More Ty2

George da Soulchild (aka Kaufela) co-host of our Sunday night radio show on 107.7 fm wrote a follow up piece to my blog about Zambia’s sensational Ty2!

“Local ragea/ragga artist Mbangweta Mwendaweli aka Ty2 has one of the most powerful voices on the local music scene, some compare his style to that of award winning American musician Shaggy. Ty2’s biggest hit so far has to be his cross over song “Smile” from his first hit album of the same title, released under Mondo Music Co-operation, recorded under David Sling Studio “Sling Beats”in 2004. By 2005 the song had become an anthem receiving massive airplay on most Zambian radio stations and some outside Zambia as well. ‘Smile’ earned Ty2 a nomination at the Koral Awards (in the best international ragga/regea category) held in South Africa the same year.

Two years down the line music fans began to forget Ty2 – the biggest contributory factor must have been the three years he spent in England – but the Zambian music landscape was changing so fast that if you weren’t in it you’d be left behind – as is the case now with most pioneers of the so called ‘new Zambian music’ who all seem to be struggling with sales and shows. Ty2’s last two albums were fair but not well received by Zambian music fans, resulting in low CD sales. His signing with JK and Kayombo’s promotion/distribution company “Jakayo” didn’t really seem to help.

Now in 2011 TY2’s new single “Spotlight” featuring Kaufela, produced by Roni of Raising Sounds in Livingstone, seems to be turning things up for him, putting him back in the spotlight where he should be! He has the whole country dancing and singing along. The song’s music video has received a lot of hits on YouTube and is also receiving major airplay on local TV stations. Music critics predict that the song might just be as big for Ty2 as ‘Smile’.

Rumour has it that Ty2 is currently recording his new project with Raising Sounds Studio in Livingstone, I listened to some of his new music and it sounds good, new and improved. It’s usually hard for musicians anywhere in the world to make a comeback but it looks like Ty2 has it figured out and I wish him all the best.”

And so say all of us!


Ephraim Mutalange

Zambian renowned Gospel Musician Ephraim Mutalange last Saturday 24th September enthused London based Zambians and other nationalities that congregated at the Rock House, in Tufnell Park. Christians travelled from all over the UK to London to listen to Ephraim’s triumphantly praise and worship concert. During the concert he sung some of his Bemba lyrics in English while the audience joined in and danced incessantly.

Much more the spirit of God hovered on the building as God was truly praised. The ministering of God’s word was so vivid. Ephraim cut himself as a truly International gospel artiste. The ever busy Ephraim returned to Zambia on Wednesday 28th to fulfil his concerts responsibility lined up for this Saturday weekend.

However, before leaving for Zambia, he did recordings in London with famous gospel artists from different parts of the world. He promised his fans in the United Kingdom to return for Easter Concerts next year when he intends to tour the United Kingdom and spread the Gospel through his music.


MV Liemba

I liked this piece from the BBC. At home we have a watercolour picture of this boat painted by late Trevor Ford better known as Yuss the famous cartoonist, some of whose cartoons grace the walls of the restaurant at Chanters Lodge.

Ships don’t come with much more historical ballast than the MV Liemba. The steamer still shudders and belches its way across Lake Tanganyika every Wednesday and Friday, a century after it was built as a warship in Germany. In its time it’s been a pawn in the colonial scramble for Africa. It’s been scuttled and then raised again from the deep. It may have been the model for the warship sunk by The African Queen, a steam-powered launch in the film of the same name, starring Katharine Hepburn as a prim spinster and Humphrey Bogart as the rough captain.

And now it’s a ferry on Africa’s longest lake, invariably packed with hundreds of people plus their jumble of bundles and baskets as it churns the water between Kigoma in Tanzania across the lake to Mpulungu in Zambia. But for how long? Such is the ramshackle, dented state of the vessel that the company which runs it has asked the German government to help with refurbishment. The basis of the appeal is that this is a piece of German history. The steamer that serves the citizens around Lake Tanganyika was once the Kaiser’s gunboat.

A spokesman for the Marine Services Company told the BBC: “We have requested that Germany help in its rehabilitation. This is because of financial constraints but we have not had a concrete commitment.” The Liemba started life as the Graf Goetzen in 1913 when she was built as a warship in Papenburg on the River Ems in northern Germany. It is said that the Kaiser himself ordered the construction to further his imperial ambitions. The Graf Goetzen was then transported in parts, in 500 crates, from Hamburg to Dar es Salaam on the coast of East Africa – and from there over mountains to Lake Tanganyika where Germany, Britain and Belgium were all engaged in colonial jostling.

Britain did not take the presence of the vessel easily. As the Admiralty put it: “It is both the duty and the tradition of the Royal Navy to engage the enemy wherever there is water to float a ship.” So London decided to send two gunboats and by an equally difficult route. The British ships were sent down to South Africa and then up the continent as far as they could be taken by rail, and after that by the sheer human power of 2,000 labourers who hauled and cut through the jungle, eventually getting them to the lake which became the site of imperial contest.

The two British boats, by the way, were initially to be called Cat and Dog but that was thought to be too flippant – the Admiralty in London at the time was not into flippancy. The names Mimi and Touto were chosen instead, the French terms used by children for cat and dog. Colonial rivalry and conflict then ensued, and, in the face of a British attack, the Germans abandoned the port of Kigoma, scuttling their ship, the Graf Goetzen, to stop it getting into British hands.

The Goetzen then remained at the bottom of the lake for nearly 10 years until she was raised to the surface. Amazingly, the engines still functioned after minor repairs – possibly because the German engineers who had done the scuttling were the ones who had taken it out from Germany… and they took care to encase the engines in grease so that their baby could one day live and steam again.

It is not clear who raised it, perhaps the Belgians or perhaps the British – but whoever did it, the old German gunboat ended up in the hands of the British. Clearly, a vessel of the Royal Navy could not be named after Count Gustav Adolf von Goetzen, who was a German explorer and governor of German East Africa. So the ship was renamed as the Liemba – which is how she has stayed ever since.

And so may she stay for much longer if she can be renovated. The request for financial help has fallen between the governments of Lower Saxony, in which the ship was built, and the federal government in Berlin. The president of Germany has added his voice. The ship, said President Christian Wulff, had a “singular history” and performed an “indispensable service” to the people of East Africa. The government of Tanzania joined the clamour for salvation.

A study has been done by the German authorities but it is thought to have concluded that the costs might well be higher than actually building a new ship. But would a new ship be quite the same as an ancient steamer, dented and bulging with history?


Enock Mbongwe plays the Albert Hall

This is a great story that I found on the Wildside Safaris blog site.

By Michael Baird

The Kalumbu is ancient traditional music-bow found in Zambia only amongst the Tonga and Ila peoples. Zambian-born musician and record producer Michael Baird first recorded kalumbu-player extraordinaire Enock Mbongwe in 2002, and again in 2008 ( ). He hails from Hangoma village, Magoye Area in Southern Province of which Livingstone is the capital.

In 2010 BBC Radio 3 asked Michael to organize music for their program about the Zambezi river – Enock was agreed upon as the only solo artist on a list of several acts. Subsequently last February the BBC invited Enock to perform in the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall and Michael was asked to bring Enock to London. No easy feat: Enock had no phone, no email, no bank account, no passport.

But once all obstacles were overcome, Enock Mbongwe performed the first ever Tonga music in Britian, to a rapturous applause in the Royal Albert Hall live on BBC Radio 3 on 23/07/11 (Human Planet Prom part 1), and the tv broadcast on BBC Four on Friday August 5th.



Gayle-Anne Drury on The Chanters Lodge Experience

There were some technical issues on the latest edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild – partly I guess because George wasn’t around this week – wearing his rapper hat George aka ‘Kaufela’ had gone to Lusaka to try and speed up the release of his forthcoming album. However it was a good show and our Guest Gayle-Anne Drury, pictured above, was a lively and interesting Guest. Our programme goes out on Zambezi 107.7 fm radio in Livingstone and streams live on the internet every Sunday night at 18.30 hrs GMT, 20.30 hrs Zambian time.

Gayle-Anne, a psycho therapist was staying at Chanters Lodge. She runs an organization in York called Baobab Centre.”The Baobab Centre provides one-to-one support through counselling, coaching and mentoring, training and consultancy to individuals and organisations. They provide the knowledge and understanding which underpins relational management and offer care, expertise, tools and strategies to individuals, teams and organisations to help maximise potential growth and development” Gayle-Anne told listeners.

Her visit to Zambia was to assist Tujatane School in Livingstone on a voluntary basis by way of training their teachers and teaching assistants to counsel, coach, mentor and build relationships. She stressed to listeners the importance of ‘listening’ to build relationships. “Yes” I said “and they should jolly well listen to the Chanters Lodge Experience every Sunday night too”! We moved on. How long had Gayle-Anne been married, Milli Jam asked. “A very, very, very long time!” She replied and refused to divulge further details! She told us of her son Adam 26 and daughter Ruth 24 living in London and doing well.

The music on the show was fine as usual apart from ‘I Wanna Go’ by Britney Spears that refused to play for some reason – perhaps she really did ‘wanna go’! Our Zambian tracks were ‘Manone’ by Chika and the catchy ‘Wa Overtime’ by Salma. “Salma’s telling her audience that she doesn’t want one night stands but something longer term” explained Milli Jam – I thought perhaps the lyrics were deeper than this, but no further explanation was forthcoming! The very latest releases from Example – ‘Stay Awake’ and Akon ‘Keep Up’ went down well, so too did Nicole Scherzinger’s ‘Right There’ and the worldwide Pitbull/Ne-Yo smash ‘Give Me Everything Tonight’ – the latter had the Chanters Girls singing along at the lodge, so I’m told!

Gayle-Anne told listeners she’d had no time for tourist acitvities while she’d been in Livingstone due to pressure of work. She further revealed that she’d actually been born in Zambia and had undergone most of her primary education here before moving to South Africa then UK. She told us she’d very much enjoyed a visit to Simonga Village the previous day where she’d been invited by friends.

We thanked the staff at the lodge for their very hard and excellent work during the first 10 days of July and gave away the usual dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge to the first person to text us Gayle-Anne’s country of residence. The response was excellent! Delvick won.


Ruth Binney

My sister Ruth (above) has a lovely, sparkling new website put together by the team at Collaborative Connections including my son Ed, Ruth’s nephew. You can read all about Ruth on her site and here’s the link. Ruth Binney. A brief resume of Ruth’s career reads:

Editor at Mitchell Beazley, including the natural history and medicine volumes of The Joy of Knowledge Encyclopedia.

Editor at Marshall Cavendish partworks, including The Book of Life, Nice ‘n’ Easy and Doctor’s Answers.

Editorial Director at Marshall Editions, book packagers – responsible for a wide range of successful titles, ranging from The BUPA Manual of Fitness and Well-Being to Great Battlefields of the World, The Manager’s Handbook, Structures and Strange Worlds, Amazing Places.

Development Editor at Reader’s Digest – responsible for generating ideas and close involvement in the testing and marketing processes. A key member of the senior management team. Involvement with the production and quality of titles, specialising in cookery, gardening, natural history, medicine and health, computer and puzzle titles.

And here are her titles of books she has written herself:

The Gardener’s Wise Words and Country Ways
Wise Words and Country Ways for CooksThe Allotment Experience: Everything You Need to Know About Allotment Gardening – Direct from the Plot
Wise Words and Country Ways for House and Home
Wise Words & Country Ways Weather Lore
The English Countryside (Amazing and Extraordinary Facts)
Wise Words & Country Ways Slipcased Set

Go and take a look!


Encyclopedia Britannica

Here’s a nice one from Judy in Perth, Australia

These are classified ads, which were actually placed in U.K. newspapers:

8 years old.
Hateful little bastard.

1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 sneaky neighbour’s dog.

Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd.
Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

Also 1 gay bull for sale.

Must sell washer and dryer £100.

Worn once by mistake.
Call Stephanie.

**** And the WINNER is… **** FOR SALE BY OWNER.
Complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 45 volumes.
Excellent condition, £200 or best offer.
No longer needed, got married, wife knows everything

Have a lovely Easter weekend!


The English Countryside

My sister Ruth Binney’ new book Amazing and Extraordinary Facts – The English Countryside is newly published and gets a great review in the Dorset Echo. Here’s what the paper says:

“There is a certain fly that lays its eggs in cowpats. Nothing unusual about that, you might think – see a field of cows and you will find a plague of flies – but this particular insect manages to lay its eggs in the dung while it is actually en route from the cow to the ground.

It is split-second timing that’s hard to beat and just one of the many wonders of Britain’s natural world. A collection of fascinating facts about our landscape and the creatures and plants that inhabit it have been compiled in Amazing and Extraordinary Facts: The English Countryside, which is the ninth book published by best-selling Dorset author Ruth Binney.

From ‘snake stones’ and chalk figures to the ecology of cowpats and the malign reputation of the hedgehog and much more besides, the book is a delightful tome to dip in to at bedtime and an informative companion on country walks. “It has been such fun to put together and I am really thrilled with the book,” said Ruth, who lives in the shadow of the village church in West Stafford, near Dorchester.

“The only trouble was that every time I thought of an example of something, it was in Dorset but I wanted to be more even-handed so I deliberately looked further afield. “I started writing down the facts that I knew were amazing and extraordinary, but my main aim was to turn the book into a detective story so as well as finding things out, people could use it to help them interpret the landscape.”

Ruth grew up with a deep love of and fascination for the countryside, which stemmed from the walks her mother would take her on as a child when the family lived near Tiverton in Devon. She went on to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge and moved to London where she worked as an editor for Readers’ Digest. She is now happily settled in Dorset, a county she loves.

“It is so beautiful and I love it because it is so varied,” she said. “You have the coast and the fields, landscapes and wood – it’s all here.” Amazing and Extraordinary Facts is a treasure trove of informative and quirky titbits.
“I think the book is a really lovely mix of history and archaeology, folk lore and natural history and they are all things that appeal to me,” said Ruth.

Some parts of it are popular on a grand scale while other nuggets of information may be common knowledge to a few people who, like Ruth, have a deep understanding of rural life and landscape. “Learning where names come from is always popular,” she said. “There is a village near Dorchester called Troytown and the word ‘troy’ means a turf maze. I don’t know where it comes from – maybe it is religious and people walked round mazes as an aid to meditation. Today, of course, we have maize mazes, which are great fun.

“A lot of people are also interested in lost villages. We have Tyneham here in Dorset, of course, but there is also a place near Sheffield where a river was dammed to make a reservoir and a village was flooded. In the summer when the water levels drop, you can see the remains of the village. “There are also lots of stories of well-dressing, such as we do in Upwey.”

The effects of people’s presence on the landscape are inescapable. There are the barrows that undulate along the horizon, the standing stones and henges, such as Stonehenge and Avebury, ancient hedges that criss-cross the landscape and the flint tools regularly unearthed while gardening and ploughing. Their origins all make fascinating reading.

We continue to mark the land, not just with new roads and developments, but also through conservation practises such as the building of beetle banks on arable land, which offer a safe haven for insects and attract the creatures that feed upon them. Aspects of the natural world make up a large part of Ruth’s book, which is packed with wildlife lore concerning all sorts of creatures.

“The woolly pig is a popular one,” said Ruth. “It was apparently a fierce pig and may have had its origins in a pig that had a curly coat. “Pigs have always been a large part of human culture. In the old days everybody had a pig and in Celtic times they were worshipped, which is the complete antithesis of the unclean animal of legend. “There are also the big cats, of course. I haven’t seen one but I know people whose word I trust who have seen them.”

Big cats make an appearance in Ruth’s book, where she writes ‘since 2005 there have been more than 500 eyewitness accounts, some backed up with convincing photographs of animals dubbed by Natural England as ‘exotic, non-native and unidentified’, of which 38 were big cats.’ However, she does add a warning coda: ‘Everything is not always as it seems. One animal seen in Norfolk and alleged to be a big cat actually turned out on closer investigation to be a big badger’.

Badgers themselves, ancient, secretive and lumbering, are given space under the heading ‘nature’s gravediggers’. Folklore has it that they bury their own dead and that their ‘funeral parties’ make ‘wailing noises akin to human weeping’. Unfortunately, most of us only get to see badgers that have been killed on our roads, their fatal fascination with Tarmac due to the fact that they instinctively follow ancient tracks that are now criss-crossed with carriageways.

“The book has been really good fun to work on,” said Ruth. “There was so much stuff I had to choose from I could have just gone on and on. “I think that even if you do know a lot about the countryside, the book will add to your enjoyment and you will get more out of your walks. “I hope people will see the book as a way of helping them interpret the countryside and draw their attention to things that they might not otherwise notice. Hopefully it will show them how important it is to preserve it.”

• Amazing and Extraordinary Facts: The English Countryside is published by David and Charles and costs £9.99.


ZMusicTV’s Stephanie Nyirenda on 107.7 fm

Meet the delightful, vivacious Stephanie Nyirenda (pictured above) when she guested 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. The show airs live from 20.30-21.30 hrs on Zambezi fm, Livingstone’s popular local radio station broadcasting on
107.7 fm, and is a great combination of music and chat. George gave listeners the good news that the station hopes to be streaming live on the internet within the next few months!

Although the headline says ‘ZMusicTV’s Stephanie Nyirenda’ in fact Steph is still completing an internship with the Zambia Daily Mail as a reporter. Her best story? Stephanie told listeners she was proud of a story she’d written about Zambezi Nkuku, our local chicken farm, who’d been collecting refuse in Livingstone to convert into compost. She didn’t feel her story had got the exposure in the paper it had deserved! “It happens” we said, sympathetically.

Stephanie’s due to start with ZMusicTV at the beginning of May and will be a reporter and researcher for the site in Zambia. “ZMusicTV”? We wondered? Steph went on to explain that ZMusicTV is an online registered broadcasting entertainment company based in London which aims to broadcast Zambian Music and Art as a way of engaging fellow Zambians, and others interested in Zambia who are actively online, promoting talents in people such as musicians, models and fashion designers, reaching out to as many people in the UK and around the globe via the internet as possible. We asked her how she had got involved with ZMusicTV and she explained that she’d met Remo Mwanamuwila the CEO through a friend and things had taken off from there. We thought ZMusicTV was a great idea and said so, while wishing her and the channel the best of luck. Steph mentioned that you can find ZMusicTV on both Twitter and YouTube.

The music on the show was excellent as usual. Lady Antebellum’s smash ‘I Need You Now’ opened the show and George coupled this with Lady Saw featuring Eve – ‘He Is At My Home’. Two local hits followed – B Flow’s ‘Nkunda’ (dove) and JC ft Roberto with ‘Do Or Die’. Milli Jam chose Lady Gaga’s ‘Dance In The Dark’ with Alexis Jordan’s UK hit ‘Good Girl’. Snoop Dogg is a current favourite of mine and we featured ‘Sweat’ coupled with ‘I’m Into You’ by Jennifer Lopez ft Lil Wayne. We closed with Thompson Square’s US Billboard Country chart number one – ‘Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not?” Not – the guys told me!

Back to Stephanie. She told listeners she’ll have been married for 6 years this August but did not yet have any children and yes she missed her husband, a Lusaka businessman. She’d been educated at St Mary’s Secondary School in Lusaka, followed, after some years working, by a 4 year Certificate and then Diploma in Journalism at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka. She would graduate in July 2011 and invited us to the ceremony! She was greatly looking forward to her new role with ZMusicTV reporting on local artists within Zambia and scouting for talent. Her favourite local musical artists at the moment? B1 and PJ. The guys nodded at her choice.

We gave listeners the usual news of Lodgeblog the Chanters Lodge blog and then the chart news from within Zambia where B1 featuring Daliso is still top with their track ‘Kalata’. We also brought listeners up to date with UK and US pop chart news, as well as a run down of the US country charts. Milli Jam asked Stephanie where she’d like to be and what she’s like to be doing 10 years from now. “I want to be the new Oprah” she said. QED as they say! (Quite Easily Done)!


Croft Cottage

Gotta love Twitter. Suddenly I’m friends with Elizabeth Hatchell from the lovely Croft Cottage in Ludlow. Stranger still, her sister lived in Lusaka in the 80’s. Here’s what she says about her beautiful place. She’s @CroftCottageBnB on Twitter for a follow!

Looking for bed and breakfast near Ludlow, Shropshire? Deep in the English countryside, our cottage is surrounded by farmland in the tiny parish of Hope Bagot, far from the throb of commuter traffic – yet only five miles from Ludlow and Tenbury Wells.

For a comfortable bed and memorable breakfast in tranquil, friendly surroundings, you need look no further. Our guests are welcome to enjoy and explore our five acres of garden with an old wild flower meadow with orchids, a young wood, an ancient brook – its banks lined with alders – and a large wildlife pool. This is home to moorhens and mallards – and teems with dragonflies in the summer. We have an active badger sett in the grounds which you may watch from the comfort of a hide on any evening from March to October and even into the winter. Although we have five bridges over the brook you are strongly advised to bring Wellington boots to enjoy the grounds to the full although they are not needed to reach the front door!

The home of HOPE BAGOT BEES, we usually have honey for sale, weather permitting, although the last few years have been difficult for all bees. The white hive in some of the photos is merely ornamental – the bees live tucked away behind trees at the end of the goose field, away from the house.

We have been welcoming guests to The Croft Cottage, a registered smallholding situated on the southern slopes of the Titterstone Clee Hill, for nearly twelve years and are featured in Alastair Sawday’s Bed and Breakfast for Garden Lovers . We hold a Four Star Bed & Breakfast grading from Shropshire Tourism and in November 2009 we were awarded the new EnjoyEngland Breakfast Award.

Highly recommended!

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