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!