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.