The Hard Working Justin Phiri

Being a full time employee at Livingstone’s world famous top 5 star hotel – Justin is a bartender in the Royal Lounge at the Royal Livingstone Hotel – as well as holding down a DJ’s job at some of the top night spots in the city at weekends, is no easy task! Hence my headline ‘The Hardworking Justin Phiri’, as that’s exactly what Justin (pictured above) does, week in week out. I believe it’s the first time we’ve had an employee of one of the big hotels as our Guest on the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient, our weekly Sunday night radio show on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station, and it was a great pleasure!

“How do you manage such a heavy schedule”? We asked Justin at the top of the show, and he explained to listeners that the only way he could fit everything in is because he’s on day shifts at the Royal, so he’s able to rest and relax after work, before heading for the Livingstone clubs – exciting late night venues that often don’t start to rock until the wee small hours. Justin told us that he’s currently playing at Fezbar to crowds of above 200 at weekends, dropping all types of music – everything from rock “for the muzungus” (white people), to African and Zambian jams, as well as tracks from just about every other genre in between!

The music on this show was good, we opened with a new version of  ‘Feel The Love’ (our theme tune) a remix by WOZ featuring Childish Gambino – “that’s funky” commented Milli Jam. We also played new tracks from Clean Bandit and James Blunt before Milli Jam spun a Zambian track from Macky 2 featuring K’Millian. We also featured David Guetta and Ne-Yo with Akon and Will-i-am. Our oldie of the week was Brandy’s ‘Piano Man’ and the prize we give each week to the first person to text us the name of the artist was quickly snapped up! A dinner for two with drinks at the lodge for the lucky winner.

Justin told listeners that he had been married to his wife Agatha for one year and one week, and that they had met when he was playing shows at Fairmount Hotel – she had been working there. He could even remember the first track she’d asked him to play and we assumed, therefore, that it had been love at first sight, which Justin confirmed though we had no chance to ask Agatha! They have no children as yet. We learned that Justin is also studying business organization and hopes soon to be able to finish his course. Also that his favourite music is R&B. He had gained his love for music from 80’s TV shows. He had first started as a DJ at Sizzlers in Livingstone (then Rhapsody’s) and had been employed at the Royal for five years – he was proud of being a permanent employee as opposed to being on contract. Justin gave listeners some idea of the Guests’ favourite cocktails and the trials and tribulations of stock taking in a large busy bar.

Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Justin replied that he quite fancied being on radio, rising to other challenges and making good progress in the hotel industry. We guessed that being the non-drinking, hard working guy that he is, he would definitely succeed.

As an added bonus I was given a Sun International pen!!