George Soulchild – Guest Blog

George Soulchild, co-presenter of our weekly radio show The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient ft George Soulchild, gives us his regular look at the Zambian musical scene:

Zambian Hip Hop artist, CRISIS (aka Mr Swagger) is heading to Zimbabwe to perform alongside Akon and Sean Paul at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, along with other African artists who have been invited by Zimswag Entertainment, the organisers. The show will take place on September 4th and starts at 12:00 noon. The concert is all about uniting African artists in the region by encouraging them to work together as one, as the late Bob Marley and Tracy Chapman did back in the day.

CRISIS said he’ll go with JK (pictured above), another Zambian artist, with whom he’ll perform the song ‘One Day’ from his first album. He said that other songs he’ll perform are ‘Make The Crowd Go’ from his new album and ‘The Fire Inside’. CRISIS said that he’s excited to have the opportunity to perform alongside Akon and Sean Paul and hopes that they can do a collaboration in future. He said about 50,000 fans are expected to attend the show which is not only for Zimbabweans, but also people from other African countries.

He also said there’ll be an after party for all artists at Rainbow Towers in Harare. To ensure that many Akon fans travel to Zimbabwe for the live concert, the Zambian airline, Zambezi Airways will reduce the fare for those going to attend the concert, as they are one of the companies sponsoring the show. Tickets are going at $10 for kids, $15 for stadium ground, $25 for sitting, $50 VIP and Golden Circle $100.

Sensational singer Jordan Katembula popularly knows as JK launched his ‘Akapilipili’ Album in South Africa. The album as become a hit on the Zambian music scene. The launch was on Saturday August 28, at Monte Casino in Johannesburg where JK was accompanied by two artistes, Indie K who recently released her ‘Chipuba Chandi’ album, and Afunika. JK’s South African fans were ready for the Zambian star and showed up in numbers to see him.

JK was also accompanied Bizzy Wizzy of Klub Vegas, one of the hottest clubs in Zambia, who displayed his skills during the show. JK is expected to tour Zambia to promote his album which has captured many of his local music lovers. Some of the songs that JK performed were ‘Ka Pillow’, ‘Concrete Mixer’, ‘Kanyimbo’, ‘Poison’ and many more. Other Zambian artistes that have recently been to South Africa for performances include Mampi, Dalisoul, K’Millian, Petersen and Ozzy who is currently promoting his ‘Kobili’ album,

JK recently released his single ‘Akapilipili’ song which features Salma Dodia another upcoming Zambian artist. The video for the ‘Akapilipili’ song is already being played on MTVBase and Channel O. This is JK’s fifth Album.

Jamaican born, Canadian based RnB dancehall female duet Brick n Lace performed two Saturdays ago at Barclays Bank Sports Complex in Lusaka, Zambia for its local fans. Brick n Lace popularly known for ‘Love Is Wicked’ and ‘Never Never’ performed most of their new songs on stage and managed to entertain some of their Zambian fans. Most of the Zambian artistes who were invited to perform at the show were not allowed to mingle with their counterparts even though they performed on the same stage.

Mahogany Entertainments arranged two VIP lounges one for Brick n Lace with other foreign artistes while the Zambian artistes were made to occupy the other. The Zambian artistes were not in the slightest bit amused about this segregation! The security for the duo was very tight and the fans only managed to mingle with artistes on stage during their performance. The media personnel were also not given the privilege of interviewing the foreign artistes as they were not allowed access to the VIP lounge either, and although the show started late, the foreign artistes tried their best to entertain the fans.

The artistes that performed at the show were Jozi from South Africa and TR and TEF (a combination of a Zambian and Canadian duo). The local artistes were B Flow, P-Jay, Indie K, JK, Judy, Slap Dee, J-Bus, Cactus Agony, and CQ among others. It is the first time the duo Brick n Lace (Nyanda and Nailah Thoubourne) have visited and performed in Zambia to market their music. They came into the country under Mahogany Entertainments.”

Thanks George, great piece!


George Soulchild – Guest Blog

Here’s George Soulchild’s guest blog for the week. The photo is of an Ngoma Award statuette. I was lucky enough to win one in 2008 for my contribution towards the development of Zambian musicians!

“The National Arts Council of Zambia (NAC) and other stakeholders have started organizing the 14th Ngoma Awards show to take place on December 3 in Lusaka. This year’s theme is ‘Growing the Creative Industry’. The event has more than seven categories – visual arts, creative writing, media arts, music, drama, children’s theatre, traditional dance and theatre comedy – just to mention a few. The creative industry is growing tremendously and this year there will be about 24 awards given to the most deserving artists in the country.

The Ngoma Awards shows started in 1997 and were first held in Lusaka, Zambia. Then they were known as National Honours Awards but in 1998 the name was changed to Ngoma Awards. The first awards show was held at Lusaka Intercontinental Hotel. In the past two years the awards shows were held in Livingstone and Kitwe respectively, in the Southern and Copperbelt provinces of Zambia. The show is held every year to honour Zambian artists who have done exceptional work deserving to be recognised and appreciated.

Alpha Romeo – A new kid on the block
Alpha Romeo is the new kid on the block, his music style is mainly hip-hop sung in Nyanja and he is quite popular with young people. His first single ‘Will’ was released some time late last year. His lyrics are full of social commentary and his most popular song at the moment is ‘’Rumour’’ produced by KB for K-Amy Entertainment. We played this track on the Chanters show as our second local number. Alpha’s14 track album ‘President’ drops next week and is something all hip-hop fans should look out for.
Crystal Shaun – The most underrated artist
Crystal Shaun aka Webster Chilufya has been in the local music industry since the late 90’s when he was still doing his secondary education at Mpika Boys School along with fellow local artistes Runnel and Danny. He dropped his first album in 2004 – it carried the smash hit song “Elina” featuring Runnel produced by TK of Romaside Studio in Lusaka. His follow up album was released under David Sling Studio also based in Lusaka. Crystal Shaun is one of the most underrated artists on the local scene as he’s got so much more to offer. If you take some time to listen to any of his work you’ll agree with me. His style of music is soft raga sung in Bemba and Nyanja. He is currently in the studio cooking up his new sound. On the Chanters’ show we played a song titled ‘’Chimami’’ from his forthcoming album which still untitled.”

Thanks George for your usual entertaining and interesting insight!


Michelle V Hall on Zambezi Radio

Meet Michelle Hall, pictured here relaxing by the swimming pool at Chanters Lodge during her four day holiday in Livingstone, Zambia just 10 kms from Victoria Falls. Michelle was the latest Guest on our weekly Sunday night radio show, The Chanters Lodge Experience on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm, going out live at 20.30 hrs.

“How long have you had your dreadlocks” was the first question Milli Jam, who co-hosts the programme with George Soulchild, asked Michelle. “About 12 years – everyone asks me that!” Was the quick reply. Before she came to Livingstone Michelle had been in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city for a week, involved in an international conference for trainers across Africa. She’s an educational technologist at Columbia University in New York and works out of the Center for New Media Teaching & Learning. She told listeners that her work involves training non clinician physicians, for which there is a high demand, given that most African countries don’t have enough doctors.

Michelle, a self confessed workaholic, works in New York City though she lives in New Jersey and commutes daily. She originally hails from Barbados in the West Indies. She told listeners that when she arrived in Zambia at Lusaka International Airport, immigration had two lists, one of nationalities requiring a visa to enter Zambia and another of nationalities that are visa free. Barbados didn’t appear on either list! She was allowed into Zambia twice, visa free. The second occasion was coming back into the country whilst she was staying at Chanters, when she took the one day safari to Chobe in Botswana, which she much enjoyed.

On hearing that Michelle was from Barbados, George and Milli Jam immediately wanted to know if she knew Rihanna, who also hails from there. Michelle told listeners that although she wasn’t aware of it, she had in fact taught Rihanna at high school in Barbados. They weren’t much interested however when Michelle and I started talking cricket – Sir Gary Sobers and Joel Garner both hail from Barbados. We asked our guest lots of questions about the island including food – their staple food is Kuku and Flying Fish, Kuku is a combination of yellow maize and okra, and no, George didn’t know that fish could fly! Nor did the rest of us!

Music wise it was a good show. We played Chris Brown ‘I Love You’ back to back with Toni Braxton ft Sean Paul ‘Looking At Me’. The Zambian set was Crystal Shawn ‘Chimami’ (‘Girlfriend’) and Alfa Romeo (I love that name!) singing ‘Rumour’. ‘Ride’ by Ciara ft Ludacris and ‘Unthinkable’ by Alicia Keys both went down well with our Guest who told listeners she’d been brought up on R&B. We also featured ‘Riding Solo’ by Jason Derulo and closed with ‘Love Is Wicked’ by Brick & Lace. The latter had performed in Lusaka the previous night.

As usual we gave away a dinner for two at Chanters Lodge. This week the prize was given for the first person to text us the name of the big American city in which Michelle worked – the response was fair but not as good as previous weeks. Perhaps it was a tricky question considering that we’d talked more about Barbados.

Michelle told listeners that she’d found out about Chanters Lodge from Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor on the internet and had been impressed with the good reviews about us on those sites. She’d enjoyed her stay at the lodge and had loved the Chanters Girls! Don’t we all!

Before we closed Milli Jam asked Michelle where she would like to be and what she’d like to be doing 10 years from now. “Back on Barbados teaching in the University” was Michelle’s reply. I’d put money on her achieving her goal!


Elephant Charge 2010

Here’s something different from

“Zambia’s extreme off-road 4×4 challenge is about to start! Join us in this exciting event and sign up your team now. The Elephant Charge raises money for conservation and wildlife education in Zambia on a not-for-profit basis. All proceeds raised this year will go towards:

– Lusaka National Park
– South Luangwa Conservation Society
– Conservation Lower Zambezi
– The Kafue Trust

What is the Elephant Charge?
The Elephant Charge challenges teams of cars and motorbikes to complete a grueling course through the Zambian bush. Teams consist of either a 4×4 vehicle with up to 6 individuals or 3 to 4 motorbikes. The teams drive and drag themselves around the course, building roads with their bare hands and steering their vehicles up and down outrageous inclines in an attempt get home in the shortest distance possible. The straighter you dare go the more intimidating it will be!

The Elephant Charge engenders a fantastic team spirit and generates a huge feeling of accomplishment both in terms of funds raised and terrain conquered. It is a great weekend in the wilderness for competitors, their families, sponsors and supporters. This year’s Elephant Charge will take place on Zambia’s Independence weekend, 23rd, 24th and 25th October 2010 at a secret location, which will be revealed to competitors the day before the event.

How to Enter An entry fee of K1 million is payable to Elephant Charge Zambia Ltd by each team. The entry fee is used by the organising committee to pay for any costs not covered by event sponsors. Teams must also pledge a minimum of K2 million sponsorship when they enter the event. All sponsorship received by the event will be paid to the charities. We look forward to your support knowing that each and every contribution will help protect and develop wildlife conservation and education in Zambia.

Please email if you would like to enter a team, act as an official, or sponsor the event, a checkpoint or a trophy. Visit for the latest information on the event and to download entry forms.

So, what are you waiting for?!


Robyn Agatha Phiri

Isn’t the internet wonderful for getting in touch with people you haven’t seen or heard of for years? Take this message I had on Facebook the other day from Robyn Agatha Phiri, for example! Robyn’s pictured above.

“Wow. Is that you? I used to come over to the Ridgeway hotel to play your piano many years ago. Even though I was playing lunch time at the Pamodzi you were pretty generous and would give me a free room and meals if I stayed for the shows you held. Thank God for that because I was only 17 and it just meant my parents on the Copperbelt kept a bevy of relations having business lunches and dinners at both hotels with the discreet eye, haha.
You were a very good guardian angel and I never did get the chance to thank you for allowing me to watch the many acts you presented. I now mostly write for TV and film but still play and as it was never about the money so can’t say I’ve made my fortune but I guess I’m still in love with music…grew up watching you sing “The Greatest American Hero” theme song. Thanks for everything I never thanked you for!

How about that then?


Embrace Africa

We’ve always much admired Peace Corps volunteers and I was therefore delighted to come across this blog from ‘Sarah’ a volunteer somewhere near Lusaka who on her blog ‘EmbraceAfrica‘ says this: ‘My name is Sarah and I was born and raised in Michigan. I graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2008 with Bachelor of Science in Interior Design and a Minor in Graphic Communication. During my time at EMU I was actively involved in His House Christian Fellowship, American Society of Interior Designers, and I balanced a few jobs as well.’

Actually I found Sarah through Twitter and you can follow her at @pcjzambia – I loved this particular story! So different to what might happen in other countries!

“One day a few weeks ago, my tire got a flat on my bike ride home. I had a repair kit, but the glue was finished, so someone helped me do a temporary zam-patch. Well, it turns out that the nozzle was “completely buggard” and a few kilometers later I couldn’t even add tire pressure. As daylight was escaping me I was praying that a car would pass by and pick me up since I was about halfway home, but this was a Saturday afternoon and not as many vehicles travel.

Within less than five minutes of me contemplating my dilemma, a gentleman stops to help me. He knew who I was and lives in a village about 6k past my site. While he was helping me one of the girls in my extended family in the village and another person from my village passed by. Together they coordinated that I would ride home on the back of one bike, my bike on another, and my bag on the third bike. No vehicles did pass for the rest of the day, and I don’t think I would have been able to walk the 7k home before dark, so my needs were met by some gracious friends.”

Big up Sara! Keep up the good work!


Shakespeare Court, Lusaka

Hunting for medium/long term apartment/hotel accommodation in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital? You could do a whole lot worse than Shakespeare Court. It’s on Leopard’s Hill Road in Kabulonga, Lusaka – a place I know well seeing I lived on that street between 1986 and 1992! It’s a lovely leafy suburb of Lusaka but handy too.

There’s a (small) picture of Anthony Harwood and the Shakespeare Court management team up there! Anthony hails from Ottery St Mary in Devon, UK, my home county and is busy here in Zambia and overseas with various projects. We have the pleasure of Anthony’s company at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone this weekend. This is about Shakespeare Court.

“Shakespeare Court provides a large selection of Lusaka apartments within a secure and relaxed community. You are welcome to stay in our Lusaka hotel accommodation from two weeks to two years, or longer.

Each Lusaka apartment is designed for easy living for business visitors & people who are new to Lusaka. Every apartment includes satellite TV and internet connection. You will also find a fully fitted kitchen, so you can prepare your own meals, and nearby you will find Crossroads Shopping Mall with several places to eat, and a modern supermarket.

All apartments include bed linen & towels. So, you can just bring your suitcase, move in & start living. For further information on the local area please read our Guide to Living in Lusaka or download our handy Map of Lusaka.

To book your stay with us please use our availability search, or contact us for assistance in making your booking. We look forward to welcoming you to Shakespeare Court.”

Go to their website for full details!


Holey Vision

I make no bones about reproducing this blog from Tanvir Naomi Bush – Holey Vision – (daughter of a very old friend of mine in Lusaka who healed me in many ways). Holey Vision is currently struggling with a degenerative eye disease as a student in UK. I love the way she writes and admire her humor and enormous courage. This is her latest post:

Last Sunday my journey cost me my entire week’s income support.
All of it.
There is nothing quite like knowing on the Sunday that the rest of the week is all oozing out of the overdraft. The problem was that there were no trains to Kings Cross and we had to reroute and take taxis across London. By the time Grace and I were squeezed onto the Paddington to Bath train we were dishevelled, disgruntled and the stress had caused my eyes to blur. Grace disappeared under the seat in disgust to hoover up old chewing gum and I squinted at my homework through my magnifier.

The train was full to bursting and within a few minutes there was a queue for the seat next to us. I huffed (very quietly in my best British manner) and took my rucksack off the seat to let in a large man with long shaggy grey hair and wire-rimmed specs. He didn’t mind dogs he said and somehow managed to manoeuvre his legs into the spaces left by Grace. His young son had to sit on his lap. There was just no other room.
They were on their way home from a match. I listened for a while as they spoke ‘football’.
‘What was Lampard thinking?’
‘Rooney got one in…..did you see?’
As happens eventually the man and his son asked about the dog and then – because the magnifier was giving me a cracking headache and I was needing to feel empowered again, to feel worth something, I began to whiter on about how I hadn’t always been this way…blind and alone..…oh no.! Once, darling… I had been in the movies, talking pictures..ahh yes..back in the day…..(sighs, turns diva like to camera, lights cheroot, sips dry martini. )
‘I wonder if he is impressed,’ I thought knowing full well that he and his son were probably quite happy to keep discussing goal tactics.
Refusing to release my captured audience on I went.
‘In Zambia,’ I boasted like some hideous ex-colonial ‘I tried, single handed, to jump start a non-existent film industry… ‘
The man laughs kindly and something about the mannerism is somewhat familiar. A little chill runs down my neck. I peer at him closely.
‘Err … are you in media?’ I ask.
‘Well yes I am,’ says the man. His glasses catch the light and I can’t quite tell his expression. ‘I make my own films and stuff.’
There is a pause.
His son is looking at the back of the seat and trying not to grin.
‘Umm.. would I have seen any of your ..’stuff’’? My voice is a little high.
‘Now lets see.’ The man genuinely thinks about this for a second. ‘You may have seen my last release. ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’?’
Turns out I am sitting next to Paul Greengrass .
That’s The Paul Greengrass.
Two Bourne films and ‘United 93’ among other remarkable and ingenious works.
I notice my mouth is open. I shut it.

After a while I manage to open it again and we end up having much banter for the last remaining minutes before they get out at Reading station.

After they have gone I resist the urge to stand up and shout to the other passengers in the carriage, ‘Oy! Did anyone just see that?!’ I nudge Grace but she just chews her gum and turns over.

So after all the delay, the stress, even so, I still feel exuberant and blessed. Of all the trains in all the world I am the woman who gets to have a personal hero from the movie industry and his son spend 15 minutes making me laugh by telling stories of Matt Damon mistakenly hitting someone in the face on set.

I wonder who Grace and I will bump into this week!”

I wonder!


Living In 2009

Thanks to the lovely Amilha Young for this one! There she is in the photo – we worked together at the Ridgeway a long time ago – since when Amilha has become a high powered London lawyer!


1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2 You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn’t have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12 You’re reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn’t a #9 on this list


Go on, forward this to your friends. You know you want to. ha ha ha ha.


Power Of Love Foundation

Recently Alka Subramanian was a Guest at Chanters Lodge in Livingstone. Alka is a Director of the Power of Love Foundation in Lusaka, and this is what they do!

Power of Love develops smart, effective methods to strengthen the community response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Currently, though 99% of the work to counter the spread of HIV is being done at the grassroots level, little funding is going to these community-based organizations. The money that does reach them is used to fulfill immediate on-the-ground needs.

Program funding is often based on meeting performance goals that measure success only by how many people the program reaches, not how effectively the program reaches them. There are few resources and little time in grassroots organizations to explore new, potentially more effective responses to counter the spread of HIV.

Power of Love believes that by utilizing technology and business processes appropriately, we can build creative response models that increase the output of care for each dollar donated.
We design, develop, and test innovative response models to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As the models prove successful, Power of Love shares them with existing grassroots organizations and communities interested in starting new programs for themselves.
We certainly wish them all the best with their wonderful project!

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