Greg and Melinda Homan

Meet Greg and Melinda Homan, all the way from Santa Fe in New Mexico, USA but passionate about Africa! Greg and Melinda were staying at Chanters Lodge in Livingstone for a few days, so we seized the chance to invite them on to our Sunday night radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela, airing every Sunday night from 20.30 to 21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station.

Passionate about Africa? Well yes, this is their third trip to the continent and on previous visits they climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and went to view the mountain gorillas in Rwanda – gotta be passionate to do those things. On this trip they were visiting Victoria Falls at the start of their holiday and the day after the show they were due to leave for a week in Botswana and then a two week stay in Namibia. While in Livingstone they’d seen the Falls from both sides and had swum in Devil’s Pool on Livingstone Island – “not bad for someone who doesn’t like heights or water!” Commented Melinda.

Greg told listeners that he was a carpenter by trade, making furniture and kitchen cabinets, as well as Spanish guitars (as a hobby). “Send us a guitar!” Demanded George and Milli Jam. “I’ll do that!” Said Greg. “Do you play the guitar yourself?” Asked Milli Jam, and Greg replied that he did and that when he was younger he had played in various rock bands. These days music wise he and Melinda like the Who, Steely Dan and Pink Floyd as well as country, jazz and classical music. On the sports front Greg told listeners that he’s a fan of the Washington Redskins. Melinda revealed that she and Greg had been married for 33 years although when Milli Jam originally asked her how long they’d been married, her reply was “forever”! Greg winced!

We featured tracks from Olly Murs, Brandy and Nicki Minaj at the top of the show. George came up with two latest, hot Zambian tracks ‘Chipangano’ by Batu featuring Tok Cido and Jemah, back to back with Mr Vezzy’s latest smash ‘Wemutima’ (my heart has a lot of desires but it leads me into trouble). Milli Jam chose Flo Rida’s ‘Whistle’ and Ne-Yo ft Wiz Khalifa with ‘Make ‘Em Like You’. George did not make the listeners like him when he dropped Madonna’s ‘Take A Bow’ as our oldie of the week – no-one guessed the performing artist and to me the choice was rather obscure. “We’ll make it easier next week!” I promised the listeners.

Melinda told our audience that she worked full time as a nanny for a family with three children which she enjoyed, and explained that she and Greg had two children of their own, both grown up and in college at the University of New Mexico, their son studying anthropology, their daughter nursing. “How did you two meet?” Milli Jam asked “and was it love at first sight?” “It was beer at first sight” quipped Melinda, we met in a bar and he got more attractive as the night progressed and more beer was consumed! We laughed.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing ten years’ from now this engaging, charming American couple they said they hoped to be retired grandparents, still travelling, and running their own shop selling Homan guitars!

We wished them the best of luck!


Lucas and Liz Messick

“What a happy loving couple!” I hear you say about the picture (above) of Lucas and Liz Messick, and you’d be right! This young duo from Pennsylvania, USA appeared on the latest edition of our Sunday night radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela. The show airs every Sunday night on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s firmly established local radio station and streams live on the internet too! Lucas and Liz were hoping their families back in the States would be tuned in! “How long have you been married?” Milli Jam wanted to know at the top of the show, “just eight months” they replied. “Awwwww”! We said!

Lucas and Liz told listeners that they’d been in Zambia for the past five weeks volunteering at Macha Mission Hospital – Macha Mission is a mission station in the Choma District of the Southern Province of Zambia. The hospital has 200 beds and is a vital service in this rural area. Liz is training to be a physician’s assistant and is doing a two year Masters course at Lock Haven University for her qualification – this stint at Macha formed part of her course. Lucas is an accountant in the family business back home, the family has five stores selling ‘farming implements’ – he admitted that Bruce Springsteen, who has a ranch in Pennsylvania, buys tractors from his company – farming implements indeed! Nothing like hoes and rakes! Whilst in Macha Lucas had been helping with the books at the Mission.

The music on the show was the usual great mix. Tracks from The Wanted and Amelia Lily started us off, then George played Ozzy’s ‘You’re The Reason’  and Ty2’s ‘Spotlight’ as his local Zambian choices. The latter was the oldie of the week, and the prize we give each week to the first person to text us telling us who’s singing our oldie, was quickly snapped up! Great! Milli Jam dropped Chris Brown’s smash ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ and we followed with latest tracks from Carly Rae Jepsen as well as Psy’s Gangnam Style – over 200 million hits on YouTube for Korean Psy!

Liz and Lucas told listeners they’d loved their trip to Chobe in Botswana that day and had been lucky to see lions, as well as hundreds and hundreds of elephant. They had enjoyed Victoria Falls and had been to see them from the Zimbabwe side as well. Liz was rather disappointed that there was not more water going over, due to it being the dry season, but thought it a good reason to come back to Zambia again after the rainy season. She had learned some Tonga while in Zambia and she and Milli Jam started chatting away in his language. He loved it!

Lucas expressed a great love of TV show Top Gear and sport – especially American Football – he had even been following a game between Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens that day on the internet at Chanters! He also revealed that he plays the french horn in an orchestra back in America and is into classical music. Liz is more into Christian music and was happy when I told her that Lecrae’s new album ‘Gravity’ was high in the US album charts as we went on air. We give listeners chart and social media news every week on our show.

Saying that they were flying back to America the following day, and asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years’ time, they said they hoped to have two children, to be following the Lord and to have great jobs! We wished them well.


New York! New York!

“It’s strange” I said to our Guests at the start of the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge weekly radio show on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone leading local radio station “when people say they’re from America the general reaction is not as excited as when Americans say they’re from New York!” Mike and Jennifer Westcott (above) laughed and proclaimed New York to be their city, and the best city in the whole world! We declined to argue! Mike and Jennifer had been staying at Chanters Lodge for a few days at the end of a hectic three week stay in Africa, having arrived in Livingstone a few days earlier from South Africa. They told Milli Jam, one of the co-hosts of our show, that they would be leaving for Johannesburg the following day, and for home in New York the day after that. “Had they had a good time in Zambia?” George da Soulchild Kaufela (the other co-host) wondered. You bet they had!
This lively, talkative New York couple told listeners that their visit to Livingstone had started with a sunset cruise on the Zambezi with the Lady Livingstone. Thereafter they had visited Victoria Falls and seen it from both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides. Jennifer commented that there was more water on the Zim side and we explained that Zesco, our beloved electricity company, diverted the water above the Falls on the Zambian side for their hydro-electric scheme. That day the Westcotts had also been on the lion encounter out at Thorn Tree and had loved it. The day of the show was Mike’s birthday (happy birthday Mike!) and he and Jennifer had been to Chobe in Botswana for the one day safari. They had had a great time. One of the highlights of their visit to Livingstone had definitely been a visit to Livingstone Island for tea, and for Jennifer a swim in Devil’s Pool, Mike had allegedly ‘chickened’ out of jumping into the pool!
The music on the show was pretty hot as we opened with Rita Ora’s ‘How We Do (Party)’ debuting at number one in the UK singles charts as we went on air. We coupled that with TreySongz ‘Simply Amazing’, also big in the UK. George dropped tracks by CQ and Petersen ft Joe for his Zambian selection while Milli Jam picked Mary J Blige featuring Rick Ross as well as Usher’s ‘Numb’. Each week on the show we try to give away a prize of a dinner for two to the first person to text us telling us who’s singing our oldie of the week. On this show I chose Elvis Presley’s ‘Jailhouse Rock’ but no-one got it. Problem. Our pick of the week was Ellie Goulding’s awesome ‘Anything Could Happen’ and we closed with Paloma Faith’s ’30 Minute Love Affair’.
Jennifer told our listeners that she was a primary school teacher in New York and Mike a qualified butcher working in a large New York supermarket. They are both third or fourth generation New Yorkers, they had known each other 12 years and had been married for 5 of those. Jennifer explained that they had met online “before it was a trend”! They both loved to travel and hoped in ten years’ time to still be living in New York and travelling a lot. They loved baseball and ice hockey sports wise. “Not soccer?” Asked Milli Jam – they shook their heads forlornly. Musically they said they were both into pop top 40 so I guess they guested on the right show!!

As we closed the show Mike and Jennifer gave a special shout out to Steve Hamwandi, a Livingstone taxi driver, who they said had given them excellent service during their stay. Great stuff!


Business Cliches That Show You’re Lazy!

This from Inc – better read it if you’re in any way involved in management or leadership!

Whipping out a platitude isn’t just annoying. Using some platitudes also shows you’re lazy, and not just in words but in actions:

“Work smarter, not harder.”
What happens when you say that to me?
One: You imply I’m stupid.

Two: You imply whatever I’m doing should take a lot less time and effort than it does.
And three: After you say it, I kinda hate you.
If you know I could be more efficient, tell me how. If you know there’s a better way, show me how. If you think there’s a better way but don’t know what it is… say so. Admit you don’t have the answer. Then ask me to help you figure it out. And most importantly, recognize that sometimes the only thing to do is to work harder… so get off your butt and help me.

“There is no ‘I’ in team.”
Sure there is. There are as many “I”s as team members. Those individuals, the more “individual” the better, serve to make the team stronger. The best teams are often a funky blend of the talents, the perspectives… and the individual goals of each person.
If you want a team to work hard and achieve more, make sure each person feels she can not only achieve the team’s goal but also one of her own goals. Spend time figuring out how each individual on the team can do both… instead of taking the lazy way out by simply repressing individuality in the pursuit of the collective.

“It just wasn’t meant to be.”
Fate had nothing to do with it. Something went wrong. Figure out what went wrong and learn from it.
“Oh… it wasn’t meant to be…” is not just lazy but also places responsibility elsewhere.
“Oh… but let’s figure out what we can do next time…” is empowering and places the responsibility where it should be: on you.

“That’s probably not what you want to hear.”
It sucks to hear bad news, no doubt. But when you say that something isn’t what I want to hear you shift the issue over to my side of the table. Somehow it’s become my problem. Don’t shift. Explain why you made a decision. Explain the logic. Explain your reasoning.
I still may not want to hear it… but that way the focus remains on the issue and not on me.

“Perception is reality.”
Yeah, yeah, I know: How I perceive something is my version of reality, no matter how wrong my perception may be.But if other people perceive a reality differently than you, work to change that perception. Make reality the reality.
Besides, perceptions are fleeting and constantly changing. Reality lasts forever… or at least until a new reality comes along to replace it.

“We want your feedback.”
You see and hear a similar line everywhere: websites, signs, meetings…
Don’t be passive if you truly want feedback. Don’t “make it easy” for people to provide. Go get it. Be active.
People who really want feedback take responsibility for getting that feedback–they don’t wait to receive it.

“Do it now and apologize later.”
You’re not a bold, daring risk-taker; you’re lazy and self-indulgent. Good ideas are rarely stifled. People like better; if they don’t like your idea, the problem usually isn’t them: It’s you.
Don’t take the easy way out. Describe what you want to do. Prove it makes sense. Get people behind you.
Then whatever you do has a much better chance of succeeding.

“Failure is not an option.”
This one is often used by a leader who gets frustrated and wants to shut down questions about a debatable decision or a seemingly impossible goal: “Listen, folks, failure is simply not an option.” (Strikes table or podium with fist.)
Failure is always a possibility. Just because you say it isn’t doesn’t make it so.
Don’t reach for a platitude. Justify your decisions. Answer the hard questions.
If you can’t, maybe your decision isn’t so wise after all.

“Let’s not reinvent the wheel.”
Because hey, your wheel might turn out to be a better wheel… which means my wheel wasn’t so great.
And we can’t have that.

“It is what it is.”
Here’s another shutdown statement. “It is what it is,” really means, “I’m too lazy to try to make it different… so for gosh sakes stop talking about it.”
“It is what it is” is only true if you take the easy way out by letting “it” remain “it.”



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.


Whitney & Dave DeCamp

Meet Whitney and David DeCamp (above) from the USA. Whitney is a strategic planning analyst with the American Red Cross and Dave is a business system manager with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation, both based in Washington DC. Dave’s job involves the implementation of the Smartcare programme in conjunction with the Centre for Disease Control.

Whitney and Dave met about 11 years ago and in 2005 got married. They have recently been enjoying a short vacation at Chanters Lodge in Livingstone, so we took the opportunity to invite them to guest on our regular Sunday night radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela – airing live at 20.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. On this occasion the ‘Milli Jam Ingredient’ was not feeling well so it was the ‘Kaufela Ingredient’ featuring Richard! Whitney and Dave were a little apprehensive but in the end happy to accept our invitation and they were great Guests!

“What have you been doing since you arrived in Livingstone?” George wondered early on in the set. Whitney and Dave explained that they had only arrived from Lusaka the day before, but had already managed to fit in a sunset cruise on Lady Livingstone, which they had loved, especially as they saw quite a lot of game during the trip. They had, they explained, that very morning been on the rhino walk with Bwaato Adventures, and considered the activity to be really good value for money. They had seen six rhino, including one of the babies as well as loads of other game, including cape buffalo, giraffe and zebra. Dave told listeners that he’d been attending a conference in Lusaka before they arrived in Livingstone, Whitney had, on this occasion, been able to join him for a holiday and had persuaded him to come and see Victoria Falls and he was delighted she had. They had seen the Falls and got soaking wet in the process! “All part of the fun!” They said.

The music on the show was good. We played tracks by Jeremy Greene featuring Usher as well as from Miley Cyrus, Roberto and Kaufela, moving on to Pitbull featuring Shakira – or was it the other way round? Newton Faulkner featured too. Our oldie of the week was by Shabba Ranks. We give away a dinner for two to the first person to text us telling us who’s the artist on our weekly oldie and this week a certain Albert win the prize. Our pick of the week was Call My Name – Florence and The Machine’s first every UK number one, featuring Calvin Harris and we closed with Taio Cruz’a latest ‘Fast Car’.

Dave told listeners that he loves country music and baseball, while Whitney likes alternative rock and American football. Their favourite teams are both from Baltimore. Asked how they had found out about Chanters Lodge Whitney explained that they had found the lodge well reviewed on TripAdvisor and that they were more than happy that they had made the lodge their choice.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years’ time, this lively and loving couple expressed an interest in coming back to live in Zambia with their, as yet, unborn children. We wondered if it was hard for Whitney with Dave travelling so much in his job, but they explained that the internet, Skype and things made it much easier than it used to be! Were the guys on Facebook or Twitter? Yes both, but Dave claimed he had no followers on Twitter! We determined to do something about that!



Long way from Chanters Lodge, Livingstone but get a load of this from Engadget

We all knew opening one’s hotel room door with a smartphone was just the beginning, didn’t we? As the years have turned (and LodgeNet has inexplicably remained), a smattering of companies have seen the opportunity to connect savvy hotel guests to the properties they frequent. Y!kes is the latest to tune in, and its solution undoubtedly has the potential to change the way smartphone users interact with lodging venues. Designed as a hardware + software platform, the proximity-aware access system offers hotels the ability to tightly and specifically grant or deny access to one’s phone. As an example, a hotel and guest both utilizing the system could see an elevator automatically choose one’s floor upon entry, a door automatically unlock when a patron walks within range, a parking deck automatically have its gate raised, and a VIP lounge door automatically open if the credentials are programmed in.

Going a step further, one could envision this system having the ability to alert a hotel when a guest lands at the nearest airport, thereby triggering a series of events that places fresh Perrier bottles on the desk, blue mood lighting in the bathroom, a thermostat adjustment to 74 degrees and whatever else that person has specified in their profile. Insane? Sure, but not at all outside of the realm of feasibility. Once a venue has installed the system, guests need only have the associated app — available for Android, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone and iOS — running in the background on their device. If all goes as planned, he or she won’t even have to drop by the check-in counter, and when the stay is over, they’ll be able to bypass the check-out line as well.

If you’re curious about app availability, we’re told that the iOS build will hit the App Store “this week,” while the other three platforms will see launches “within 30 days.” We asked the company if it was ready to announce any partnerships with hotel chains, and received the following reply: “As for integration, Y!kes is currently engaged in deep discussions with the top hotel chains and will have information pertaining to specific contracts in the near future.” Needless to say, the jetsetters in the crowd will be keeping an ear to the ground for more.


Dambisa Moyo

Dambisa Moyo’s new book has debuted at number 13 on the New York Times Best Seller list! I knew Dambisa’s dad Dr Steve quite well back in the day when he was boss of Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and he was making me organize talent show, telethons and the like! We’re delighted that daughter Dambisa is making such a name for herself!

Zambia’s internationally acclaimed economist and author Dambisa Moyo’s new book Winner Takes All: China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the World, has debuted at number 13 on the New York Times Best Seller list for Non-Fiction books. Dambisa is also the author of Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way For Africa and How The West was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead is still on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Dambisa, older sister of singer and author Marsha Moyo and daughter of Indo- Zambia Bank chairperson Orlean and academician Steven Moyo, is only bettered by the likes of The Amateur, by Edward Klein, a journalist who argues that President Obama is a callow and unable to lead, which is on number one and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, a biography of the recently deceased entrepreneur. Others are It Worked for Me (Colin Powell and Tony Kolz), which deals with the rules for effective leadership from the four-start general and former US Secretary of State and Killing Lincoln (Billy O’Reilly), about the events surrounding the assassination of former US President Abraham Lincoln and I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me, which are reflections by the comedian Joan Rivers.

However, Dambisa’s new book examines the commodity dynamics that the world will face over the next several decades, particularly the implications of China’s rush for resources across all regions of the world. With the scale of China’s resource campaign for hard commodities (metals and minerals) and soft commodities (timber and food) being one of the largest in history, Dambisa presents her research of the financial and geopolitical implications of this in a world of diminishing resources and argues that we are in the middle of unprecedented times.

Dambisa, who was born and raised in Lusaka, and holds a Doctorate and Phd in Economics from Oxford University, was in 2009 honoured by the World Economic Forum as one of its Young Global Leaders. In 2010, TIME Magazine named her as one of the world’s 100 most influential people while in September 2009; she was featured in Oprah Winfrey’s power list of 20 remarkable visionaries.

In 2010, she was a participant at the Bilderberg Conference while last year, she spoke at annual Observance ceremony marking Commonwealth Day in Westminster Abbey. She spoke on “Women as Agents of Change” in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister David Cameron and 2,000 guests. At the same time, The Daily Beast also selected her as one of the “150 Extra-ordinary Women Who Shake The World” along with Hilary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and others.


The Peace Corps and The Experience

Meet Jenni Kuker (above right) and her mum Jan who were Guests on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela. That’s our regular Sunday night radio show on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. The programme is a relaxing mixture of music and chat. Jenni and her parents, who come from the USA, were staying at Chanters Lodge on a visit to see Victoria Falls. When Milli Jam asked Jenni “what brought you to Zambia?” She exclaimed “adventure!” And went on to tell listeners that she is a Peace Corps volunteer and that she’d been based in Zambia since July 2010, stationed 200 kms east of Lusaka in Luangwa. Her parents were on a visit to see her, as well as to do some sight seeing.

Jenni explained that she held two degrees, one in psychology and one in nursing from University of Portland in Oregon, USA. She told listeners that in Luangwa she stayed in a mud hut without electricity, and had been mostly living on a diet of village chickens and bananas. That part of Eastern Zambia is famous for the production of the latter, and Jenni told listeners she was now expert in the production of banana bread, banana fritters and banana pancakes! She was involved with health care education in a rural clinic and would finish her stint in Zambia in September this year. She was looking forward to showing her parents ‘the village’ and then taking them on Safari in the South Luangwa National Park staying at Flatdogs.
The music on the show was right up to date as usual. We opened with Rihanna’s ‘Where Have You Been’ – her upcoming single release, back to back with Conor Maynard’s ‘Can’t Say No’. Conor’s single was number two in the UK charts as the show went on air. Hailing from Brighton Conor is billed as ‘Britain’s answer to Justin Bieber’. The mind boggles – but it’s a good single. For his Zambian pick George dropped one of his own great tracks ‘Your Love’ featuring Jay Fantasy back to back with JK’s smash featuring Salma ‘Kapilipili’. Milli Jam chose the ‘oldie of the week’ Charice’s ‘Pyramid’ and my phone was hot with folks texting in to tell us the name of the artist, in order to win a dinner for two at the lodge. Jacque won. We closed with Maroon 5 ft Wiz Khalifa and ‘Payphone’.
Jan told listeners that she and husband David (listening to the show back at the lodge) had been married 43 years and were both retired. They had both worked in human resources prior to retirement. They were thoroughly enjoying their first visit to Zambia. Jenni told us that a lack of privacy in the village had been the hardest thing to accept when she arrived in Luangwa, and said she had overcome the problem by building a fence. She wanted to work in specialized surgical nursing when she returned to the USA, and mum wanted her to find a husband. ‘No need to return to the States for that’ texted one bright spark ‘plenty of eligible men in Zambia’. We laughed.

Asked where she would like to be and what she would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Jenni replied that she would like to be nursing somewhere in the world with Medecins Sans Frontiers. I’m sure it will happen!


Mr Swagger

Zambia’s top International Hip-Hop artist, Mr. Swagger, talks to UKZAMBIANS about his Grammy experience (via George da Soulchild Kaufela):

In between celebrating the Chipolopolo AFCON 2012 win and getting Valentine’s on,we caught up with Zambia’s top International Hip-Hop artist and multi award winner, Mr. Swagger, formerly known as C.R.I.$.I.$., to find out about his first Grammy Awards experience. Here is what he had to say.

UKZAMBIANS: How were the Grammys?
Mr Swagger: While people were winning Grammys, I was wondering how Zambia was doing in the football game. Everything was happening at the same time and, the laws of physics couldn’t allow me to be in both places at the same time

UKZAMBIANS: Oh man, that must have been hard not to watch the finals in full.
Mr Swagger: The Grammys are the biggest event in music and, it was just sad that a we lost a great contributor to the industry. It kind of put a dark cloud over the event, even though it went on as scheduled. Losing Whitney Houston was like losing a sister in the family. She shared a lot with the world through her music. This is how we’ve been able to relate to her through the decades

UKZAMBIANS: The whole industry is in shock with her death. How did your Grammy invite happen?
Mr Swagger: The funny thing about that is, it was very random. I have an album called ‘Designer’ which I released in 2008. It was my first International release. It’s also the one album that has sold the least but, it was recognized by the Recording Academy. As you may know, the Grammy’s are strictly on invitation and, ‘Designer’ is the one album I’ve done that they recognized and based on that, I got an invitation to attend the 54th Grammy Awards.

UKZAMBIANS: Wow! We are happy that your hard work is paying off. We saw some photos of you with Just Blaze, J Cole, Cory Gunz and Shaggy, Did you get to talk to these stars?
Mr Swagger: Yeah, the thing about such events is that, you get to meet people and, sometimes you re-connect at a later date and, sometimes you don’t ever see each other again. The most random thing happened to me. I was at Heathrow Airport, returning from the BEFFTA Awards where I had just won BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT. While connecting flights, I met a guy called ‘Skrillex.’ We sat next to each other in the departure lounge and we got talking. He happened to be a musician. We exchanged contacts and had a really good vibe. During the Grammy’s, I met him as I was heading to the auditorium and, we both recognized each other. Skrillex was nominated for a Grammy and, he won. My point is that, you get to meet people and, as time goes you start crossing paths and you get familiar with each other and, that’s how you build relations.

UKZAMBIANS: Good thinking man, you are an inspiration. Now A few years ago, there was talk about you auditioning to join G-Unit, can you talk about that?
Mr Swagger: I was in London when I met G-Unit at the BBC Radio Offices. It was just a meet and greet. If anything, I had about a one minute conversation with 50 Cent and spoke to Olivia for about minutes. The whole crew was there including Mase who I also spoke to for a few minutes. All I did was tell people that I met these guys and, as third hand information goes, it gets distorted. Someone decided to twist the story.

UKZAMBIANS: What do you think of the local Music Award shows after being at the Grammys?
Mr Swagger: I must commend the Zambian Award Show creators to start with. It takes a bit of work to achieve show’s that are at Grammy level. The good news is that, we’ve started making strides towards something. You must remember that, the Zambian music industry has been around for a long time but, it went through a time when nothing was happening. It died but, thanks to companies such as Mondo Music for bringing it back. We have a lot of catching up to do and, people need to understand that, we are still a young music industry so, there will be a lot of trial and error before our standards are solidified. I believe that things will improve. Rome was not built in a day.

UKZAMBIANS: We hear you are working on a new record called Business Is Good? How is it shaping up and why name is B.I.G
Mr Swagger: I haven’t been in the studio that much because I’ve been travelling a lot. In between, I’ve been getting chances to record and prepare for the next session and so forth. I’ve been taking my time because this album is part of a bigger vision. I named the album ‘B.I.G (Business is Good)’ because, it’s a reflection of how I see things. There are many elements that contribute to this venture. Music is fun but, it’s a business. The album title is a double entendre. It has many meanings to it in relation to business and music as a whole.

UKZAMBIANS: Is that song you did with Lil Flip going to be on the album?
Mr Swagger: The song is called ‘Since You Hate Me.’ Yeah, I was debating with myself. The thing is that, I’ve been getting a lot of good feedback from that joint. People in Zambia that have heard it have given it good dap and my peeps in the US are loving it, I guess that’s a “yes.”

UKZAMBIANS: Talking about haters.We must admit that you are probably one of the most talked about rapper in Zambia and by ‘talked’ about I mean positive and negative talk is that song addressing that?
Mr Swagger: My boy Titus Ramiz from Chicago, USA came up with the hook. I just laced the vocals and aired out what I felt in my heart. Wolf, a lot of people want to make blogs just like yours but, they will never be you. It’s usually people in your own field that spark the fire. The good news is that, they’re talking and, it only increases your blessings when you’ve done nothing to provoke them. Thanks to all the haters for continuously giving me a ladder to step on their heads.

UKZAMBIANS: We get you, thanks for your time man, any words you want to say before we wrap up?
Mr Swagger: I just want to thank you for your time. I read your blog whenever I get the chance and, I think you’re doing a phenomenal job. I’d like to thank my wife and family for being supportive.

Page 3 of 8 12345...»