Victor Chama Musonda Makes The News!

Meet Victor Chama Musonda (above), guest on the most recent edition of our weekly Sunday night radio show, The Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild, airing at 20.30 hrs CAT on Zambezi 107.7 fm Livingstone’s leading local radio station. The show streams live on the internet too, links are on our Chanters Lodge website or the station’s own site – 18.30 hrs GMT every Sunday, and we’d love you guys out of Livingstone to listen!

It had been such a momentous week for news in Zambia, with the election of a new president from a new ruling party, we felt it appropriate to have a ‘newsman’ as a guest on the show to hear his take on events. Victor is Head of News and Current Affairs at Zambezi fm. “How was your week?” we asked him. “Hectic!” Was the word he used! “We didn’t get much sleep from the time voting started until the final results were announced, I spent most of my time at Livingstone Civic Centre feeding results back to the studio where they were live on air”. He continued. “Now we go live to Victor at the Civic Centre” I said, laughing “we heard you!” “We certainly didn’t get much sleep after the results were announced” I continued “the noise from fireworks, shouting and honking of car horns and blowing of vuvuzuelas in celebration saw to that!”

“How did you get into journalism?” Milli Jam wanted to know and Victor explained that he’d always had an interest in events and writing, so a journalism career seemed to be a natural choice. He explained that he’d studied for three years at the Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka for a Diploma in Journalism. He admitted, however, that he’d always wanted to be a DJ!

The music on the show was hot! We opened with ‘I’ll Fight For You’ by Jason Derulo which samples Toto’s ‘Africa’ a great 80’s favourite in these parts. This track dropped back to back with One Direction’s ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ number one in the UK at the time the show went on air. Our Zambian tracks, selected by George were ‘Mutu’ by T-Boy (‘cut off my head and take out my eyes to stop me messing up’, he’s telling a girlfriend) and George coupled this with Donchi Kubeba by Dandy Crazy. This track almost became a national anthem in Zambia before the election, as the campaign song for the Patriotic Front, the party that won the election. It means ‘don’t tell’ and was urging voters to accept money and gifts from the outgoing political party but then to vote PF! But shhhhh – ‘donchi kubeba’ – don’t tell! Milimo featured ‘How To Love by Lil Wayne from his smash album Carter IV. Oldie of the week was Tina Turner’s ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ and there was a great response to the question ‘who’s singing this?’ Peggy from Maramba won a dinner for 2 at Chanters, she was fast to tell! We closed with Lady Antebellum’s ‘We Owned The Night’ title track from their current US No 1 best selling album. Like I said – hot!

Milimo asked Victor about his family and he told listeners that he was married but only since July, he took the opportunity to greet Theresa his bride who was listening at home. He told us that his father Edward Musonda had played for Kabwe Warriors and the Zambia national soccer team in the early 70’s, and was still actively involved in football administration. He had never bungee jumped but he had certainly walked with lions and ridden elephants with Mukuni Big 5. Before joining Zambezi fm in March 2010 he’d held a similar post at Radio Mosi-o-Tunya also in Livingstone. He further admitted supporting Manchester United. His favourite music was gospel. His ambition to further his education.

Victor stressed the importance of fair reporting and left us with the impression that the news in Livingstone was in excellent hands!


President Elect of Zambia -Hon Michael C Sata

Congratulations to President Elect of Zambia Hon Michael C Sata on his victory at the polls, following tripartite elections in Zambia on my birthday 20th September! Noisy celebrations continued in Livingstone throughout last night and were still happening as we drove to work at 6.15 hrs. Appropriately it’s a warm, sunny morning in Livingstone.

Mr Sata was District Governor of Lusaka when I was General Manager of Southern Sun Ridgeway Hotel in the 80’s and his offices at the Civic Centre were opposite mine at the hotel. He occasionally used to phone saying “I can see you from here, and you’re not working!” Just imagine!


Kutowa Designs

Thanks to George ‘Kaufela’ Soulchild for this contribution!

Fashion designer Towani Clarke of Kutowa Designs won the best designer award at the inaugural Zambia fashion and designers awards ceremony held recently at Lusaka’s Golden Bridge Hotel. Clarke won herself a return ticket to Malaysia courtesy of Air Zimbabwe and her colleague Smart Phiri of Smart Designers receiving a return ticket to Johannesburg courtesy of events organisers Afro-Multimedia Productions.

The Zambia Fashion awards attracted a huge crowd and included musical performances by two upcoming artistes after which models and ten contestants of Manhunt Zambia showcased their dance skills. Designers showcased two outfits each in both creative and evening wear using Zambian colours.

Among the other designers vying for honours were Charity Nyirongo, Petros Ginnakakis, Correta Anold, Harriet Biimbe, Nada, Monde Ndana, Raymond Mulenga and Chiza Ngulube. Others were Natasha Sinyangwe, Katongo Chileshe and Suwilanji in the novice category.

Clarke, a single mother of two, expressed happiness on her achievement and adding that she was motivated by the honour. “I think competitions are good especially when there is a meaningful prize because you know they make us strive harder in order to win,” she said. “I have not trained fully in fashion designing but Charity Nyirongo is training me. I attend her classes, she has a degree in fashion design from Japan, she’s good.”

Clarke said the other secret to her success was the versatility of her outfits which embraced local themes like chitenge.

Meanwhile, second prize winner, Smart Phiri who won in the evening wear category said he was glad and expected to get an award. Katongo Chileshe, a fashion and design student at Evelyn Hone College, expressed joy at winning the novice category award and said she did not expect an award this early but knew that she would one day.

Another designer, Petros Giannakakis popularly known for his bold and funky designs added his voice saying the show was fantastic and great for a start.

Meanwhile, the search for Manhunt Zambia on the other hand came to an end when Kuzi Mvula was crowned winner. Kapalu Dilema emerged Mr International Zambia while Sambou Ngambwe won first prince title, and Joshua Kupa as Mr Personality.

Manhunt Zambia chief executive officer Mofya Chisenga said she is happy about the success of the event and appealed to the corporate world to come on board and assist the men financially in order for them to travel and represent Zambia at the world event.


Peter & Gill Langmead on Zambezi 107.7 fm

Meet Peter and Gill Langmead from Chisamba, north of Lusaka, who’ve been visiting Livingstone to see the lunar rainbow over Victoria Falls for the first time, even though they’ve lived in Zambia for many years. So, we took the chance of inviting them to guest on The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient, our regular Sunday night radio show airing on Zambezi fm every Sunday at 20.30 hrs Zambian time, and also streaming live on the internet. Peter and Gill own Langmead and Baker – click the link to read all about their company!

“Did the lunar rainbow live up to expectations?” Milli Jam asked our guests at the beginning of the programme. “It probably exceeded them” replied Peter “it was absolutely fantastic!” “Did you get some good photos?” We wanted to know. “Absolutely!” said Gill “in fact we’ve already posted quite a lot of them on the internet via Twitter and Facebook”. “How did you hear about Chanters Lodge?” asked Milli Jam. Our guests went on to explain that they’d first made contact with me through Twitter and everything had then fallen into place when they came to make their arrangements to visit Livingstone and see the lunar rainbow. Of course they’d found time to do other things as well, including visits to Livingstone Museum and the Railway Museum, as well as Lawrence Yombwe’s fabulous art gallery.

Peter explained that he’d first come to Zambia in the mid 80’s and that for most of his career he’d been involved in agricultural development – for much of that time with cassava. We were amazed to hear about the many uses of this shrubby plant whose starch filled roots are much in demand in Zambia for food. For some time Peter and Gill produced cassava starch commercially. They’d been involved in many other things, we heard, including but not limited to, the production of essential oils and bath soap, the publication for 5 years of Beauty Zambia magazine and handling media interests and public relations for British Airways in Zambia, amongst a load of other corporate clients!

The music on the show was great. We opened with Cher Lloyd’s ‘Swagger Jagger’ (number one last week in the UK), back to back with One Direction’s ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ – “sure fire future hit” I commented. Our Zambian tracks were ‘Vomela’ by Dalitso and ‘Nalilwala’ by Afunika. (The first track saying ‘if you’re sick, accept it’ and the second ‘I’m sick’ ….apparently!) Milli Jam also featured ‘My Life’ by DJ Khaled and Akon coupled with ‘Oleku’ by Prince ft Brymo. Our oldie of the week was ‘Dancing On The Ceiling’ by Lionel Richie and we closed with Jessie J’s ‘Sometimes Dreams Come True’. (In a disappointing number of replies Enoch won a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge for texting us that it was Lionel Richie singing ‘Dancing’.) The Langmeads informed us that they were friendly with Hip-Hop Mr Cri$iS with whom they had been involved on the United Against Malaria campaign.

Peter and Gill told listeners that they’d been married for 11 years and had originally met in England (in a Hampshire wine bar!) They’d spent some time living in Thailand. Gill’s background was in journalism but at the moment their focus was on public relations and media matters. Peter had just returned from a trip to the far north of Zambia and when they left Livingstone the next morning they were heading for Choma to research a vitamin A enhanced maize.

Interesting, lively and nice guests? You bet!


Longacres Lodge, Lusaka

Lusaka Times reports:

Government has approved a plan to re-develop Longacres Lodge in Lusaka into a five star hotel. Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane said the development of the Longacres Lodge will start in the next six weeks and will be financed by Thukuka Zambia Limited, a South African company with its Zambian partners at a cost of US$35 million.

Mr Musokotwane said the project will be done under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) concept and will be run by a special purpose entity where the developer will be allowed to man the asset for a concession period of 20 years.

Dr. Musokotwane further stated that the developer will be paying Government US$32 million every year while Government will also maintain 15 percent shareholding in the asset until the concession period when it will completely take over.

He also disclosed that the developer will also pay all the employees at the lodge their benefits while those who wish to continue will be re-engaged by the same developer and also noted that the re-development of the lodge into a five star hotel will create an employment opportunity to hundreds of Zambians who will be employees in various capacities during the construction period.

The five star hotel will also house a shopping complex, offices and a spacious parking space.


Lusaka International Airport

LusakaTimes reports:

Government has entered into an agreement with a Turkish firm Guris Holding to upgrade the Lusaka International Airport. The re-modeling will be done in three areas including the face-lifting of the terminal building, the VIP section and the improvement of the marketing side.

He added that Government will not use any money on the project but that this will be financed by the private sector. Minister of Finance Dr. Musokotwane could however not disclose the total cost of the project but said that will be determined after negotiations are concluded in four weeks time.


Ben Blazer

George da Soulchild, co-presenter of our weekly radio show, sent the following report about an interview with Ben Blazer, seated above with some of the young musicians he’s helping!

Renowned producer and songwriter Ben Kalulu fondly known as Ben Blazer has become one of Zambia’s biggest names in the music industry and has produced a number of artistes. The youthful ‘ music maker’ has produced prominent names in the likes of Petersen, Ephraim, Danny, JK, Uniq and more. The Weekend Post recently had a chat with Ben in the following interview:

What is your latest project?

Ans: Well I am working with four artistes namely J.O.B, BobbyEast, Franciar and Flexville. I produce these artistes and I decided to bring them together to form a crew. As for now I am focused on the four so that I can turn them into big stars, then I can incorporate artistes and I do not want to have many people on the click because at times you may find that you have many artistes but only a few have what it takes to be one.

From your own understanding, just explain something about music.

Ans: Music is not like accounts where you are given a formula and you have to solve it. You have to go to school and most importantly have the passion for it because there are times when we have our difficult times but passion always keeps you moving. Whether you admit it or not, music imbeds our daily life, weaving its beauty and emotion through our thoughts, activities and memories. So if you’re interested in music theory, music appreciation, Beethoven, Mozart, or other composers, artists and performers, we hope you’ll spend some time and learn from these music articles of note for all ages and tastes.

Talk about your relations with your artistes.

Ans: I love working with artistes because we are like family. We chat and throw jokes, if you have realized our songs are crazy this is because someone comes up with a word and another also adds up a word just like that. It keeps us moving.

Any music producers you have worked with?

Ans: I have worked with T.K has always inspired me I have worked with him. I have noticed that most Zambian ,musicians just release one song and that is it why? This is because they do not have enough resources to support their music, my advice to the people is that we should buy original albums for artistes so that we can still see and hear their music.

Do you think you now have more people recording at your studio?

Ans: (laughs) well, I can say I am better the way I am now compared to last time where people could pay less money, now they pay good money and there is an acceptable number of people.

Shed some light on your branch in Lusaka.

Ans: As you are aware we have opened a branch here to enable some artistes in Lusaka record from Ben Blazer studio. I have been receiving a number of people coming to the studio to record which is a good thing.

Your advice to other fellow producers?

Ans: If you have never taken a course in of music, you don’t know what you are missing out on. The radio will never sound the same to you again. Everything will seem much more rich, much more luminous, and much more important. A new song can reflect a new way of being, and a new way of imagining life in the world. This is what learning about music means to many of us.


Not Exactly Flavour Of The Month!

George da Soulchild, co-presenter of our weekly radio show, The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient reports:

For years to come, Zambians, particularly Lusaka residents, will live to remember the night when Nigerian singer Chinedu Okoli (above), better known as ‘Sawa Sawa’ or Flavour, performed a K120 million show at the Chrismar Hotel. They will remember him fondly not for his catchy and infectious sing-along hit, but because the West African presented an emphatically shoddy performance as an international artiste.

Well, we have seen talent coming from Nigeria before performing for the same US$25,000 or less. In 2007, P-Square braved heavy rains at Sunset Stadium to make their Zed-six to-six performance pay cheque worthwhile and even if only a dozen fans watched the twins’ concert, the duo travelled back home with a free conscience. The same cannot be said about last Friday evening’s show at Chrismar Hotel where Flavour and his ‘elastic’ dancing maniac duped patrons into a broke long weekend.

Music promoters will have to share the blame for the losses recently suffered as they created rivalry between the Chrismar gig and the Sound Check concert at Barclays Sports complex.

Nevertheless, let’s talk about what went wrong at Chrismar.

Pegged at K100,000 per head, the show was expected to be one of the best, especially that the foreign artiste is currently topping continental music charts with his Sawa Sawa hit. Fans, predominantly young, trooped to the hotel early to catch the artiste’s full performance but he did not show up until in the dead cold of 01:00 hours on Saturday when the braziers went out to conquer the icy breeze.

When Flavour finally appeared on stage, the girls screamed in his support as he quickly greeted the audience and went on to introduce the first song which he mimed in his native Iigo.

Yes, he did not play any live music despite the equipment which was stylishly dumped on the podium as Qfm DJ Tony Rollercoaster squeezed the beats out of the No Parking Band CD player with the help of the guest artiste’s brother and manager Benjamin.

The night’s climax came a moment later when the dread-locked singer played his second and more popular Sawa Sawa track and since it was the only song he prepared for the night, the DJ had to play it twice for good measure.

Flavour’s dancer, looking highly inebriated, uncontrollably displayed her nimble-legged performance much to the delight of the fans… but that was it for the night, two songs and the show was over. Despite coming at the right time when Zambians still have the appetite for his Sawa Sawa, Flavour has ironically left a sour taste in many patrons.

Oh dear!


Sakala Brothers Arts Centre

We lament the recent closure of The Arts Cafe in Livingstone, following so closely on Jane Osborne’s Ngoma Zanga Zambian Restaurant shutting down. There’s now no traditional food and dancing experience for tourists in Livingstone – surely a business opportunity for someone! Good to see then that the Sakala Brothers (above) are deeply involved in Lusaka. They’ve entertained so many people over the years.

THE Sakala Brothers recently hosted the French Ambassador and delegates from Alliance Francaise for the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Sakala Brothers Arts Centre and Ambassador 0livier Richard at Lusaka Playhouse. The centre has since last year been training students in music disciplines such as guitar, piano, voice training, violin and traditional drums.

“We have several classes for various disciplines” said Moses Sakala. “For example, we have students doing guitar lessons, some learning how to play traditional drums, while others are in the dance class and voice training class. Last year we registered about 100 people from different parts of Lusaka but the number has since reduced,” he said. He said the centre has employed qualified tutors to train students in the different disciplines.

Sakala has urged musicians in the country to take up such classes if they are to gain a wider knowledge and understanding of their craft, adding that the programme is open to the public hence anyone interested should enroll. “I think it‘s very important for a musician to understand musical instruments, because in these times of piracy one cannot rely on CD sales but live performances,” he stressed.

He also disclosed that currently the duo is recording an album set to be released this year and that albums artistes for Indy K, Theresa and Alex will be produced under the Sakala Brothers Centre. The centre, established in 2009 by Moses and Levy Sakala, was set up to preserve and promote Zambian music and enrich professional musicianship in the country.

The duo, whose vision is to build a music school in Zambia, has called on the government to value the arts and consider establishing a ministry of arts that will seriously look into issues affecting the industry.

Thanks to George Soulchild and Weekend Post for the report.


Mampi Rocks!

George da Soulchild, co-presenter of our Sunday night radio show on Zambezi fm radio in Livingstone sent this report:

“Recently Mampi got a rousing welcome at a packed Lusaka’s Eastpoint nightclub in Kabwata in anticipation of another one of her signature livewire performances. However, Mampi’s visibly enhanced waistline inhibited her from producing her fiery stage act that has been her trademark since the launch of her music career!

The venue meanwhile was packed as early as 20:00 hours and revellers saw Mampi take to the stage in the absence of her dancing queens. Mampi was instead supported by an unidentified back-up singer and managed to deliver her skills and keep the audience entertained, especially with tracks from her new project to be distributed by J-Kayo Records and set for release very soon.

She divided her act in two sets each lasting not more than an hour with only a few selected songs from her collection. In her first set, Mampi’s performance was upstaged by her looks as the audience was seemingly glued to her stiletto heels and skintight outfit in which she squeezed her extra kilos.

She later raised the temperature of the house when she introduced Copperbelt based hip-hop artiste Macky 2 who appeared as a surprise guest. Macky 2, who is the first Zambian artiste to feature more than ten other artistes including Mampi on his hit anthem Ndimupondo, began with a laidback performance of two songs supporting Mampi on stage. This after Mampi had earlier got a little help from her fellow Lusaka-based artistes Nel T and CK-Zee as curtain raisers. As starters, the duo was equally impressive when they performed their hit Chigololo and the song Zangaliyana whose video is set for release next month.

Eventually Mampi gave an improved closing act as she appeared more energized following a change of outfit. She performed among other popular songs the now-famous Why and Swililili her duet with PJ Swililili both produced by Digital X’s Raydo.

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