Shadreck Mulilo – The Singing Chef!

I loved this story from The Post – a collision of my interests if ever there was one! We wish Shadreck all the best with his album and will certainly try and feature a track on our local radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient ft George da Soulchild which I co-host and which airs every Sunday at 20.30 hrs on Zambezi FM.

A Lusaka based chef says the release of his debut album Wilasakamana is the fulfillment of a childhood dream. Shadreck Mulilo, 30 of Lusaka’s five-star Taj Pamodzi Hotel says he has been singing since he was a child.

“Basically I will say I was born with music within me,” says the married father of three. “My father used to sing, though he was not a musician, but he loved playing guitar, and traditional instruments, and sometimes he would sing to my mother. Then I picked it up from there. In 1997, I met a friend named Joseph Chanda. He was singing and looking for a partner to sing with. We used to sing, rap…we blended so well, and we started from there.”

The duo featured on ZNBC TV’s ‘Sounds Good’ programme, before Mulilo decided to pursue his vision to do a solo project. Upon joining Pamodzi in 2005, Mulilo collaborated with the hotel’s resident band on working on his album. “The band had been in music for over 20 years, had retired, and they were singing jazz and blues music. I talked to them, they heard my vision, and they were excited. So we rehearsed for about a year and a half, then we were ready to go to the studio where we recorded all the instruments live.”

Wilasakamana, which was released last year, comprises ten songs of praise, worship and inspiration. Among these are the title track, Exalted, Twalipalwa, Ba Lesa wandi, Libe Iyacindikwa, Ewingansunga, Ba Neighbour and Tumulumbanye. Abstinence, which features two of Mulilo’s children, warns against the dangers of HIV/AIDS. Mulilo says the song, which talks about a high-achieving student who used to go nightclubs and later discovered that he was HIV positive, is based on a true story.

Mulilo has so far shot four music videos. He says there is abundant music talent in the country and condemns the rampant piracy that’s affecting the local industry. Mulilo, who has been a chef for over ten years, says music and cooking are his passions. “I’ve only chosen two things in my life: that is singing and cooking. So if I’m not singing, I’m cooking. If I’m not working, I’m at the studio, at church, or attending some shows. Cooking is demanding, but I think cooking is art as well as music,” Mulilo says.

Having previously also worked at Arabian Nights and Hotel Intercontinental, Mulilo says he is planning to write a book on cookery. “I am a worker of God, so minister Mulilo means working for God. I looked at how God wants me to work, which is to win souls to him and I looked at also vulnerable people, like the orphans, the children who need help … I said I could impact a small, a young generation, so that we leave an inheritance for them, and show them the good way,” says Mulilo.

Best of luck Shadreck! Keep on cooking and rocking!


RIP Soosh Matix

George da Soulchild’s mournful piece about the passing of a local musician and DJ

Tributes have continued to flow in following the death of Tendai Maswiswi aka DJ Soosh Matix in a road accident in Lusaka last Friday. It’s very evident that the sudden departure of Lusaka’s Hot FM DJ Soosh has left a huge void in the hearts and minds of many that knew him. This is clear in the way several Zambian entertainers & the DJ’s Facebook status are filled with heartfelt condolences & memories of the very liked DJ Soosh Matix, much as he was known as funny DJ Soosh on radio. His family is mourning the child they have lost.

Soosh, a Zimbabwean who spent most of his productive life in Zambia, was born in Kadoma in 1982. He was employed at Lusaka’s Hot 87.7 FM as a DJ and worked passionately with many local Zambian hip hop artists, including the XYZ crew where he became a member and helped promote the group’s brand.

XYZ founder Slap Dee said the hip hop family will miss Soosh, adding that XYZ will never be the same without him. “Soosh was like a brother to me – a brother who supported XYZ and represented it as his crew. I still don’t believe he’s gone and it will take me some time to come to terms with what has happened. We will soon work on the ‘Unwritten Testament Reload’ Soosh’s album, and all funds raised from album sales will go to his child and to the mother of his child” he said.

Zambian rapper C.R.I.$.I.S has described Soosh as a creative and open-minded person. “Despite being from Zimbabwe, Soosh quickly grasped the local Zambian languages and had no problem fitting into society. This was symbolic of his being an open-minded person. He was always ready and excited to learn new things or explore horizons further than the eye could see. He was full of life and always had something up his sleeve. He was constantly creative and trying new things, as he hated monotony.” Said C.R.I.$.I.$ who performed with Soosh on several occasions, including last year when the duo went to Zimbabwe to perform at the Akon-Sean Paul concert.

“I will always remember him for his great humour and understanding. Just the thought of working with him puts a smile on my face and I know that I was blessed to have had a friend like him. African Hip-Hop has lost a valuable part and it’s irreplaceable,” added C.R.I.$.I.$.

In broadcasting, Soosh’s versatility shone through, with his lively and highly interactive shows on Hot FM drawing scores of listeners. He fondly described himself as the ‘baddest boy on radio’. His colleagues at the station had difficulties accepting news of his passing on, dedicating most of their shifts last week to paying their last respects. The corporate world will also dearly miss Soosh who hosted a number of corporate shows including the Brick and Lace concert last year and most recently the Zamtel-Hot FM Panga Nyimbo project where he played a very prominent role.

On Monday, various musicians, radio personalities, friends, colleagues and family members gathered at Ideal Funeral Home in Villa, Lusaka to bid farewell as Soosh’s body was later taken to Zimbabwe for burial. At the time of his death, he had recorded several songs and had just released an EP called ‘The Unwritten Testament.’ It had underground hits such as ‘Close Your Eyes,’ ‘Move Back’ and ‘Two.’ He was passionate about the project which featured production from several producers around the African continent.

Tendai had also just been listed to be a part of Sony Music as a budding artist. His music proved popular among the Hip-Hop fraternity and his dream was just beginning to unfold.

Rest in peace Soosh Matix.


Dandy Krazy’s Outburst!

George da Soulchild, co-presenter of our weekly Sunday night radio show The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient, writes about the recent outburst by one of Zambia’s best known local artists (above).

“Dandy Krazy could be the most hated local artist at the moment thanks to the comments he made during a performance at Breakpoint in Lusaka recently! Dandy Krazy‘s outbursts against both the Ngoma, and Born & Bred awards has raised a lot of concern among fellow artists and the Zambian Association of Musician (ZAM) alike, all agreeing that the behaviour exhibited by Dandy was unacceptable.

The incident took place a fortnight ago during a performance, when Dandy said he didn’t believe in the Born & Bred Awards or The Ngoma Awards because the prize monies they offered was insufficient and only belittled the winning artists. He further described the Born and Bred Awards as useless and the Ngoma Awards as rubbish!

The Born and Bred Awards is an initiative by Innocent Kalaluka the producer of Smooth Talk which came about to encourage local musicians to produce quality music videos that can also play on international music video TV. Currently K1m is the prize money. ZAM is one of the prestigious musician organizations that hold the annual Ngoma Awards. Many are of the view that Dandy should apologise because insulting these awards is like insulting the entire music industry in Zambia.”

(Ed – As a previous winner of an Ngoma Award, I fully agree!)


Egypt Air New Route To Zambia

Although we wish there were more international flights coming into Livingstone from Europe and Asia, any new ones into Zambia are welcome, so we’re happy to report this through LusakaTimes

North African aviation giant Egypt Air has launched its first ever direct commercial flight to Zambia. The first Egypt Airliner recently touched down at the Lusaka International Airport carrying Egypt Air Chairman, Captain Alaa Ashour and Zambia’s Ambassador to Egypt Lieutenant General Herbert Simutowe among other passengers. Egyptian Ambassador to Zambia Salah EL Sadek was on hand to receive the delegation.

Speaking to the press later, Ambassador Simutowe said the introduction of the direct flight from Zambia to Egypt and back would have a positive effect on the Zambian economy. He said Egypt being a developed country, the new route would also see more investors and tourists visiting Zambia. And Ambassador El Shadek said the introduction of Zambia on the list of Egypt Air destinations was as a result of President Rupiah Banda’s fruitful visit to the country recently.

He said the development would also enhance the long standing good relations that the two countries were enjoying.


Rollcall 2010 – Farewell

George da Soulchild aka Kaufela, co-presenter of our Sunday night radio show on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm in Livingstone writes about those in the entertainment world in Zambia who sadly passed on in 2010. The photo is of Mike Tabor who was a good friend of mine and a great DJ.

Roll Call 2010 (Final Farewell)

The past 12 months have seen the death of individuals who have played a notable role in the arts and entertainment industry in Zambia. Today we pay tribute to some of the well known faces no longer with us.

Renowned actor and Muvi TV Director of Programmes Augustine Lungu died on March 20 after an illness. Lungu featured in numerous theatre productions and represented Zambia at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival together with Benne Banda in the two man act ‘Headers and Footers’. An avid supporter of the arts, Lungu once served as Chairman of Lusaka Theatre Club as well as the National Theatre Arts Association of Zambia. He also presented the ‘Kwachamania’ show on ZNBC, as well as the ‘Ready for Marriage’ reality show and ‘Breakfast With The Boys’ on Muvi TV.

Celtel star search finalist Levins Mwanza died on October 11 from kidney failure. The 29 year old singer had established himself as a strong contender in the 2006 singing competition, before being eliminated in the latter stages of the show. Mwanza was among a new breed of up-coming musicians to emerge from the Celtel show and went on to record chart success with his song Nalema. Prior to his death he was recording an album with RomaSide studio called ‘Tizakumana’.

The local radio industry also mourned the passing of Mike ‘The Maverick’ Tabor, who died in Lusaka on 17 October. Born in Harlem, NYC on December 13 1946, Micheal Aloysius Tabor joined the Black Panther party, but fled the US in the early 1970s after he and several Panther members were accused of conspiring to bomb public buildings in New York City. Although the group was acquitted of all charges, Tabor did not return to the US, travelling first to Algeria and eventually to Zambia where he made his home. He was one of the first DJs on Radio 4. At the time of his death he was working for 5 FM radio in Lusaka. He is survived by his wife Priscilla Matanda, a daughter and three sons.

Ragamuffin artist Crystal Shaun died on December 4. Born Webster Katongo Chilufya, the 27 year old rapper developed his own style of poetry with Bemba lyrics. He also collaborated with several top local artistes including TY2, Leo Muntu, K’millian, Hamooba and Kaufela. He is survived by a wife and son.

May their souls rest in peace as we carry their dreams forward.


Airport Security Charge

National Airports in Zambia have introduced an ‘airport security charge’ on departure for all passengers – US$5 per person international and US$3 per person domestic. Please make sure you have the cash available in either US$ or Zambian Kwacha. It is not clear at this stage whether the charge can be included in the cost of your ticket, like the regular departure tax.

The police are now checking underneath vehicles with mirrors as you approach Livingstone Airport. Presumably this irritating new charge is to pay for this service.

Happy New Year!


Isaac Mwanza & Mubiana Jeff Nalwendo

Our Guests on the latest edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient, featuring George Da Soulchild, were Isaac Mwanza (left) and Mubiana Jeff Nalwendo pictured above. Isaac is IT Manager at Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm and Mubiana is Production and Programmes Manager. Bit incestuous you’re thinking, considering our regular Sunday night radio show goes out on their station? Maybe, but they guys were there for a purpose.

As well as being part of the management of the station both gentlemen are very popular local DJ’s! Isaac goes on air as DJ Chin Cavaly 2010 and Jeff is MJ Fabulous! This Saturday 4th December the guys are organizing a show in Livingstone for upcoming musicians where the young and talented can display their music to the fans. (This stirred memories for me as we used to do the same sort of thing at Southern Sun Ridgeway Hotel on Folk Night, every Tuesday. A lot of older musicians in Zambia got their break on that show.) “Who’s starring for you”? I asked. “Locally it’s Kaufela” they replied, “but we’re bringing in BFlow from Lusaka, because we feel the fans should get value for the K15,000 per ticket they’ll be paying”. “Tell me about Kaufela” I continued. “George can tell you more” Isaac said. “It’s me” said George. “Yes” I said “you’re going to tell us about him”. “It’s me”! George said again, “I’m Kaufela”. Well, blow me down! I’d realised George was also a musician, but had no idea he was so well known on the local scene! MJ and Chin took the chance to thank all the many local companies that were helping to sponsor the show, including Chanters Lodge. The final line up of musicians had yet to be confirmed but it was announced that Milli Jam would be MC for the show!

Milli Jam wanted to know how Isaac and Mubiana had come up with their show business names. Isaac was reticent but said he changed his name every year and it was nothing to worry about. Mubiana said that at his father’s suggestion he had had used his initials, and it was the fans early on in his career at UNZAfm who’d added ‘Fabulous’. Mubiana is a graduate in Mass Communications from the University of Zambia and Isaac is expecting admission into the Copperbelt University next year to read computer studies. He’s already an expert in this field. MJ is famous for playing new numbers, Chin for hip-hop and r&b plus his chart knowledge which is legendary.

The music on the show was good but somehow drowned out by the noise! When DJ’s get together – and there were 5 in the studio including Tendai With An ‘i’ but not including me – they talk a lot. Anyway we played ‘Girls Fall Like Dominoes’ by Nicki Minaj, back to back with ‘So Alive’ by Skepta ft NDubz. Kaufela’s selection was ‘Hands Across The World’ by ONE8 the smash hit combination of R Kelly and loads of African artists including JK, a Zambian star. George coupled it with ‘Nibandani Ba Nzako’ from the new as yet unreleased K’Millian album. ‘Where are your friends when you need them’ was the translation. Milli Jam featured Rick Ross with ‘Aston Martin Music’.

Isaac and Mubiana briefed listeners about their roles at Zambezi fm as well as plans for the station’s new website and we gave away the usual dinner for 2 – won on this occasion by the manager of a rival local radio station! It was a good and informative show.


Holey Vision

Holey Vision is the title of Tanvir Bush’s blog and well worth reading regularly. She has an awesome spirit and a wonderful way of writing. She suffers from a degenerative eye disease and writes beautifully too about her guide dog Grace. The two of them are pictured above – having fun!

Here she writes about the progress of Mike Bush – her dad – suffering cancer – my doctor at the Minbank Clinic in Lusaka for years and a very good friend. On a sadder note she writes of the wanton and despicable death of Mark Jellis, late son of John Jellis, very well known orthopedic surgeon in Lusaka. He and his family have also been good friends and Clients over the years. Tanvir writes:

“My Dad is given the thumbs up and a 99% all clear after a follow up check on his stem cell treatment. He flies back to Lusaka immensely relieved. He’ll have to go back again in three months but for the moment it is all really pretty damn wonderful.

“Then, on the Wednesday night my sister calls to say that Mark has died. Mark J was my friend, the older brother of a childhood buddy in Zambia. He was a lovely, handsome, gentle farming (he didn’t farm ‘gentles’..I mean he WAS gentle..and he farmed too..) man who spoke fluent chiNyanja and was a serious fundi of all things ‘Zambian bush.’ He played guitar, drank whiskey, loved to jitterbug (and had once pulled me, back then a rather stodgy teenager, onto the dancefloor and thrown me skywards and spun me around until I was dizzy and besotted.)

A few weeks ago he went to collect wages for his farm workers and a gang held them up and robbed them, shooting, for no apparent reason, Mark directly in the head and chest. And even then..and even then ..he clung on for six weeks undergoing extreme operations in a hospital in SA but his injuries were too much. Violent death makes bloody rents in the world. People stagger listlessly, confused by the news, unable to know what to say to each other, to the close families left behind, the parents, the children, the partners. Those rents don’t heal like tears from other deaths. They go on bleeding for a long, long time. They make us feel shabby with helplessness, angry and weary.

Edani Bwino mzanga, wrote his friend Miranda. Travel well. She posts a photo of Mark on Facebook. He is smiling hugely, all blond hair and teeth, the afternoon sun golden on his face and the big blue sky fading to evening behind him.”

This piece touched my heart.


Mike Tabor

Mike Tabor, above left in the photo, died last week. He was a friend of mine. I knew Connie, his first wife, before I knew him. Connie was involved with the UN Institute for Nambia in Lusaka in the late 70’s early 80’s and Ridgeway Hotel, of which I was general manager, had the contract to cater for that institiution – feeding some 250 students daily as I recall. Later I met Mike and we became good friends through a mutual friendship with late Trevor Ford – the cartoonist ‘Yuss’ in the Post newspaper. Mike was one of the first DJ’s on Radio Mulungushi – Zambia’s first fm radio station allowed to play ‘Western music’ and Mike certainly knew his music. He will be sadly missed. Here’s his obituary from the New York Times

Michael Tabor, one of 13 Black Panther Party members acquitted in 1971 of conspiring to bomb public buildings and murder police officers in New York City, died on Oct. 17 in Lusaka, Zambia. He was 63. The cause was complications of several strokes, said Melvin McCray, a friend and an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism who was producing a documentary about Mr. Tabor.

On May 13, 1971, Mr. Tabor and his co-defendants were found not guilty of all charges of planning to bomb department stores, police stations, train stations and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and to murder police officers. Mr. Tabor, a captain in the New York branch of the Panthers, was not in State Supreme Court in Manhattan when the verdict was read. He and another defendant, Richard Moore, had fled to Algeria four months into the eight-month trial — one of the longest in New York history.

The prosecution’s case rested largely on the testimony of three undercover agents who said they had heard the defendants plan the bombings and killings and had attended classes where they were taught to shoot weapons and make bombs. In a verdict that came after two hours of deliberation, the jury foreman said, “Not guilty” 156 times.

The flight of Mr. Tabor and Mr. Moore came at a time of strife between the East and West Coast factions of the Panther Party. Huey P. Newton, its supreme commander, denounced the two men for abandoning their co-defendants. Mr. Tabor said they had left out of fear for their lives, not because of the trial.

“I am overjoyed that the brothers are free,” he said from Algiers. “I always said that the case was an attempted railroad and that the defendants’ rights were flagrantly violated.”

For a time, he and Mr. Moore were guests of the Algerian government, Mr. McCray said, but they were eventually expelled. Mr. Tabor and his first wife, Connie Mathews, who had been the party’s international coordinator, moved to Zambia in 1972. Mr. Tabor became a writer on politics and culture for numerous publications and a radio host in Zambia. “The old guard of African liberation movements respected him as a freedom fighter,” Mr. McCray said.

Born in Harlem on Dec. 13, 1946, Michael Aloysius Tabor was one of two children of Grace and Michael Tabor Sr. He joined the Panther Party when he was 19 and went by the name of a 19th-century Zulu king, Cetewayo.

Mr. Tabor, whose first wife died, is survived by his second wife, the former Priscilla Matanda; his sister, Lorraine Tabor; a daughter; and three sons.

“I often asked him if he would be interested in returning to the United States,” Mr. McCray said, “but he adamantly said he would remain in Africa.”

May his soul rest in peace.


Maureen Lilanda

Looking for something to blog this morning, I turned to a piece that George Souldchild wrote about the Chanters Lodge Experience, our weekly Sunday night radio show that goes out on Zambezi Radio on 107.7 fm at 20.30 hrs, while I was away on leave:

“How are you? How’s the England weather treating you? Livingstone is hot! Too hot! Despite that I’m OK and so is Millie Jam. We really missed you again last Sunday, the response was very good. The playlist was a mixture as always. We played ‘Your Love’ by Nickie Minaj, ‘Coca Cola’ by Oga Kent (very hot Zambian song at the moment). Also JK featuring Salma – ‘Kapiripiri’, Ne-Yo ‘Crazy Love’ and Chris Brown – ‘Deuces’ – just to mention a few.” Sounds a really good show!

After this George went on to write:

Maureen Lupo Lilanda to just Lupo

Soulful songstress Maureen Lupo Lilanda is re-branding her stage name. Affectionately referred to as Aunt Maureen locally, the singer now wants to be identified as Lupo. At 43, Maureen’s music career is not strange to Zambia, and the singer is confident her latest stage identity will not take anything away from her music.

The Ngoma award winner, whose latest album is being produced by Zamsounds of Denmark, said that her album will be entitled ‘Simply Lupo’. “I’m dropping Maureen and Lilanda, I’m just using Lupo on stage. I think musically Lupo sounds easier to pronounce and easier to remember and also I am pro-Zambian, so really I would like to drop the name Maureen because that’s borrowed culture.” She said she’d slowly been introducing the name Lupo to prepare her fans for the change.

“If you noticed I changed from Maureen Lilanda to Maureen Lupo Lilanda, so people will not notice much difference when it’s just Lupo. It will now be the re-establishment of Maureen as Lupo,” Lilanda explained. She described her musical journey as an evolution, tracing it from the time she was a young African trying to imitate Western musicians, to now a mature artiste who appreciates her own tradition and culture.

“In terms of the first album, I was doing everything myself, dancing and all, and now I’m really appreciating my roots and I have people taking care of the recording. I think I’m more experienced, more mature and more saleable, more convincing and more pro-Zambian,” she said.

Lilanda was reluctant to divulge more information about her latest offering but promised not to depart from her style. “People should just look out for Simply Lupo and I think all the songs have a social concern in them, so just look out for all the songs on the album,” she said.

Lilanda said she decided to record in Denmark as a way of attaching great importance to the quality of the product and promised that Simply Lupo was expected to hit the shelves by February 2011.”

This piece interested me. Maureen made her stage debut at the Ridgeway Hotel’s Folk Night when I was General Manager of that hotel – a mighty popular show it was every Tuesday evening too – a great place for unknown artists to come along and show their talent. Maureen’s father was PermSec in the Ministry of Tourism and a friend of mine. We wish Maureen all the best with her new image and new album! We’ll certainly feature it – and her – on our radio show when we get the chance!

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