Ross & Helen Quantock Rock 107.7 fm

Meet Ross and Helen Quantock pictured above, all the way from Busselton, Western Australia, a town famous for having the longest wooden structure in the southern hemisphere, namely the 1841m long Busselton Jetty pushing right out into the Indian Ocean! The Quantocks told us this when they featured on the latest edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience, our Sunday night radio show on Zambezi 107.7 fm, airing weekly for an hour at 20.30 hrs and co-hosted by Milli Jam (who also happens to be manager of Ayuba, the trendiest club in Livingstone), George Kaufela (rapper on technical) and myself.

Ross and Helen told listeners that one of the main purposes of their visit to Livingstone, staying at Chanters Lodge, was to catch up with old friends from Zimbabwe whom they’d first met in 1992, by chance, on the bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Helen had asked this lady if she could take her photo, she’d done so, they’d exchanged addresses and kept in touch ever since. As Ross and Helen didn’t, I told listeners of the fantastic help the Quantocks had given this lady and her family through the tough years in Zimbabwe, up to now. Eunah from Zimbabwe and her family of 4 had just spent 3 days in Livingstone at Ross and Helen’s expense having a great holiday and returning home laden with presents, as usual!

Ross and Helen have been married for 42 years and have a son and daughter, as well as four grandchildren. Ross told listeners that he was now retired but for the last 25 years of his working life he’d driven huge trucks and graders on a bauxite mine in Western Australia. He also confirmed that ordinary vehicles do seem very small to him these days! At that time he was working for Alcoa a US aluminum manufacturing company. The trucks he drove carried up to 100 tons of ore! Helen said he’d loved playing with his Tonka toy trucks but she thought she was happy now he’d retired!

The music on the show was super. We played ‘Party Rock Anthem’ by LMFAO and friends for the second week running, mainly because it was the current Australian number one and also top in UK. We featured the latest tracks by Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez – ‘Judas’ and ‘Papi’ respectively. Our local track selection included Slap Dee with ‘Nomba Nishi’ (‘So what’?) and B-Flow ft JK with ‘Wanga Wanga’ (‘Mine all mine’ – yes a girl of course!). Kelly Rowland’s ‘Train On A Track’ and Akon ft Chris Brown with ‘Take It Down Low’ wound up a great play list.

Amongst the activities Ross and Helen had chosen during their Livingstone visit were the sunset cruise, the Chobe one day safari and a visit to Zimbabwe mainly to see their friend and her family safely on to the night train to Bulawayo. Helen mentioned that they’d also brought a friend Margaret from Australia with them for this trip, a former neighbour of theirs in Australia who was also thoroughly enjoying the sights and sounds of Livingstone and Victoria Falls. When they left Zambia at the end of the following week, the party were heading to Pretoria to spend some nights with a friend before leaving for home in Australia.

Our guests thanked everyone in Livingstone for their hospitality and wished listeners a happy Easter. As usual we gave away a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge for the first person to text us telling us where this lovely, loving, generous couple came from. Australia was the right answer on many messages. We also gave listeners all the latest international chart and Lodgeblog news.

Great show, great guests, great music!


Ann Fagan & Gavin Dempster Rock 107.7 fm!

The most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient was super. Our Guests, Ann and Gavin pictured above, were lively, interesting and amusing – they rocked the house and so did the music! Our show airs every Sunday night between 20.30 and 21.30 hours on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s popular local radio station and is a mixture of music and chat.

Gavin and Ann, Guests at Chanters Lodge, told listeners that they came from Perth, Western Australia but had been travelling the world for the past 18 months. They’d arrived in Livingstone a few days previously, having taken an overland truck from Nairobi to Victoria Falls, visiting the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Zanzibar and Malawi before arriving in Zimbabwe. Gavin was delighted to be back in Livingstone and told listeners that for him anyway the highlight of their overland trip had been Ann’s joy in seeing the sights and sounds of Africa for the very first time! “Awwwww” we said!

Gavin had been in Zambia for a month in 2010 exploring Livingstone for houses where he’d lived as a child in the 50’s – his dad had been an engine driver on the railways in Zambia at that time. He’d also taken a 9 day canoeing trip on the Lower Zambezi, describing it to listeners as one of the best things he’d ever done in his life! This year Ann and Gavin had enjoyed their cycle trip around the city the day after they’d arrived, visiting Linda Community Orphanage School for whom they’d brought various goodies!

The music on the show was hot! We featured Jennifer Hudson’s ‘Gone’ back to back with ‘Next 2U’ from Chris Brown and Justin Bieber at the top of the show. Milli Jam’s local selection of Dalisoul’s ‘Musunge Mushe’ (take care of her) and Kay’s ‘Kanyelele’ (ant) had the Chanters Girls rocking back at the lodge. We dropped ‘Boom’ the latest from Snoop Dogg featuring T-Pain, coupled with Tiesto’s UK smash ‘C’mon’ featuring Diplo and Buster Rhymes. We closed with Britney Spears – Until The World Ends. A great selection from Milli Jam also included Ne-Yo’s ‘Hello’ and Jay Lo’s popular ‘Run This World’ featuring The Dream and Rick Ross.

Gavin and Ann told listeners how much they’d enjoyed their recent two day, one night safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana to celebrate Ann’s birthday, where they’d seen a lot of elephant, buffalo and hippo though they’d missed out on big cats – they weren’t all that worried as they’d seen these in the Serengeti during their overland trip. Milli Jam asked this lovely couple if they’d retired – Gavin said ‘very much’ and Ann replied ‘semi’. They’d met when they were both working for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a large charity organization in Australia. “Was it love at first sight?” I asked. “We kind of grew into each other” Ann replied. “Yes” we said, laughing.

Our guests described their musical tastes as ‘eclectic’ but told listeners about concerts they’d recently attended in Perth given by Lionel Richie and Jo Cocker, making us very envious in the studio! We had a great response to our question when we asked those wanting to win a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge where our Guests hailed from. Gloria won. Our Guests greeted the staff at the lodge, praising them highly and thanked Zambians listening for giving them such a warm and wonderful welcome to the country.


They Walk Among Us

Thanks to Judy in Australia for these gems! The photo? The mighty Victoria Falls in Zambia of course!


1. My daughter and I went through the McDonald’s driveway window and I gave the cashier a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her 25c.
She said, ‘you gave me too much money.’
I said,’Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar coin back.’
She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the 25c, and said we’re sorry but they could not do that kind of thing. The clerk then proceeded to give me back 75 cents in change.
Do not confuse the clerks at MacD’s.

2. We had to have the garage door repaired. The repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a ‘large’ enough motor on the opener. I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower.
He shook his head and said, ‘Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.’
I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4 and he said,
‘NOOO, it’s not. Four is larger than two.’
We haven’t used that repairman since. Happened in Ipswich, Qld.

3. I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbour call the local council P & W office to request the removal of the WOMBAT CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: ‘Too many wombats are being hit by cars out here! I don’t think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.’
Story from Collingwood, Melbourne.

4. I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked,
‘Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?’
To which I replied, ‘If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?’
He smiled knowingly and nodded, ‘That’s why we ask.’
This happened in Elizabeth S.A.

5. The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it’s safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged co-worker of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red.
Appalled, she responded, ‘What on earth are blind people doing driving?!’
She is a government employee in Adelaide P.O.

STAY ALERT! They walk among us…


Mao Kasonso

“Some say he’s recently been in UK working as ‘The Stig’ others that he built Victoria Falls, all we know is that he’s called Mao!” I declared, when I was asked by Milli Jam to introduce our guest on the most recent edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild. That’s our regular weekly Sunday night radio show airing at 20.30 hrs on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s best loved local radio station. Why start like that? Well Mao Kasonso, in the picture above, to the right of George da Soulchild, is well known on Facebook and people often do Clarksonesque things with his name on that site. Anyway my intro took everyone by surprise, got a good laugh and got our show off to a happy start.

It was for us a ground breaking show, not only did we feature three international No 1 hits, but for the first time we had an additional guest interview by phone from Lusaka. This featured Mr Vezzy aka Lang’a Mweene, a musician with a smash hit in Zambia on his hands – ‘Imma Bad Boy’ – which we played on the show (for the second time). Lang’a talked to us mid-way through the show when Milli Jam asked him about his work, his music, his family and his ambitions – it went down well with the listening audience. I asked him how long he’d been on Twitter and what he thought about it. He replied “about 3 months and it’s the world”. More evidence, if it was needed, that Twitter’s popularity continues to grow in Zambia.

Mao Kasonso our studio guest is a well known figure in Livingstone. He was a club DJ at The Fairmount Hotel in his younger days and then for many years was employed by Radio Mosi-o-Tunya, starting as a volunteer and working his way up to become Head of Production. At Radio Mosi-o-Tunya Mao hosted a weekly show as well as managing his administrative duties. The station is a Catholic Church owned community service radio station and Livingstone’s other local radio station. “What are you doing now?” Milli Jam asked our guest, who went on to explain that he’s currently studying a one and a half year business management course. He has an ambition to set up his own radio station in the future and we wouldn’t bet against that. Vibrant, intelligent and hard working speak for themselves!

The music on the show was excellent – as mentioned we featured three international number one hits: Kenny Chesney’s ‘Somewhere With You’ – currently top of the US country charts. Britney Spears with ‘Hold It Against Me’ charted at number one in the US pop charts last week and ‘Who’s That Girl’ by Guy Sebastian featuring Eve – the Australian number one. In this regard I told listeners how we’d received blog comments querying our lack of knowledge about Guy on the previous week’s show! We all agreed that the track was excellent and we were happy to have aired it for the first time on radio in Zambia. Together with these smash hits we featured Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull with ‘On The Floor’, Lady Gaga’s ‘Animal’ and Ty2 featuring Scarlet with ‘Desire’ this last number the second of our two local tracks. Milli Jam chose a Nigerian track ‘Jupka’ by J Martins.

Mao greeted his wife and family at home, especially his 3 children Geen 10, Ben 5 and Melinda 2.5 and told listeners that he didn’t like football but loved music, particularly pop, rock and dance and that his favourite track at the moment was ‘Hello’ by Martin Solveig and Dragonette. We gave listeners their regular chart news – featuring for the first time the USA Ringtones Charts – that caught listeners’ interest.

Appropriately the question we asked for the prize dinner for two was ‘tell us the 3 letter name of this week’s guest on the show’ and ‘Mao’ was quickly texted and the winner rewarded!


The Ashes Are Coming Home!

Congratulations England on a stunning 3-1 series win in The Ashes cricket in Australia! First time England have won it on Australian soil for 24 years and it was achieved in some style! Basically mates, you were thrashed!

Above Alastair Cook, man of the series with a batting average of around 126 and more than 700 runs, is pictured with satisfied skipper Andrew Strauss.

To our many Australian friends and Clients we say, hard luck! (Or something like that! Lol!)


Little Angel On Top Of The Christmas Tree

As you take down your Christmas decorations this week, before 12th Night we hope, think on this. It was sent me by an Australian – Judy – I’m sure you’d never have guessed. Don’t be getting the post Christmas/New Year blues now!

When four of Santa’s elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure. Then Mrs Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where. Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said very cheerfully, ‘Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn’t this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?’

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.


Great Staff!

So many Guests leaving Chanters Lodge tell me we have ‘great staff’ and who am I to disagree? Some, like Di Rapson from Perth, Australia, who left recently after a two week stay with friends Judy and Kerry, insisted on a photo of those of us on duty at the time, and there it is above! From left to right:

Isaac, Annastasia, Melinda, Richard, Susan, Lynnette and Sandra.

In two words ‘Lucky Me’!


Australian Letter Of The Year

It seems to be ‘Aussie Week’ on the blog for one reason or another, so let’s carry on with the AUSTRALIAN LETTER OF THE YEAR. Thanks to Judy Smetherham for sending me this one. It’s an actual letter sent to the DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) Immigration Minister. The erstwhile Rudd Government tried desperately to censure the author, but got nowhere because every legal person who read it could do nothing but laugh. Hope you do too!

“Dear Mr. Minister,

I’m in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this. How is it that K-Mart has my address and telephone number, and knows that I bought a television set and golf clubs from them back in 1997, and yet the Federal Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date? For heaven’s sake, do you guys do this by hand?

My birth date you have in my Medicare information, and it is on all the income tax forms I’ve filed for the past 40 years. It is also on my driver’s licence, on the last eight passports I’ve ever had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I’ve had to fill out before being allowed off the planes over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms that I’ve filled out every 5 years since 1966.

Also… would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother’s name is Audrey, my father’s name is Jack, and I’d be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and when I drop dead!!!…SHIT! I apologise, Mr. Minister but I’m really pissed off this morning. Between you and me, I’ve had enough of all this bullshit! You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my address!! What the hell is going on with your mob? Have you got a gang of mindless Neanderthal arseholes working there!

And another thing, look at my damn picture.. Do I look like Bin Laden? I can’t even grow a beard for heaven’s sakes. I just want to go to New Zealand and see my new granddaughter. (Yes, my son interbred with a Kiwi girl). And would someone please tell me,why would you give a @&* / whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days? If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a sheep or a horse, believe you me, I’d sure as hell not want to tell anyone!

Well, I have to go now, ’cause I have to go to the other end of the city, and get another copy of my birth certificate, and to part with another $80 for the privilege of accessing MY OWN INFORMATION! Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot, to assist in the issuance of a new passport on the same day?? Nooooo.. that’d be too easy and make far too much sense. You’d much prefer to have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off, having to find some high-society wanker to confirm that it’s really me in the goddamn photo! You know the photo.. the one where we’ re not allowed smile?! You morons!

Signed – An Irate Australian Citizen.

P.S. Remember what I said above about the picture, and getting someone in high-society to confirm that it’s me? Well, my family has been in this country since before 1850! In 1856, one of my forefathers took up arms with Peter Lalor. (You do remember the Eureka Stockade!!) I have also served in both the CMF and regular Army for something over 30 years (I went to Vietnam in 1967), and still have high security clearances. I’m also a personal friend of the president of the RSL.. and Lt General Peter Cosgrove sends me a Christmas card each year.

However, your rules require that I have to get someone “important” to verify who I am; You know… someone like my doctor – WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN PAKISTAN!!!…A country where they either assassinate or hang their ex-Prime Ministers, and are suspended from the Commonwealth for not having the “right sort of government”. You are all @*% idiots!”


The Aussies Are Back!

No! Even though it’s Ashes time this isn’t a cricket reference! The headline refers to the three Australian ladies pictured above left to right – Judy Smetherham, Kerry Hegney and Di Rapson, appearing (with furry friends) for the second time on our weekly Sunday night radio show, The Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild, which goes out live at 20.30 hours for an hour on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm. The ladies’ first appearance was back in April 2009 on their last visit to Zambia. What brought them back? Well, when they were asked this on air, their smart reply was “we heard rumours Richard was looking much younger”! “Quite right too!” I said, while others just sniggered…

In fact the ‘girls’ were back in Livingstone for two weeks to do some of the things they hadn’t done on their last visit, including a microlight flight over the Falls, a swim in Devil’s Pool on Livingstone Island and a two night, three day visit to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, leaving from Kasane Airport the next day. They also planned to do the cheetah encounter and as usual visit Maramba Market and Zambian friends they’d made during their last stay. In a way more importantly, the ladies had come from Australia via the Copperbelt in Zambia where they’d delivered 400 school bags, and over 200 soft toys to children at Chiwawatala, Chankuta and Mishikishi Primary Schools. They had to get special permission from the airlines they used to carry all that excess luggage in such a good cause. Oh! and they brought some beanies too. “Beanies”? I hear you ask. Don’t know your Aussie slang do ya? Woollen hats in real English. I only knew the slang as the ladies kindly brought me the ‘Australian Slang Dictionary’! Allows me to be rude to the Aussie cricketers on TV in their own language.

The only tinge of sadness was the news that Mr Billy Mulonda, head of one of the families the ladies had been helping in Ndola had been struck by lightning and killed the day they were leaving the Copperbelt. We sent our deepest condolences. After the Copperbelt the ladies had spent time at Mfue Lodge in South Luangwa National Park and had had a great time, seeing loads and loads of different animals.

The music on the show was awesome and featured numbers from Aggro Santos, Bruno Mars and Cee Lo Green to get the party started. George chose Cray J with ‘Chipe’ for the first of his local tracks, and then Brothahood Crew with ‘If It’s Loving’. George himself featured on this track – as I mentioned last week he’s a locally famous singer by the name of Kafuela as well as a great DJ and technician. George was hot from a live rock show at a venue in Livingstone on Saturday afternoon organized by 107.7 fm. ‘Were you mobbed by young girls’? I wanted to know. ‘Of course’! Was the short answer. Milli Jam chose 112 with ‘Only You’ and Aliyah with ‘Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number’ for his tracks, after which we moved on to ‘Bottoms Up’ by Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj, ‘Love All Over Me’ by Monica and Jay Sean’s great ‘Break Ya Back’!

“What have you ladies been up to since the last time we saw you” Milli Jam wanted to know. Well, plenty was the answer. Judy had travelled to the UK and Paris, Kerry to Egypt, Turkey and Holland and Di to Bali. Di, who’d sadly lost her dad during this period, had also been to shows by Pink and Nickelback in Perth where these ladies live. “Noticed any changes in Livingstone and at Chanters”? The DJ’s wanted to know. “Plenty”! The girls replied – mentioning new rooms and the suite at Chanters, as well as Richard and Annastasia’s new offices. They’d seen that Livingstone boasted a new shopping mall.

As usual we gave away a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge with drinks to the first person this week who could tell us where these lively and funny ladies came from. Australia was the first answer we received by text from Karen. Result!


Barmy Army! Barmy Army!

Great day for the Barmy Army down under as ‘The Poms’ go up 1-0 in the Ashes! I’m so pleased that my getting up at 02.00 hrs to watch the last day’s play was not in vain. Luckily Graham Swann finished it off quickly for England and I was able to go back to sleep sweetly!!

Congratulations to KP – Man Of The Match! They said he’d come good down under!

On to Perth!

Oh! For the uninformed! It’s about cricket!

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