Junior Sililo & Sandra Banda Taste The Chanters Lodge Experience

From time to time we feature members of the Chanters Lodge staff on our weekly radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild. The programme airs on Zambezi 107.7fm every Sunday between 20.30 and 21.30 hours Zambian time. 107.7 fm is Livingstone’s leading commercial local radio station reaching a radius of about 60 kms and has recently started streaming live on the internet, though there are undeniable teething problems in this respect.

The two Chanters Girls featured last Sunday, pictured above, were Junior Sililo (left) and Sandra Banda. Both had guested on previous shows but were excited about re-appearing. Junior told listeners that in the past year she’d moved from the position of Head Cook to Head Waitress in the restaurant, explaining that this also involved cleaning rooms and housekeeping duties. Sandra is also a restaurant waitress and Milli Jam demanded to know who was looking after the restaurant, seeing they were both on the show. The girls explained that they had a colleague Mirriam who’d recently joined the lodge and that she was on duty being helped by Anastasia and Susan (those who must be obeyed!)

Junior told listeners that she’d been employed by the lodge for six years having had some previous experience as a cook in a small restaurant in Livingstone. Sandra explained that she had not worked prior to joining Chanters 1 year and 9 months ago but that she’d undergone a course in food and beverage at Patience Pays Institute in Livingstone. Both girls had of course completed Grade 12 at secondary schools within Livingstone. Milli Jam asked the girls the biggest challenge they faced in their jobs and they had different opinions, Junior saying that ‘every day is a challenge in the hospitality industry’ while Sandra replied that as far as her job was concerned she took everything pretty much in her stride. Junior told listeners that she was busy studying to resit some subjects at Grade 12 level.

The music on the show was a treat for listeners, as usual. We played Example’s UK number one hit ‘Stay Awake’ at the top of the show coupled with ‘There She Goes’ – the latest offering from Taio Cruz featuring Pitbull. George featured ‘Banono’ by Jane Osborne and P-Jay as the first of his local tracks and this produced a reaction by text from the lodge – one of the girls messaging ‘hey that’s our kitchen song’! Next up was Omario with ‘Ichikonko’. I liked that one and asked what it meant. It was eventually decided that the title meant ‘bitter’. Boyz II Men’s comeback track ‘More Than You’ll Ever Know’ went down well.

We give away a dinner for two with drinks at Chanters Lodge on every show. At the moment we’re spinning an ‘oldie of the week’ and asking listeners to text us the name of the performing artist. The response is growing week by week. The general opinion in the studio was that ‘We Don’t Talk Any More’ might be a tricky one for the listeners but it didn’t take long for someone to text ‘Cliff Richard’ and win. We closed the show with Cover Drive’s ‘Lick Ya Down’.

Milli Jam asked the girls if they liked to go clubbing and dancing on their day off. Junior answered ‘Milli Jam, life’s too short not to do that’! Which is your favourite club he continued. ‘Ayoba!’ Yelled the girls in unison. Milli Jam looked as happy as you’d expect for the manager of that particular establishment! “Funny that” I remarked “whenever they have a night off I ask them if they’re going out and they always say no!” More laughter. “Are you dating?” Milli Jam asked the girls. Junior said she had a boyfriend. “Getting married soon?” He asked. “Milli Jam” said Junior “it’s not me to pop the question!” Sandra told listeners that she was ‘very single!’ George sighed.

We wanted to know which UK football team the girls supported and they nervously said ‘Chelsea’ and seemed to be in love with Didier Drogba. “What’s it like having a boss that supports Arsenal?” Milli Jam wanted to know. “We take cover when they lose” the girls replied! Favourite musical artists? Sandra favoured Beyonce, Junior – Kanye West.

The girls were asked where they would like to be and what they’d like to be doing in 10 years’ time. Junior said that she’d like to be travelling the world and seeing different countries. Sandra said she had a dream to be a nurse in Canada with two children (no mention of a husband!) In closing I remarked that it was great to see the girls with so much self-confidence, ambition and class! And so it was!