I loved this from Seth Godin – he didn’t mention Twitter or Facebook though…

Where do ideas come from?

1. Ideas don’t come from watching television
2. Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture
3. Ideas often come while reading a book
4. Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them
5. Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks or boredom
6. Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide
7. Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do
8. Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginner’s mind. A little awareness is a good thing
9. Ideas come in spurts, until you get frightened. Willie Nelson wrote three of his biggest hits in one week
10. Ideas come from trouble
11. Ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they’re generous and selfless
12. Ideas come from nature
13. Sometimes ideas come from fear (usually in movies) but often they come from confidence
14. Useful ideas come from being awake, alert enough to actually notice
15. Though sometimes ideas sneak in when we’re asleep and too numb to be afraid
16. Ideas come out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower, when we’re not trying
17. Mediocre ideas enjoy copying what happens to be working right this minute
18. Bigger ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones
19. Ideas don’t need a passport, and often cross borders (of all kinds) with impunity
20. An idea must come from somewhere, because if it merely stays where it is and doesn’t join us here, it’s hidden. And hidden ideas don’t ship, have no influence, no intersection with the market. They die, alone.


Avoiding Momentum

As usual Seth Godin’s blog gives great food for thought. When you read the piece below it amounts to self-confidence doesn’t it? That’s not always common in this part of the world. Seth writes:

“Some days, even the best dentist doesn’t feel like being a dentist. And a lifeguard might not feel like being a lifeguard. Fortunately, they have appointments, commitments and jobs. They have to show up. They have to start doing the work. And most of the time, this jump start is sufficient to get them over the hump, and then they go back to being in the zone and doing their best work.

Momentum is incredibly useful to someone who has to overcome fear, dig in deep and ship. Momentum gives you a reason to overcome your fear and do your art, because there are outside forces and obligations that keep you moving. Without them, you’d probably stumble and fall.

And yet…

And yet many of us fear too much momentum. We look at a project launch or a job or another new commitment as something that might get out of control. It’s one thing to be a folk singer playing to a hundred people a night in a coffeehouse, but what if the momentum builds and you become a star? A rock star? With an entourage and appearances and higher than high expectations for your next work. That’s a lot of momentum, no?

Deep down, this potential for an overwhelming response alerts the lizard brain and we hold back. We’re afraid of being part of something that feels like it might be too big for us.

Hint: it probably isn’t.”


Zambian Music – Chanters Lodge

George Da Soulchild writes about the Zambian music we played on last Sunday’s Chanters Lodge Experience on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm, when the Hagenbeeks from Utrecht were our guests. (I had a text from them today saying they were safely on the Tazara Train to Dar.) This is our regular show and we featured the story on the blog earlier in the week.

George’s real name is George Mukwita (aka George Da Soulchild). George is a 27 year old radio dj working for Zambezi Fm Radio, Livingstone. He has a popular show he hosts every Monday Night called “Monday Night Chill Factor With George” and also co-produces the Chanters Lodge Experience weekly for us.

We played 2 Zambian tracks on last week’s show:

‘Kaufela’ Featuring K’millain “Efo Nakutemwa” (Thats why I love you) is a brand new Zambian
track sung in Bamba, Nyanja and Lozi it carries some samples of a P-Square song titled “I
love you”. In a nut shell the song talks about a man appreciating his women Kaufela.

Ty2 featuring Crystal Shaun, Lillian and Kaufela titled “Change for the Better” is a Charity
song sung in English and Bemba. The song was recorded in Livingstone and mastered and
duplicated in the UK. Later released as a single on the 25th of May – World Malaria Day this
year. The song was produced to raise awareness of Malaria, and all proceeds raised will be
channeled to help those that cant get to health centers to get treatment. Money raised will be used to buy medicine and malaria testing kits and mosquito nets for them. The project was sponsored by the Butterfly Tree Charity. There’s a nice picture of the artists above!

Thanks George!


Chanters Lodge – Winners!

Last night on our local radio show, The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Soulchild, which goes out on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm every Sunday night at 20.30 hrs we brought our three prize winners from the staff at Chanters Lodge to collect their winning cheques on air! What had they done to win prizes? Drawn the right teams in the World Cup!

Left to right Melinda Silumbwa, Receptionist, who finished 3rd (she had both Germany and Uruguay!), Agness Mwale a cook from the kitchen who won with Spain, and at the front Alice Nankamba, Acting Head Cook, who is still so sad that Holland lost, Milli Jam, our DJ also in the picture, couldn’t even get her to smile! Getting girls to smile is normally his speciality!

This was a special one off motivational draw for the staff, hoping that the lodge would do great business during the period of the World Cup – that didn’t happen! But a promise is a promise and the winners shared the equivalent of US$300 financed by management.

Congratulations to them all! On tomorrow’s show, some more about last night’s radio’s programme!


Late Jonathan Lungu

We were very sorry to hear recently that Jonathan Lungu had passed away. Here’s a photo of him doing what he really did best – sorting things out when the ‘the authorities’ were involved. On this occasion water from the City Council! Jonathan’s on the left in the photo.

Late Jonathan worked for Chanters Lodge from early in 1999 until early 2009 as an accountant and assistant manager and was widely known and liked in the City, and by our Guests. He was particularly helpful when I had to be away from the lodge for any reason. He helped us set up our initial systems and was good at keeping the Chanters Girls in order when necessary! He was an exceptionally good cook!

We pass our condolences to Jonathan’s father, and sister Elizabeth and her family in New Zealand, and hope that Jonathan has found peace.


It’s Wild!

No! Not the bungee jumping, zip line and gorge swinging that a group of post graduate students from the University of California, Berkeley undertook while they were staying at Chanters Lodge recently on a brief break from their involvement with Comaco. The trade name for Comaco products is ‘It’s Wild‘ – “never heard of it!” I said to the group as I was dropping them off for a one night ‘splurge’ at the David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa. “You should have done” said Ciera Ashley, the group organizer, “one of their trucks just passed us on the road and this morning we were eating ‘It’s Wild’ Peanut Butter and Honey in your restaurant!” (Richard! Don’t worry, it might be an age thing – my remark not theirs! )

COMACO is a model for rural development that supports natural resource management. It operates through a community-owned trading centre, registered as a non-profit company, called the Conservation Farmer Wildlife Producer Trading Centre.CTC

Community residents benefit from this trading centre by receiving high market value for goods they produce and having access to affordable farmer inputs and improved farming skills on the condition that they adopt land use practices that help conserve their area’s natural resources. Specific land use practices required include conservation farming, which helps maintain soil fertility, crops that help reduce conflicts with wildlife or rates of land clearing, and commitment to stop wildlife snaring or illegal hunting. Under these conditions and by increasing the market value of more desired crops, the model is able to influence the land use practices of thousands of households across large landscapes that are associated with important wildlife and watershed resources. All proceeds from the company are reinvested in efforts to achieve food security, increased rural income, and improved natural resource management. With assistance from a range of collaborating partners, COMACO has become increasingly self-financing to help sustain efforts to mitigate problems of environmental degradation in areas where poverty and food insecurity were primary factors driving this degradation. Six basic steps describe how COMACO has set about to achieve increased synergies between agriculture, markets and conservation:

1. Target poor, food-insecure farming families with improved farming practices (conservation farming, composting, improved seed varieties, etc.) to increase food production and attain sufficient food to meet their annual needs.

2. Concurrent with step one, organize farmers into producer groups, especially those learning improved farming practices, and promote group commitment to abandon land use practices destructive to natural resources.

3. Diversify livelihood skills (livestock husbandry, dry season gardening, carpentry, bee-keeping, improved fisheries management, etc.) among these producer groups to increase opportunities for earning legal income without degrading natural resources in their area.

4. Mobilize producer groups in a prescribed area as a depot unit and establish a trading depot for bulking goods for markets.

5. Establish a regional trading center that offers producer groups through their depots fair, high-paying producer prices, on-site transactions, and reliable transport of goods to high-paying markets.

6. Formalize an agreement with producer groups through their depot that such services and benefits are available only if producer groups are fully compliant to land use practices not in conflict with their natural resources as guided by a community-approved land use plan.

We’ll certainly support them knowingly, in future!


Connect, Collaborate, Communicate

I liked this by Alisdair Munn (above) on his website of the same name, ‘Connect, Collaborate, Communicate’ I’m not sure it says it all – there’s no real mention of infrastructure, but my goodness it says a lot!

“Innovation: Why Africa Is The Place To Be – Opinion

If an American or European organisation were to were to invent the automobile today, they would not get it approved by the army of regulators, health and safety officers, industry regulators, environmental targets and all the other hurdles thrown in their way. If it were a Chinese organisation on the other hand, things would be different. The relationship between innovation and resource utilisation is more market growth driven verses regulation driven. Some could say the US or Europe of old.

If an American or European organisation developed a more efficient and socially responsible method of organising or producing a product or service, it is likely the establishment would do everything it could to stop it in order to ensure their existence is not threatened, quite possibly under the guise of national interests.

Africa is a different world, particularly Africa north of South Africa. The West’s ‘top down’ approach to Africa has not worked. A major part of this is that Africa’s relationship and attitude to resources is different to the West’s. Africa may be ‘blessed’ with resources but it is clear we need to distinguish between resources in or of the land, and the availability of resources to the population.

The West, when looking to Africa as an investment opportunity is still making the mistake that it has made for decades. I have been reading with interest the growth of Africa as a destination for investment funds. How very English. “If Africa wants to attract investment funding into their capital markets they need to organise and regulate their markets better.” Which basically means that they want the markets to be organised the same way theirs are. Of course I am not saying that organised markets are not desirable or regulation and accountability is not needed. Nor am I suggesting that an organised financial market will not create wealth. I am pointing out that there is still a belief by the West that for Africa to develop it needs to become civilised, where civilised equates to, “like us”. Trading invisible money on capital markets may generate wealth but for who? Of course I understand the thinking and the theory. I also understand the other side too and look to the large hole we are in because of this.

If Africa were to become like the West overnight, the continent would come to a grinding halt. Over regulation is not only the privilege of the over resourced and established, it is also the death of innovation and progress. The spirit and aptitude towards innovation within Africa is enormous. Africa has no choice but to innovate towards purpose, according to its culture and within its available resources and structures. Innovations are useful, they fulfil a purpose and they happen because they are driven by the need to improve peoples’ lives according to who they are and what they have.

Responsible innovation and growth within Africa will not come from fighting its structures, culture and ethics but through understanding them and working within them. Let the people of Africa innovate. Creating a solution to a problem that also makes money is not greed or exploitation, it is smart, it is sustainable and it ensure innovation and responsible progress will thrive.

Work with Africa, invest, listen, learn and, quite possibly, the world will be a better place.”

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