Knotty Leads

I was delighted recently to renew contact with Mary Davies after more years than I care to mention. Her late husband Drew Frayn was a general manager with Hallway Hotels in the early 70’s when I first went overseas with that company, and was my boss for a few weeks in Seychelles. Mary and daughter Melissa with partner Joe are in the early stages of planning a trip to Zambia.

Anyway, Melissa and Mary have a company making different dog leads (pictured above) – looks like a very good idea for Christmas presents if you have friends and/or family with dogs! Here’s all about it and a link to their site!

Knotty-Leads was launched in the Spring 2012 after designing and making leads for my own two Labradors. Very soon, other dog owners noticing the distinctive  and stylish designs and colours were asking for leads not only for their own dogs but as “something different” as gifts for their dog owner friends too.

Enlisting the help of my mother, Mary, a skilled knotter and tutor, we thoroughly researched the best materials for this innovative project and decided on high strength polypropylene cords as standard.

 Since then, due to their high quality, strength and designs, the popularity of our leads has continued to grow.   As well as private individuals and retail outlets, our valued customers also include the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Regimental Museum Shops around the country.

Each lead is individually knotted by myself or my mother and we will do our utmost to meet any special requirements. We are shortly introducing slip leads and couple leads to our exclusive Knotty-Leads range and also leads to order for other pets, so please contact us if you would like further information.


New Frontiers

Why New Frontiers? Well Pastor Crispin Kazaka, Alison and Norman Amey, pictured above left to right, are all involved with Newfrontiers ‘a worldwide family of churches together on a mission’ – Crispin through his church The Jubilee Community Church in Dambwa, Livingstone and Alison and Norman through their church,The Community Church, Honiton in Devon, UK.

All three came together to appear as Guests 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 Kaufela. Alison and Norman were visiting Livingstone, and staying at Chanters Lodge, with a view to helping Crispin firmly establish his church in Livingstone, not necessarily through financial donations. They also told listeners that they were involved with Sikanzwe Village near Kazungula on the Zambezi, organizing loans for small scale fishing businesses. They had returned to Zambia to assess progress.

Our weekly radio show is a lively combination of chat and music and the latest programme celebrated five years of broadcasting every Sunday night between 20.30 and 21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm! We featured tracks from Swedish House Mafia, Taylor Swift, Petersen and Scarlet, as well as Ty2, Ke$ha, Cover Drive and Owl City. Our closing number was from Kelly Clarkson. Each week we give away a dinner for two with drinks at Chanters Lodge to the first listener to text us telling us who’s singing our oldie of the week, and this week the track was by Zambia’s very own sensation Ty2. The prize was quickly snapped up. “I wonder how many dinners we’ve given away in the past five years?” I speculated. “Hundreds” replied George “but not to us!” Ah….

Crispin told listeners he had been a pastor for 14 years and that he was widowed with five children to raise on his own. He bought and sold commodities to help ends meet. Norman had served in the British Police force for 30 years retiring in 2011  having risen to the rank of Inspector. He told listeners he did miss his job, but was happy to have more time to devote to community service through his church. Alison told listeners that she is a tutor of mathematics teaching students having difficulty with Maths. “You’d be busy if you lived in Zambia” said Milli Jam “we Zambians are not very good at Maths”!

Norman and Alison told listeners that they would be leaving Livingstone the next day, heading for Chikankata near Mazabuka, to check out a new church that had been established there. They had not been there before and they were looking forward to the trip. Asked about their musical tastes Norman said he liked Bruce Springsteen and U2 whereas Alison liked listening to Christian music. Crispin liked Zambia’s Sakala Brothers, finding them inspirational.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Alison said she would like to be a grandmother, Norman that he would like to see Crispin’s church firmly established in Livingstone and Crispin that his church would have started a rehabilitation centre for people having problems with alcohol and drugs.

We wished them the best of luck.


African War Child Concert – Noeva for Zambia

Meet Noeva (above) – Zambia’s representative at the first ever Largest African concert in Europe. The concert will be held on 27th August 2012 at the prestigous Wembley Arena, in London.

Noeva is a singer/songwriter straight out of Zambia based in the UK. For the past couple of months she’s been steady on her grind, recording some incredible material that’s she’s now ready to showcase. Noeva is definitely one to watch in 2012. “Lonely Days” is Noeva‘s first promo single and it just shows the immense talent possessed by this young singer. The Etta James sampled track was produced by Delerious, who recently produced Stylo G and Chipmunk‘s club banger “Dash Out”. “Lonely Days” subtly brings Motown vibes to 2012 with Noeva‘s smooth soulful voice and incredible vocal range, complimented by its noir styled visuals and live performance narrative which really brings the track to life.Other African artistes that will be performing at this Historic include:

Femi Kuti; 2Face Idibia; Fally Ipupa; Sakordie; Iyanya; Cabo Snoop; Zakes Bantwini; Flavour; R2Bees; Eddie Kadi; Zahara; DJ Edu; Winky D; Mista Silva; DJ Arafat; Madtraxx and Chameleone. Quite a line up!

The concert is in support of WAR CHILD, a charity dedicated to children affected by war around the world. Despite the small team of 27 based in London the charity has huge ambitions. War child is directly helping thousands of children with the potential to help millions. Based on their popular iconic music projects War Child has attracted the attention of Prime Ministers and received Brit awards. War Child has four main targets, which are:
1. Providing medical services, sanitation and counseling for victims or rape and other sexual acts.
2. Providing safe havens for children forced out of their homes or those with none.
3. Rebuilding schools and educating children.
4. Helping children get their voices heard and rights met.


Varndean College In Livingstone!

It’s quite unusual for us to feature Guests staying at Livingstone facilities other than Chanters Lodge on our regular Sunday night radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela – but we were more than happy to host Alrik Green with students Grace Potter and Nino Rapa pictured above. Alrik is a lecturer, Grace and Nino graduate students from Varndean College in Brighton, UK – the guys were actually staying at JollyBoys Backpackers with the rest of their student group. We were delighted to invite them on to our programme so our listeners could hear all about their work with the Kaloko Community on the Copperbelt in Zambia, organized by the Kaloko Trust in UK. Alrik and I have known each other for several years, meeting during one of his previous visits to Zambia. Our radio show airs every Sunday night at 20.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station.

Grace,18 and Nino,17 told listeners that they’d worked for two weeks with the Kaloko Community in Luansobe, some 60 kms from Ndola in Northern Zambia, helping local carpenters to make desks and chairs for local schools that were short of furniture. Were they experienced carpenters themselves, we wondered? “We are now!” Was the smart reply. Where had they stayed while they were there, Milli Jam wanted to know. “In rondavels” they replied, Grace going on to say that the 9 girls with whom she’d shared a ‘dormitory room’ had formed a group now known as the ‘Zambezi Babes’. Had they enjoyed the experience? You bet they had! Some of the group had also helped with some teaching in the local primary school.

The music on the show had an immediate Brighton bias as we featured Conor Maynard’s latest UK smash ‘Vegas Girl’. Conor hails from Brighton and it turned out that Nino and Conor had at one time attended the same school. We coupled ‘Vegas Girl’ with Karmin’s ‘Brokenhearted’ also a huge hit in both UK and USA. Other tracks featured on the show were from Zambian artists B-Flo and Danny, as well as Kelly Rowland’s latest ‘Ice’ featuring Lil Wayne and Nigerian star 2 Face with ‘Bad Girl – Bad Man’. Our oldie of the week was ‘I’ll Be Missing You’ from Puff Daddy Diddy and the prize we give every week to the first person to text us the name of the artist on the track was quickly snapped up! Other tunes were from Cady Groves and Scissor Sisters.
Our Guests told us they are fans of ‘The Seagulls’ – Brighton and Hove Albion, the city’s own Championship football club. “What kind of city is Brighton” Milimo wondered, to which the reply was “big, loud and known as ‘London-By-The-Sea’!” Asked about their favourite musical artists Grace recommended Beyonce, and Nino David Bowie but all three rated Rizzle Kicks – a Brighton band. “So do we” we commented “we’ve played their tracks several times on our show”. Alrik, Nino and Grace all spoke highly of the Zambian music they’d heard when they were on the Copperbelt, and they’d also learned to speak a few words in Bemba.

Had the visitors had time for tourist activities while they’d been in Livingstone? Yes, and Nino would be taking the microlight flight over the Falls the following day.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years time, the students hoped they would be working and living in Zambia, Alrik hoped he would still be teaching and taking students as great as Grace and Nino on tour to places like Zambia! The group greeted friends back at Jollyboys and their families at home in UK. Our show streams live on the net so we hoped the people overseas caught their messages!

Great guys, great show!



George da Soulchild Kaufela, co-presenter of our weekly Sunday night radio show on local radio in Livingstone, reports on a piece he found in the Zambia Daily Mail:

Son of Africa, Ephraim, is on a four-month musical tour in Europe and United States of America. His first stop is the UK for a series of shows in different towns from 7 to 27 July, before connecting to USA, where he is booked from August to October.
Ephraim said he will perform in a number of states in the USA, especially those states where he has performed before, as he is in popular demand.

Ephraim has held international shows in African countries, America, Europe and Australia. This trip is a continuation of his dream to perform on international platforms. Meanwhile, Ephraim has said his movie titled ‘Story of My Life’ is meant to share with, and teach people, the difficulties of his life journey.

The movie will bring out highlights of what he has gone through in difficult times during his life. Ephraim wants to show and teach people how to control their lives. The movie will show how people can find comfort in the Lord when they lose hope in their lives. Ephraim, who has been at the helm of Zambian gospel, has several albums to his credit. Among them is ‘Limo Ndanaka’, which brought him to fame, ‘Temba Baby’, compilation ‘Six Years of Ephraim’, ‘Worship and Praise Volumes’ and ‘Lekeni Iloke’, currently on the market.

Ephraim is also expected to engage more artistes to his label, Ephmutang Glory Music Studios, so that they benefit from his skills. Ephraim, a composer and producer, has already engaged his sisters (calling themselves “Ephraim Sisters”) to the label. Ephraim’s music is promoted and distributed under Doxa Music. The artiste has won awards which include Ngoma Awards, Christian Arts Promotions and the Copperbelt-organised Mukuba Awards. He has topped the Sounds Investment sales charts too.


Chela Katwishi Rocks! (In London)

Thanks to George da Soulchild Kaufela for this nice piece about my old friend Chela Katwishi who will MC at the 2012 UKZAMBIANS Excellence Awards In London this Saturday!

Chela blossomed from the literary world at a tender age of 18 and found himself in the world of broadcasting. His broadcasting career took off as an assistant producer in 1989 at Zambia Broadcasting Services, later renamed Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). He subsequently rose through the ranks to senior producer, Radio Two & Radio Mulungushi. Having acquired his advanced diploma in broadcast journalism at the Africa Literature Centre in Kitwe, Chela was awarded best overall public relations student upon graduation.

At 28, he was appointed youngest senior private secretary to former Zambia President late Dr. Frederick Chiluba at State House. He spent the next 10 years working for privately owned Radio Phoenix in Zambia. He steadily rose through the ranks to assistant supervisor. He attained a masters degree in international journalism at Cardiff University in Wales and subsequently taught & trained at various radio stations in Zambia, under the Media Institute of Southern Africa as programme officer: radio & good governance.

Chela became the first Zambian radio presenter to promote Oliver Mtukudzi’s ‘Tuku’ Music single-handedly on Zambian airwaves and he has won various radio awards in different categories. Appointed director of programmes & marketing for the first privately-owned television station in Zambia, MUVI TV, he was later appointed as director of news, current affairs & marketing for MUVI TV. He accepted a further appointment as general manager for MOBI TV in Zambia.

Chela worked as real talk researcher / assistant producer at OH TV, London and is currently working as a client liaison manager for a privately-owned accounting firm in London. To top it all, he is currently pursuing a PhD programme on a part-time basis. This MC has interviewed various presidents and heads of state, including high profile personalities on radio & television and has been master of ceremonies and DJ for several state functions, society weddings, private parties and various occasions worldwide. As a veteran MC, he will surely keep everyone entertained throughout the evening. Guest MCs include Mansour Bellow and Brenda Mulenga.

The UKZAMBIANS Excellence Awards are prestigious Zambian Diaspora Awards bestowed upon the most celebrated, highest achieving Zambians, groups, and friends of Zambia. The Awards serve as a platform for distinguished academia, accomplished entrepreneurs, successful business professionals, top personalities and others within the Zambian Diaspora and is the highest profile community event in the history of Zambians in the Diaspora. The UKZAMBIANS Excellence Awards 2012 will be held on Saturday, 9th June in London.

Big up Chela! Get in!



I was delighted to hear this week that one of my sons Jan (above) has joined a relatively new organization called Housebites. As a chef it will allow him to work from home but still do the job he loves, cooking delicious food, by way of preparing upmarket, economical take aways in his part of London. People tend to underestimate the strain and stress the demanding hours of the hospitality and catering businesses can generate, and believe me I’m speaking from over 40 years experience! Working from home will suit Jan down to the ground and to me the concept is brilliant and a surefire hit! Here’s Housebites’ marketing blurb:

“The takeaway. The busy Brit’s staple meal. Quick, convenient, ready when you want it … and, let’s be honest, too often underwhelming. Imagine if you could have the ease of the takeaway, but with the quality of a restaurant meal, delivered to your door. Imagine it all being prepared by experienced local cooks (all taste-tested beforehand). Housebites makes all this possible.

We’ve turned the power over to you and the chef. Now you can engage directly with the person who cooks your food and see or provide feedback. And you make our menu by choosing meals you like and telling other people about great chefs you’ve tried. (After all, you are the best food critic in town).

Our chefs love local, love cooking, and love hearing from you. It’s simple, economical, and local. It’s re-inventing takeaway.”

And here’s about Jan-Martyn
“Hello, I love cooking to restaurant standard, but I also love being at home. Housebites has helped me combine the two and live a happy Chef life. What do you get out of this deal? Well, you get healthy, home cooked food delivered to your door. This is what I’m bringing to the table: your table in fact.

I’ve been taught by Jamie Oliver, Ben O’Donoghue and Arthur Potts. Not to mention my wife, family and friends. I have been cooking professionally since 2001, from high end restaurants to gastro pubs. I have catered for parties, weddings and outside events.

I’m a fan of fresh seasonal food. I’m an avid gardener and apart from that my contacts as a chef have led me to some great suppliers. I feel I have a great deal to offer my discerning local take-awayista.”

We wish Jan the best of luck in his new venture.


Wendy Callaway on ‘The Experience’

Wendy Callaway (above) was the guest on the most recent edition of our regular Sunday night radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela. The show airs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station, from 20.30-21.30 hrs and also streams live on the internet. The programme is a good mix of music and chat, popular locally not least because we give away a dinner for two with drinks at Chanters Lodge on every show to the first person to text us telling us who’s singing our ‘oldie of the week’. On this show the track was ‘Umbrella’, the singer was Rihanna, and the winning answer appeared on my phone within seconds! Great, seeing that the previous week no-one had won!

Wendy was a very interesting guest. She told listeners that she was in Zambia for a couple of weeks to work with the The Butterfly Tree, a charity which supports rural communities in Zambia often badly affected by illness. The organization’s aim is to help in the provision of safe drinking water and feeding programmes as well as improved health and education facilities. The NGO also has an orphan sponsorship programme and Wendy explained that she had been sponsoring five orphans in Zambia for six years through this scheme. She was delighted, on this her first visit to Zambia, to have already met four of the five orphans whom she had sponsored, now teenagers aged between 14 and 18 and she said they were all doing very well academically. Most of the The Butterfly Tree’s work in Livingstone is based at Mukuni Village and this was where Wendy had been spending time since she arrived.
The music on the show featured tracks from R Kelly, Calvin Harris ft Ne-Yo, Lionel Richie, Lana del Rey and Jason Derulo from an international point of view. Local tracks were from Red Linso and Winston with ‘Kamwala’ and Exile’s ‘Walimbikila’ – ‘old but good’ was the Chanters Girls verdict on this Exile track. The lodge staff are avid listeners to the show and don’t hesitate to let me know what’s good!
Milli Jam asked Wendy if she’d managed to do any of the tourist activities on offer in Livingstone during her first week with us, and she replied that she’d just come back from Chobe in Botswana where she’d been on safari for a few days. She’d also squeezed an elephant safari, lion encounter and a rhino walk into her busy schedule. She told listeners that she’s an accountant by profession, and that having her own business in Southern England affords her the chance to travel and to do the things she wants to do – a chance that might not be there were she working for other people. She told us that she’s an active member of the Rock Choir and had been involved in their best selling 2011 album as well as appearing on ITV TV in a show featuring 8000 choir members in the Wembley Arena. “Wow!” We said – without asking her to sing for us!

Asked about her plans for the future, this serious minded, hard working, married British lady (she had greeted husband Pete listening to the programme live back in UK) told listeners that she hoped to be able to expand her business and therefore be able to grow her charity work and other interests. “Great!” We said.


‘The Experience’ is Mission Possible!

Meet Ruth and Richard Wallis from Cambridge, England, guests on the most recent edition of ‘The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela’, our weekly radio show. ‘The Experience’ is a great mixture of local and international music, as well as lively and interesting conversation with our guests. Chanters Lodge sponsors the show which airs live every Sunday from 20.30 – 21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm. The programme has been a popular regular feature on local radio more or less continuously since October 2007. The station reaches an audience within a 75 km radius of Livingstone and also streams live on the net. The links are on the station’s site here, and on the lodge site here.

Richard told listeners he’d worked in Zambia for ZCBC (Zambia Consumer Buying Corporation) between 1972 and 1977 and explained that ZCBC were the stores in which Zambians shopped before there was Shoprite! The company was a parastatal (quasi Government) organization. He must have shocked our audience telling them there were so many shortages in those days, that when the stores were due to receive a consignment of cooking oil, sugar or other essential commodities, the first thing management did was to call the police, asking them to come and control the inevitable crowd who would flock to the store the moment they heard that a commodity was back in stock! Long queues and rationing were the order of the day.

After Richard returned to UK amongst other positions held he was the managing director of Scripture Union‘s chain of retail book stores. Ruth had been working for the same chain. Steven told listeners his first wife Susan had died in 2005 and in 2007 he and Ruth had married. In the same year Richard established Mission Possible with a mission to advance the Christian faith by serving the poor, forgotten, and marginalised by serving children and families at risk, training Christian leaders and distributing Christian literature. Mission Possible works in Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda as well as Zambia in Africa, and in some European countries too. While back in Zambia Ruth and Richard would be conducting leadership training for upwards of 100 interdenominational pastors in Livingstone. “Great stuff!” We said, and meant it!

The music on the show was right up to date. We opened with Jesse J’s UK number one ‘Domino’ back to back with ‘More Than This’ from One Direction. George’s Zambian selection promoted CQ featuring Exile with ‘Ndekeleni’ and ‘Ikashishita’ by Pilato featuring Chif. Milli Jam dropped ‘Losing’ by Joe Thomas and ‘Try’ by Frank Ocean. We usually give away a prize of a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge every week to the first person to text us telling us who’s singing our oldie of the week, but this week no-one listening knew it was Paul Simon singing ‘Boy In the Bubble’, so no prize! Sometimes I do make it tough! My pick of the week was Madonna’s ‘Masterpiece’ and we closed with hot Nigerian Davido’s hot ‘Demi-Duro’.

We wondered whether Ruth and Richard would have time to do any of the tourist activities during their week in Zambia with daughter Anna and grand-daughter Beatrice. “Well” said Ruth “we’ve already seen, heard and felt the Falls!”. “Felt the Falls?” I wondered. “Yes” said Ruth “I’ve never felt so wet in my life!” We laughed. “Do you work?” I asked Ruth and she explained to listeners that apart from helping Richard with Mission Possible she drives a mobile post office for Royal Mail back in England. Richard also revealed that he chauffeur drives for a limousine company to help meet the expense of running their NGO. “Any famous passengers?” I wondered. “Sometimes” he said “recently Ken Clarke”, explaining to listeners that Clarke is currently Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice in UK.

This Christian, engaging and loving couple told listeners that when they left Zambia at the end of the following week they would be proceeding to Rwanda for more missionary work. Their answer to the inevitable question? In ten years’ time they hoped to be still fit, strong and fulfilling Mission Possible’s mission! Bet they are too!


Take Barclays With You – When You Die!

A friend sent me this true story – perhaps knowing how much I just love Barclays Bank (Zambia) Ltd!

A lady died last January. Barclays Bank billed her for service charges on her credit card for February and March. They then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been £0.00, now it was somewhere around £60.00.

A family member placed a call to Barclays Bank:

Family Member: ‘I’m calling to tell you that she died in January.’

Barclays: ‘The account was never closed. The late fees and charges still apply.’

Family Member: ‘Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.’

Barclays: ‘Since it’s two months past due, it already has been..’

Family Member: ‘So, what will they do when they find out she’s dead?’

Barclays: ‘Either report her account to the frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!’

Family Member: ‘Do you think God will be mad at her?’

Barclays: ‘Excuse me?’

Family Member: ‘Did you just get what I was telling you, the part about her being dead?’

Barclays: ‘Sir, you’ll have to speak to my supervisor.’

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member: ‘I’m calling to tell you, she died in January.’

Barclays: ‘The account was never closed. The late fees and charges still apply.’

Family Member: ‘You mean you want to collect from her estate?’

Barclays: (Stammer) ‘Are you her lawyer?’

Family Member: ‘No, I’m her great nephew.’ (Lawyer info given)

Barclays: ‘Could you fax us a certificate of death?’

Family Member: ‘Sure.’ ( fax number is given )

After they get the fax:

Barclays: ‘Our system just isn’t set up for death. I don’t know what more I can do to help.’

Family Member: ‘Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. I don’t think she’ll care.’

Barclays: ‘Well, the late fees and charges do still apply.’

Family Member: ‘Would you like her new billing address?’

Barclays: ‘That might help.’

Family Member: ‘ Finchley Memorial Cemetery , Great North Road, Finchley,
London, Plot Number 1049.’

Barclays: ‘Sir, that’s a cemetery!’

Family Member: ‘Well, what the f*** do you do with dead people on your planet?’

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