The Last 2014 Experience! Miss Anny stars!

The last 2014 edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz starred none other than Chanters Lodge Assistant Manager Annastasia Mwila Katele as our Guest of The Week. It’s some three years since Miss Anny (as she is known by the Chanters Girls) last appeared on the show and the level of maturity and self confidence she has reached in that time is most impressive. Says a lot about her and her ability to learn – there she is cavorting with Milli Jam and Jay in the picture above! The Experience has now been on air every Sunday on Zambezi 94.1 fm at 20.30 CAT for the past 7 years and in 2015 we go into our eighth year. The show keeps the name of the lodge in the Livingstone public eye, is nice for our Guests staying in the lodge who feature from time to time, and a good staff motivator too. The Chanters Girls love the show, especially when one of ‘their own’ is featured!

Annastasia told listeners she was given that name by her grandmother, her grandfather insisted that he too should be part of the naming ceremony hence the Mwila in her name, meaning ‘air’ in the Bemba language. “So you’re Bemba?’ surmised Milli Jam. Anny told us that her mum hails from Malawi! She has a daughter – Maryam now aged 14 and studying Grade 10 at Linda Secondary School here in Livingstone. Anny has been working at Chanters Lodge for 12 years having first joined on attachment in 2002. ‘Time flies’! Said Milli Jam and he’s not wrong! Anny explained that she had undertaken a course in food and beverage at the Livingstone Youth Community Training Centre run by the Catholic Church in Livingstone in 2000. ‘Are you Catholic’? asked Milli Jam. “No, I’m Moslem” replied Anny, and she is! She explained that both her mum and late dad were of that faith and she had continued in the family tradition. She prayed at the mosque on Obote Avenue when she chanced to be off on Fridays.

The music on the show was good as usual. We played tracks by Echosmith and Madonna. The guys dropped numbers from Sarkodie ft Banky W – a Ghanian act. Also from Izrael, Roberto (so hot in Zambia right now) and Usher featuring Nicki Minaj. Our oldie of the week was the late Joe Cocker’s Heart of The Matter but no-one won the prize we give each week to the first person to text us the name of the artist on the oldie. My pick of the week was OT Genesis’s ‘Co-Co’ and we closed with TINA by Fuse ODG scheduled to become our opening theme for the show in 2015 (‘This Is New Africa’ for the uninitiated.)

¬†Anny told us that she loves all kind of music, her international favourite artist is Miley Cyrus and on the local scene ‘Roberto’. She admitted to loving shoes more than music and that she had lost count of the number of ‘heels’ in her possession! She supports Arsenal and denied that she had been cajoled into it by the director. Her favourite player is Theo Walcott. “Because he’s handsome?” Wondered Milli Jam. “Because he’s a great player’ replied Anny tersely. She told listeners that she loves her job, especially dealing with people, although she admitted that this was also the greatest challenge. Asked where she would like to be and what she would like to be doing in ten years’ time, our pretty, hard working, talented, well spoken strict Assistant Manager told us that she would like to have her own business, be married and have some more children. The subsequent excitement of Milli Jam and Jay was curtailed by my mention of Anny’s mum – the matriarch of the family!
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The Canton Experience!

Meet Stephano Canton (left above) and Paolo Veriti (right above), Guests on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz. The Experience is our weekly radio show airing every Sunday at 20.30 hours on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. As you might guess from their names, Steph and Paolo hail from Italy, Stephano intends to settle in Zambia and revealed to listeners that just the previous weekend he had married Claire, his Zambian girl friend with whom he is very much in love! Both Steph and Paolo hail from a small town in Italy about an hour or so north of Venice. Paolo was visiting Zambia, staying at Chanters Lodge, helping Stephano to set up their new business in Livingstone.

Our Italian guests told our listeners that they had recently opened a new establishment in down town Livingstone and currently were offering 18 different flavours of home made Italian ice cream. Their new industrial pasta machine had just arrived in the country so they would shortly be offering pasta as well as pizza at their new Canton Restaurant. They told us that together with the garden the restaurant can accommodate 200+ customers and that currently they employ 11 staff, though finding well trained workers was proving to be a challenge. They also offer Zambian food. Stephano had first come to Zambia as a volunteer in Northern Province and had fallen in love with the country, the people and the weather.

The music on the show was good. Stephano asked us to play Kumanda by Chico Wise ft B1, his new bride’s favourite track, so we did. We also played Chris Malinchak’s ‘So Good’. Others were from Slap Dee, Jesse J ft Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, Redlight, Trey Songz and ShiftKey. The oldie of the week was by van Morrison but no-one won the prize we offer of a dinner for two at the lodge to the first person to text us the name of the artist on the track. My pick of the week was a new track from Magic! ‘I Would’.

Our Guests told us that they have a Karaoke night every Friday at the Canton and hope in future to have a live local band at weekends. They had not had time to participate in any of the Livingstone tourist activities having been too busy with the wedding  and setting up a business. They support Udinese their local football team in Italy, famous for having brought up a lot of young players including Alexis Sanchez now a big star with Arsenal. They both love Zambian music. Paolo told listeners that he’s been married for 30 years and has two daughters, one living in Milan, one living in London.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing ten years’ from now, Stephano wanted to have many children with Claire and to have a successful big ice cream company in Zambia with many franchisees. Paolo hoped to be still visiting Zambia many times a year. We thanked them for coming on the show and wished them all the best with their business

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Toxic Workers!

Loved this from Inc Magazine. Do you have these ‘toxic workers’ in your company killing productivity?

1. The Chameleon
In the animal kingdom, the Chameleon changes color in order to escape notice. In the business world, the chameleon changes roles in order avoid work. He volunteers for (or gets himself assigned to) multiple teams and working groups. He then uses that fact to justify never taking an action item within any of the teams because he’s “stressed to the max” due to the “huge workload” that he’s taken on…in other meetings.

When salary review comes, the Chameleon claims credit for “helping” all those teams achieve their goals. The best way to deal with a Chameleon is to assign specific projects that require the Chameleon to work solo and have ambitious deadlines. Use surprise “status update” meetings, to prevent the Chameleon from getting other people to do the work.

2. The Ornament
In the day-to-day world, an ornament, of course, is something you put on a Christmas tree or car hood. In business, Ornaments are people who get by on their looks rather than on their contribution. There are two types: Female Ornaments tend to be model-esque, in a “Victoria’s Secret” way. Men are so fascinated by the Ornament’s appearance that she can get them do to anything she wants. (There was a Seinfeld episode about this phenomenon.)

Male Ornaments have the tall, square-jawed, perfect-hair, perfect-suit appearance that immediately identifies them as authoritative and business-like. (Think Mitt Romney, but without the high IQ.) If you can’t fire an Ornament, put him or her in a “face the public” job where good looks are actually an asset to the company. For example, both the female and male Ornaments mentioned above were quite effective as “demo dollies” at trade shows.

3. The Ball and Chain
In history, a ball and chain was a weight clamped around a prisoner’s leg so that he couldn’t run fast enough to escape. In business, a Ball and Chain is a person inside an organization whose job is to ensure that the company never takes risks, a.k.a. a corporate lawyer.

When asked whether or not the company should try something new, a corporate lawyer will always say no, because if things go right, the lawyer gets no credit, but if things go wrong, the lawyer gets blamed.

Corporate lawyers are also adept at creating legal red tape, ostensibly to lessen risk, but also to strengthen their stranglehold over the organization. If left unchecked, they can gum up the works so that it becomes impossible to do anything at all.

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Chris Taxis and Tours

It is inspiring to see how Chris Mweetwa (above) has expanded and developed his company over the past five years. The latest addition to his ‘fleet’ being a luggage trailer (parked at our lodge) – and they are not cheap. Chris looks after most of our Guest and staff transport requirements and comes highly recommended. Here’s the link to his website. Don’t forget to review his operation on Trip Advisor if you have used his services. Here’s the blurb:

“We are a travel and leisure company offering excellent and cost effective Tour and Car Hire Services in Zambia. We are located in Livingstone home to the Mighty Victoria falls.

The Company, since its establishment represents transport products, which have been carefully, selected from major activities provided in Livingstone. Acting this way, Chris Taxi & Tours Ltd has managed to continually enrich its product line, from simple ordinary taxi business to the modern transport system of the new millennium and to recently expand its activities to offer tours to the tourism sector.”

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Staff Motivation

A great short piece from Inc written by Peter Economy is on the spot for managers! The picture is two of our long serving staff at Chanters Lodge appearing as Guests on our local radio show.

1. Interesting Work
No one wants to do the same boring job over and over, day after day. Though a certain amount of routine and repetition is part of almost every job, make sure each employee finds at least part of his or her job highly interesting. As management theorist Frederick Herzberg put it, “If you want someone to do a good job, give them a good job to do.” Find out which tasks your employees most enjoy and use that information when you make future assignments.

2. Information
Information really is power, and your employees want to be empowered with the information they need to do their jobs better and more effectively. And, more than ever, employees want to know how they are doing in their jobs and how the company is doing in its business. Open the channels of communication so that employees are well informed, can ask questions, and can share information. Be transparent, honest, and forthright. Those qualities will have a direct impact on employees’ effectiveness.

3. Involvement
As the speed of business continues to increase, the amount of time you have to make decisions continues to decrease. Involving employees in decision making, especially when the decisions affect them directly, is both respectful and practical. Those closest to the problem typically have the best insight as to what to do. Involving others will increase their commitment and speed the implementation of new ideas or changes.

4. Independence
Few employees want their every action to be closely watched and monitored, or for their every decision to be questioned or micromanaged. Most employees appreciate having the flexibility to do their jobs as they see fit and to make decisions independently. Giving people latitude increases the chance that they will bring additional initiative, ideas, and energy to their jobs.

5. Increased Visibility
Everyone appreciates getting credit when it is due. Occasions to celebrate employee successes are almost limitless, and you should never let one pass. One of the best and most highly motivating forms of recognition is to give your employees new opportunities to perform, learn, and grow in response to their recent achievements. They will always rise to the occasion, becoming even more engaged, productive, and effective.

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Stress Spreads Like Flu!

Loved this from Inc Magazine – a ‘must read’ for managers and entrepreneurs.

What are you doing to stop the spread of stress around your workplace? “Stress is more contagious than flu, but we don’t take the same precautions,” says Heidi Hanna, Ph.D., author of Stressaholic: 5 Steps to Transform Your Relationship With Stress.

Here’s how to stop the stress flu from making the rounds:

1. Create a place to think undisturbed.
There’s a reason many people get their best ideas in the shower, she says. It’s a time when they can let their minds wander undisturbed. “So if you need or want an open-plan office, create a space for closed reflection time, somewhere people can get away from the noise.”

2. Give people your full attention.
“If you’re talking to me, and I’m having a side conversation or checking my email, then I’m sending the message that you’re not important,” Hanna says. Unfortunately, because people are connected to so many devices, they wind up sending that message all the time.
That’s a good way to pass along stress. Instead, set aside your smartphone and focus all your attention on the person you’re talking with, even if that means you can only speak for a few minutes.

3. Watch out for mirroring.
Studies show that people unconsciously mirror the biomechanical rhythms of others around them. That means standing near a stressed-out person can make you feel the same way, even if you don’t say a word to each other. So, when you start feeling stressed, “ask yourself if it’s truly yours or if you’ve picked up someone else’s stress,” Hanna advises. If it does turn out the stress is coming from someone else, you have a choice: Either help that person or limit your time together.

4. Build your relaxation muscle.
You’ve probably read by now that meditation can bring dramatic antistress benefits. It’s not as hard as you may think. “A lot of people are turned off because they think it needs to be spiritual or 20 minutes long,” Hanna says. Neither assumption is true. “It’s just giving your brain a chance to get out of work mode.”

5. Get out of that chair!

Once every hour, make sure to get up from your desk and walk around or stretch, Hanna says. And once or twice a day, climb some stairs or do something else to get your heart rate up and your circulation moving. “When you sit for a long time, blood starts to pool in your extremities,” she explains. “You’re getting less oxygen to the brain and that triggers a stress response. This is why people get more tired the longer they sit.”
6. Keep your blood sugar stable.

“If you go too long without eating, that sends a message to the brain that there’s a shortage of food, which is one of the quickest ways to trigger the stress response,” Hanna says. On the other hand, too much food, especially the wrong food, can be almost as much of a problem. “You’ll ramp up insulin production, which is taxing,” she says. “Also sugar, when you consume too much, triggers a response in the brain as though it were a foreign substance.”

7. Don’t schedule every minute.
Going straight from one meeting or conference call to the next is a sure way to amp up stress. Instead, Hanna recommends 50-minute meetings, ensuring at least a 10-minute break between them. Adding time between meetings allows people to check their email and messages, decreasing the likelihood they’ll do so during the meeting itself. That will reduce their stress as well.

8. Practice gratitude.
Humans are hard-wired to focus on the negative–a survival mechanism from our days as hunter-gatherers. So fight that tendency by redirecting your focus. “I recommend people write down three things they’re grateful for at the start of every day,” Hanna says.

9. Redefine stresses as challenges.
Reframing the way you look at a stressful situation can substantially decrease your stress level, Hanna says. “See whatever’s stressing you as a stimulus for growth,” she says. “If you think of it as a challenge, you know you have the resources to meet it head-on.

10. Set a good example.
Your employees will notice and likely model how you deal with stress. So show them how to do it right. “The better you take care of yourself, the more you can be an example,” Hanna says. If you tell employees to take care of themselves but don’t do so yourself, they’re more likely to follow your actions than your words. “It’s common sense,” she says. “But unfortunately, it’s not common practice.”

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The Chanters Lodge Experiencee

The latest edition of our weekly Sunday night radio show on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela – really was a Chanters Lodge experience as the two guests on the show, pictured above, are both workers at the lodge – Susan Timwendila (left) and Phostinah Siabona. Susan told listeners that it was the second time she had appeared on the show but for Phostinah it was a first time experience. Susan is a ‘receptionist’ at the lodge but I mentioned on air that that job at the lodge is much more than it sounds as it also involves stores control, bar sales and control, as well as purchasing together with the normal duties of a receptionist/cashier. Phostinah told us that she was a chef. “What’s your favourite dish”? Milli Jam asked. “Chicken Schnitzel” the reply.

“How long have you both been working at Chanters Lodge?” Milli Jam wanted to know. Susan replied that 2014 would be her tenth year and that she had started work on Tuesday August 18th 2004 (she failed to mention the time). Phostinah told him that she had started work in the kitchen at the lodge on 14th May 2012. I’m sure if one went to the files, these exact dates would prove correct! Susan took the chance to greet her mum at home (“Hi mum!”) and told us that her family are regular listeners to the show. Phostinah said that her mum and dad were in Zimba.

“Is it true” George wanted to know “that Chanters Girls dance in the kitchen when the show airs each Sunday night?” “Yes!” The girls admitted. “We gather around our little radio and rock!” “Richard” George continued “do you want to know which Chanters Girls were dancing in which clubs for how many hours over New Year?” I agreed to buy the info after the show! We opened this show with ‘Do It All Over Again’ by Elyar Fox back to back with the latest hit from Shakira featuring Rihanna. George chose two Zambian tracks one by Shyman and the other from Angozed. Milli Jam picked Pitbull featuring Ke$ha and one of our favourites at the moment – ‘Rude’ by Magic. No-one won the prize we give each week to the first person to text us telling us the name of the artist on our oldie of the week – the track was Joan Osborne’s ‘What If God Was One Of Us?’ My pick was a new track from Rascal Flatts.

The guys wanted to know what the girls did when they were not working. Susie said she loved reading and house work, Phostinah said she liked cooking and listening to the radio. Both girls told listeners they were ardent Arsenal supporters mainly because it was not safe at the lodge to admit to supporting another team. The mood at work also often revolved around the Arsenal result, so the team needed the support. Just imagine! Music wise Susan said she liked R&B and country while Phostinah likes One Direction (is there a teenage girl anywhere in the world who does not?). Both girls said they were on Facebook ‘but not very active’.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing ten years from now, Susie and Phosti both hoped to still have good jobs and to be doing well. “Marriage and children?” asked Milli Jam. “That too!” They said. The girls are a great asset to the lodge and their bright vivacious personalities came over well during the programme.

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The Veterans Experience!

Judy Smetherham (left above) and Di Rapson are truly veterans of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela! It was their fourth appearance as Guests on our show when we featured them on the first 2014 edition of the programme last Sunday night. The show has been running on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station since late 2007 so this marks our seventh year on air. “Why do you keep coming back to Zambia?” Milli Jam wanted to know at the beginning of the programme. “We love the people of Zambia!” The ladies replied and went on to tell listeners that they had arrived back in Zambia on December 22nd flying in from Perth, Australia where they live, and work in education.

Their first stop in the country was Lusaka from where they flew to Mfue in the South Luangwa National Park where they enjoyed Christmas, explaining that Santa Claus had arrived at the lodge in a 4 x 4 with presents for all the Guests. “Not on an elephant?” We wondered. Whilst in the Luangwa they had seen just about all the game there is to see, apart from rhino, but including leopard and wild dogs. From Mfue they had flown to Livingstone via Lusaka on January 3rd, taking in the elephant orphanage in Lusaka on their way. The ladies had been on the river safari since they arrived in Livingstone as well as taking a microlight flight over Victoria Falls that very morning. They were lucky on both outings to avoid the incessant rain experienced in the city for the whole of the previous week. The ladies were looking forward to a one day safari to Chobe NP in Botswana on the following Tuesday, with Chris Tours.

The music on the show was great. We featured our new theme tune for 2014 at the top of the show – Avicii’s ‘Hey Brother’. Tracks from Pitbull featuring Ke$ha and Bruno Mars followed. George dropped numbers from Exile as well as Edma featuring Ty2. Milli Jam added a West African flavour with recordings from Niyola, as well as Kcee featuring WizzKid. George picked Harry Belafonte’s ‘There’s A Hole In My Bucket’ as the oldie of the week, but no-one won the prize we offer to the first person to text us telling us the name of the recording artist. Hardly any wonder! My pick of the week for the ladies (who just LOVE elephants) was ‘Come A Little Closer’ by….Cage The Elephant. We closed with an old number from Charlie Pride.

Judy and Di told listeners that they would leave Livingstone the following week and head for Cape Town for a nine day holiday in that super South African city. After that they would fly to Dubai, from there proceeding on a four day tour to Oman before returning to Dubai for some days, prior to flying home. The ladies also revealed that they had plans in the pipeline to visit Canada and the USA. Milli Jam wanted to know what changes they had noticed in Livingstone since their last visit eighteen months ago, and the ladies noted the improvement in the roads, new street signs and the increase in activity prices – the latter reported through clenched teeth!

In an unexpected move, Judy produced a marvellous book of photos taken in Zambia during their three previous visits, including fabulous pictures of the lodge and its staff, the radio show and its hosts, as well as stunning pictures of the Falls, gorges and Zambia’s awesome wildlife. Pictures of all the various activities they have done in Zambia are also featured in the book! Naturally those present felt that they would each be given their own signed edition of the unique volume but this turned out not to be the case, and the book went away with its owner, never to be seen again. The ‘boos’ in the studio were louder than those for David Moyes at Old Trafford as Man U lost at home yet again!

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years’ time both ladies said they would like still to be happy, healthy, travelling and creating more books of photos!

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Ethel Mashawila

We’re always sorry to see long serving staff leave the lodge but happy when it is to improve their education and career prospects. So, we wish Ethel Mashawila (above left in the picture) the best of luck as she heads off to catering school for further education. Thanks to her for all her hard work in the kitchen over the years.

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