Meet Michelle Hall, pictured here relaxing by the swimming pool at Chanters Lodge during her four day holiday in Livingstone, Zambia just 10 kms from Victoria Falls. Michelle was the latest Guest on our weekly Sunday night radio show, The Chanters Lodge Experience on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm, going out live at 20.30 hrs.
“How long have you had your dreadlocks” was the first question Milli Jam, who co-hosts the programme with George Soulchild, asked Michelle. “About 12 years – everyone asks me that!” Was the quick reply. Before she came to Livingstone Michelle had been in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city for a week, involved in an international conference for trainers across Africa. She’s an educational technologist at Columbia University in New York and works out of the Center for New Media Teaching & Learning. She told listeners that her work involves training non clinician physicians, for which there is a high demand, given that most African countries don’t have enough doctors.
Michelle, a self confessed workaholic, works in New York City though she lives in New Jersey and commutes daily. She originally hails from Barbados in the West Indies. She told listeners that when she arrived in Zambia at Lusaka International Airport, immigration had two lists, one of nationalities requiring a visa to enter Zambia and another of nationalities that are visa free. Barbados didn’t appear on either list! She was allowed into Zambia twice, visa free. The second occasion was coming back into the country whilst she was staying at Chanters, when she took the one day safari to Chobe in Botswana, which she much enjoyed.
On hearing that Michelle was from Barbados, George and Milli Jam immediately wanted to know if she knew Rihanna, who also hails from there. Michelle told listeners that although she wasn’t aware of it, she had in fact taught Rihanna at high school in Barbados. They weren’t much interested however when Michelle and I started talking cricket – Sir Gary Sobers and Joel Garner both hail from Barbados. We asked our guest lots of questions about the island including food – their staple food is Kuku and Flying Fish, Kuku is a combination of yellow maize and okra, and no, George didn’t know that fish could fly! Nor did the rest of us!
Music wise it was a good show. We played Chris Brown ‘I Love You’ back to back with Toni Braxton ft Sean Paul ‘Looking At Me’. The Zambian set was Crystal Shawn ‘Chimami’ (‘Girlfriend’) and Alfa Romeo (I love that name!) singing ‘Rumour’. ‘Ride’ by Ciara ft Ludacris and ‘Unthinkable’ by Alicia Keys both went down well with our Guest who told listeners she’d been brought up on R&B. We also featured ‘Riding Solo’ by Jason Derulo and closed with ‘Love Is Wicked’ by Brick & Lace. The latter had performed in Lusaka the previous night.
As usual we gave away a dinner for two at Chanters Lodge. This week the prize was given for the first person to text us the name of the big American city in which Michelle worked – the response was fair but not as good as previous weeks. Perhaps it was a tricky question considering that we’d talked more about Barbados.
Michelle told listeners that she’d found out about Chanters Lodge from Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor on the internet and had been impressed with the good reviews about us on those sites. She’d enjoyed her stay at the lodge and had loved the Chanters Girls! Don’t we all!
Before we closed Milli Jam asked Michelle where she would like to be and what she’d like to be doing 10 years from now. “Back on Barbados teaching in the University” was Michelle’s reply. I’d put money on her achieving her goal!