Meet Stephen Gillespie (above left) and Mark Scarbrough from Indiana and Tennessee, USA respectively, Guests on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz. The ‘Experience’ is our radio show that airs weekly every Sunday at 20.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. Stephen and Mark told our listeners that they had only arrived in Livingstone by coach two hours before the show started, they had been ferried quickly to the lodge from the coach station, fed and then whisked off to the studios of 107.7 fm. Actually and surprisingly they showed no signs of tiredness and were only too happy to explain why they were in town. It was Mark’s 15th visit to Zambia – he has been involved in many projects in the past – but for Stephen it was his first time in Zambia and first time in Africa too!
Stephen and Mark explained that they had already been in Zambia for about five days and had spent time in Lusaka and Mazabuka. Their goal is to build a clinic in Pemba, Southern Province in an area where the nearest medical facility is some 50 kms from the the village. The clinic would aid the poor and needy and would include medical, dental and optical facilities. Financed through donations and fund raising in USA, the clinic would be staffed year round by medical and nursing staff from USA on a volunteer basis, but would of course employ some local personnel as well. “How did you link up?” Milli Jam wondered and Mark explained that they had met at a conference held at Two Rivers Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. The purpose of this particular visit to Zambia was to receive all the planning and other permissions necessary for their venture, as well as to make a video of the proposed project which would assist in raising funds and attracting volunteers. Video making is Stephen’s area of expertise, construction Mark’s.
The music on the show was good featuring tracks from Kiesza, Chris Brown, Emily Sande, Elyar Fox as well as DJ LBC, Zero, Katy Perry and Macky 2. A great mixture of Zambian and international tracks to reflect the eclectic nature of the music on our show. The prize we give each week to the first person to text us the name of the artist on our oldie of the week was very quickly snapped up by Emma. She won a dinner for two at the lodge for texting us speedily to tell us that Lou Bega recorded Mambo No 5. A track and an artist totally lost on yours truly! You live and learn!
Milli Jam wondered how Mark was always able to bring Richard the latest Charley Pride music whenever he stayed at Chanters and Mark explained that he is a friend of Danny Hutchins. Danny Hutchins is a lead back-up musician with the Charley Pride Band. He plays strings and keyboard with Charley Pride, a country music recording artist who is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Mark revealed that he is single with two grown up daughters, Stephen is married and also has a daughter. Whilst in Livingstone Stephen would be editing the material he had recorded in Pemba for the video, he also hoped to visit Victoria Falls and to go on safari to Chobe NP in Botswana. The guys had also brought soccer kit with them from the States as a donation to one of Livingstone’s local teams. Mark showed some interest in UK football and revealed support for Manchester United. Fairly normal for our show guests. Jay was cock-a-hoop that his beloved Liverpool show every sign that they will be EPL champions in UK this year, Milli Jam and I were happy that Arsenal had won.
Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Mark said he would like to be in Livingstone with his daughters Melanie and Jennifer staying at Chanters Lodge, Stephen would like to have led multiple visits to Zambia and to have seen their clinic project staffed, thriving and fulfilling a desperate need.