiment with so-called “cost effective technologies and methods” (Hon. Kalaba) which are not even guaranteed. Opencast mining always leaves an indelible mark on the landscape.
– Send the right signal with regards to your government’s plan to diversify the economy away from over-reliance on copper. Because mining is not a labour-intensive activity, the jobs created from this project will be minimal, not worth the destruction of one our most important and beautiful National Parks.
– Build people’s trust in independent quasi-governmental organisations such as the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).
– Help restore some confidence in your Government.

Zambezi Resources Limited has been given a mining license for 25 years. Mining for even that long will bring less value to our beloved country than if we preserved and protected the National Park for the enjoyment of all Zambians and visitors from abroad.

We only have ONE ZAMBIA and we want to protect and care for it – whether people, animals or trees. We need to ask ourselves this question: What are we going to leave our children and their children and their children?

We are full of hope that you will join us in rejecting Hon. Kalaba’s decision.

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