Quilt For Zambia

Author Sharon T Rose is raffling a quilt to raise money for children in Zambia in view of her forthcoming visit to this country and there’s a photo of the item. Here’s what she says on her blog. You can follow Sharon on Twitter @sharontherose

“The fundraiser is live!

Win the quilt pictured above!

I am raffling off the quilt in the pictures below, and your donations put you in the running to get it! Each US$25.00 that you contribute towards the kids gets you one entry in the raffle. I am keeping a list based on the contribution notices I receive via the campaign below: ChipIn: Sharon’s Zambia Trip! If you don’t feel comfortable using this online donation software but would still like to contribute, you are welcome to contact me directly by combining LilyFields Entertainment (with no spaces) and using the gmail server.

This lovely fabric was made in Zambia and is hand-stitched entirely by yours truly. Finished piece will be a bit more than a meter squared and suitable for both use and display. I will announce the winner on 1 April 2011. I will take the list compiled from donations and run it through a randomizer to select the winner. If you donated previously, you are already on the list. You are welcome to donate in as many separate transactions as you care to; the “tickets” are based on cumulative donations. Yes, I will ship internationally.

So, what are you waiting for!


C.R.I.$.I.$ Wins International Award

George da Soulchild’s weekly blog contribution.

Chisenga Katonga, Mr. Swagger, aka C.R.I.$.I.$, the Zambian hip-hop musician has scooped USA BEFFTA award 2011 in the BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT category. The Zambian beat the other competitors in this heavy-weighty category that included Sade (UK), Fally Ipupa (DRC Congo), 2 Face (Nigeria), Ali Kiba (Tanzania) and M.I. (Nigeria) and myself, CRI$I$ Mr. Swagger (Zambia).

Mr. Swagger in his e-mail to UKZAMBIANS said:

“This category was tightly contested and, I must admit, I have a lot of respect for the other nominees. I see how hard they work and, I think that they are great artists. Fortunately and thank God, I won the award and it will be going home to Zambia with me.

“This achievement is a humbling experience for me and, I am glad that Zambia is slowing being recognized for the part that it’s playing in the entertainment industry.

“I hereby wish to take this opportunity to thank you for all the great support that you have given me. I ask that you may continue to support me and, as you know, I am there for you when and if you need me to help you with anything. I am never too busy for my people”, Said Mr. Swagger.

He said the Award is dedicated “to my new born daughter, ‘Tia Larae Katongo.’”

The BEFFTA Awards were launched in London in October 2009. This year, the awards debut in Atlanta as an integral part of the African-American celebrations to commemorate Black History Month in the USA…nice one Mr Swagger.


You can follow Mr Swagger @hiphopcrisis on Twitter



“What’s your real name?” I asked our most recent guest (pictured above) on The Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George Soulchild, our regular Sunday night radio programme airing from 20.30-21.30 hrs on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s most popular local radio station. “Just call me Skoolboy” he replied. “I really need to know your name” I persisted. “Very well” he said “it’s Gift Zhinga but please don’t mention it on air” – and we didn’t! But we weren’t finished with the matter – “How did you get the name ‘Skoolboy'” Milli Jam asked immediately we started the show. Skoolboy (we won’t use Gift Zhinga here either) explained to listeners that he came from a very poor background. He’d been at secondary school at Linda Secondary School in Livingstone and he’d been forced to drive a taxi at night to raise the money for his schooling, his Clients had christened him ‘Skoolboy’ – though it was his granny who’d first given him the name. And it stuck!

Skoolboy was good value on the show. He contacted St Michael and Dandy Krazy, two local music stars for live phone interviews during the programme and we spoke to both of them about an upcoming European tour for Zambian musicians which Skoolboy is trying to arrange. He splits his time between The University of The Hague where he’s studying for a degree in international law and the USA, where he is trying to promote the activities of Dutch Water Dreams, a company with whom he’s involved. He’s certainly been very active since his days of taxi driving at night and trying to stay awake for Grade 12 lessons during the day! Milimo asked him if he’d met Naomi Campbell when he was watching the Charles Taylor trial at the International Court in The Hague, but oh! He had not! “She was well protected” he said.

The music on the show was great. We opened with ‘Up’ – the latest from Justin Bieber featuring Chris Brown. The track went back to back with ‘Never Forget You’, an interesting co-operation between Lupe Fiasco and John Legend. George featured Hamooba with ‘Song Of The Year’ and K’Millian’s ‘Nizakukonda’ on our local music spot, while Milimo played the Dixie Chicks ‘Wide Open Spaces’ back to back with ‘Take Me Away’ by Keisha Cole.

We told the public how to find Lodgeblog and gave them some information about the stories that had featured on the blog the previous week, and as usual we gave listeners to the show news of the charts – UK and USA Pop and USA Country – concentrating on the top 3 in each case. After this spot we played Luke Bryan’s ‘Someone Else Is Calling You Baby’ – the current number one on the US Top 100 Billboard Country! Right up to date on the ‘The Experience’!

Skoolboy revealed that he’s still single (“careful” I cautioned “we have a lot of female listeners and you’ll be getting them worked up!”) He looks forward to being married and having children. He dreams of becoming a fully fledged international lawyer and running his own big enterprise. Seeing what’s he’s achieved so far, we wouldn’t bet against it!


Neil McDonald & Joanne Stevens on 107.7 fm

It was a pleasure to welcome Neil and Joanne, pictured above, to The Chanters Lodge Experience last Sunday night. The Experience is our local radio show that goes on air every Sunday between 20.30 and 21.30 hrs. The programme is co-hosted by Milli Jam and George da Soulchild, two of Livingstone’s most popular DJ’s, on Zambezi FM broadcasting our show on 107.7 fm. I go along to the show for good measure!

Neil and Joanne hail from the USA, Neil from Monroe, Louisiana and Joanne from Boston, Massachusetts. They live in Alexandria, Virginia. Both are retired – Neil told listeners he’d actually retired twice, once from the Federal Government and once from Delta Airlines, whom he’d joined after his Government service. A lawyer by profession he was very interesting about his career and his world wide travels. Joanne has also retired from her career in real estate, but confessed to still having an interest in two homes. This loving couple told listeners about their children and grandchildren scattered across America. Neil was particularly interesting about one of his sons, Lee, who apart from his regular job, is an American football kicking coach. Check his fascinating website Special Teams Solutions.

Neil and Joanne spoke about their trip from New York to South Africa on the magnificent Queen Mary 2 – the biggest ocean going liner in history. Their cruise had taken them from New York to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and then on to South America, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil before reaching Cape Town. Once there, Neil and Joanne had stayed with a friend before coming to Livingstone and Chanters Lodge.

The music on the show was great. We played Lady Gaga’s latest – ‘Born This Way’ back to back with the UK number 1, Jesse J’s ‘Price Tag’. Our Zambian tracks were Ty2’s latest ‘U Say U Love’ featuring Kanji and Kaufela’s ‘Your Smile’ featuring Roberto. Kaufela, for the uninitiated, is George da Soulchild’s stage name. Great track it is too, we all agreed. Wizkid’s ‘Holla At Your Boy’ and Flo Rida’s ‘Dancing For Me’ were Milli Jam’s selections and we also featured Rascal Flatts with their smash ‘I Won’t Let Go’ and Adele’s ‘If It Hadn’t Been For Love’. Wizkid? Aka Ayodeji Balogun a very hot young Nigerian singer!

Joanne and Neil told listeners about their wonderful one day safari to Chobe National Park in Botswana where they’d been ‘lucky’ to see lion as well as a fairly angry elephant. They’d also enjoyed their sunset cruise on Lady Livingstone. When they visited Victoria Falls they got very wet from the spray. They’d very much enjoyed their stay at Chanters, loved the staff and would be sorry to leave the next day.

We gave away the usual dinner for dinner for two to the first person to text us and tell us where Neil and Joanne were from, Mpezeni correctly answered USA and won. We greeted guests and staff at the lodge and thanked everyone involved in the show for their efforts.


Granny’s Kitchen Apron

I loved this, sent to me by Judy from ‘Someotherland’. To go with the piece there’s a photo of my late mother taken in the 60’s outside School House, Blundell’s School, Tiverton, Devon when my late father was the housemaster. She probably wouldn’t be very pleased to see this photo online but it’s all in the interests of the apron! Clearly the apron referred to below is American, but it still invoked lots of memories!

“I don’t think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Granny’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying childrens’ tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the Autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.

Granny used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

But I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…”


Hands On Hotel Management

I enjoyed this from thonline

People like to complain: the weather, the economy and that old standby, the boss. But at downtown Portland’s Hotel Monaco things are different. Craig Thompson (above), the general manager of the 221-room property, is rarely in his office enjoying the perks that come with being a big shot. At 60, Thompson hustles like an intern striving to impress. If need be, Thompson checks in guests, parks cars, inspects rooms, hauls bags, delivers room service, works in the laundry and helps make wake-up calls. When guests offer a tip, he politely declines. But if the guest presses a few bucks into his palm, Thompson gives it to his employees, many who have worked with him for years.

He arrived in Portland nearly 20 years ago to be general manager at the Vintage Plaza. Five years into the job, leaders at the Kimpton Hotels chain, which runs Vintage Plaza, asked Thompson to walk a few blocks to 506 SW Washington St. to take control of what is now called the Hotel Monaco, another company property. He has a cluttered and unpretentious office — exposed telephone lines snake out of one wall — in a room behind the front desk. But unless Thompson is making calls, checking something on the computer or finishing paperwork, he’s out helping the bellhop, the clerks, the waiters and anyone else who makes the hotel run smoothly.

“He’s amazing,” said Hannah Sloan, who works the front desk. “I used to be in housekeeping, and he’d step in and clean rooms. The first time I saw him, I was shocked. We’re talking about the general manager.” Thompson has a simple philosophy: “Being a good boss isn’t about writing great reports,” he said. “It’s not about how fast I respond to corporate. It’s not about having a rule book or trying to control everyone. It’s about people. If you understand people, you’ll be a good boss. If you don’t, you may have power, but you’ll never be a great boss.”

He would make a poor candidate for “Undercover Boss,” the TV show that puts bosses to work among their lowest-ranking employees. Thompson is already there. “A good boss works side by side with the employees,” Thompson said. “It keeps me young.” In addition to managing the hotel, Thompson checks in guests, parks cars and helps make wake-up calls, among other tasks. Raydell Denton, the room service manager, says Thompson helps her crew when it’s busy. “You see the head boss here, and it means something,” she says.

Thompson was raised in Spokane and got his start in the hotel business at 16, when he was hired at a local hotel as a busboy, bellhop and room service waiter. He eventually earned a hotel management degree from Washington State University. “My first job was when I was hired for a hotel bar,” he said. “I thought I was going to be the bar manager. I was the bar back. I ended up hauling bags of ice, setting up glasses and mopping the floors at 2 in the morning. I learned the hotel business from the ground up.”


Rollcall 2010 – Farewell

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

Roll Call 2010 (Final Farewell)

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

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

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

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

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

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


Restaurant Critic – Bye! In LA

Wow! This from Inc made me sit up and take notice!

“On December 21, Los Angeles Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila was recognized by a staff member as she was waiting for her table at L.A. restaurant Red Medicine (above). Not only were Virbila and her party asked to leave, she was photographed and her image was posted on the restaurant’s Tumblr site along with an explanation from Red Medicine’s managing partner Noah Ellis.

“Our purpose for posting this is so that all restaurants can have a picture of her and make a decision as to whether or not they would like to serve her.” Ellis wrote. “We find that some of her reviews can be unnecessarily cruel and irrational, and that they have caused hard-working people in this industry to lose their jobs—we don’t feel that they should be blind-sided by someone with no understanding of what it takes to run or work in a restaurant.”

For sure, restaurant managers have the right to refuse service to anyone. But to photograph and expose a newspaper critic—who often goes to great lengths to preserve his or her anonymity—seems a bit extreme. And while it’s certainly true that a bad review can be devastating to a restaurant—or a movie or a play or an iPad app—it’s ultimately the consumers’ opinions that determine whether an establishment stays in business or not.

Do restaurant critics have too much power? Did Ellis have the right to refuse service and “out” Virbila by releasing her photograph?”

I don’t know, but if they were after publicity they got it!


Paul Da’Prince

George Da Soulchild co-hosts our regular Sunday night radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George Da Soulchild – broadcast live on 107.7 fm Zambezi Radio from 20.30-21.30 hrs. George guest writes for the blog about the local Zambian music scene, and here’s this week’s news, following his interview with latest Zambian singing sensation Paul Da’Prince:

Zambia’s latest addition to the music scene, 18 year old RnB singer Paul Munanjala (pictured above) – popularly known as Da’Prince – is releasing his first album in December, hopefully on his birthday, when he turns 19. He said his album will be called ‘No One’ and that it will feature 12 tracks. Some of the songs on the album are the title track ‘No One’ as well as ‘Zambian Girls’ and ‘She’s My Lady’ which are already being played on most Zambian Radio Stations – and making airwaves! Paul explained that ‘No One’ is all about assuring a woman that she’s the only girl in a guy’s life and asks if she considers the guy as the only one in hers!

On his album he features Slap Dee, B-Flow, Miller, Tsoya and his Producer Daxon who is also his vocal coach. Paul’s with the K-Amy label to whom he was introduced by Kalumba Chikonde, popularly known as K-Smash – a Muvi TV presenter. Paul said he’s also been inspired to sing RnB by singers such as Usher and Chris Brown and on the local scene, Exile. He also said he’d love to do a collaboration with international singer Usher Raymond one day.

Paul is not only an RnB singer but also works as a presenter on Muvi TV one of Zambia’s TV stations. He presents Zed News and The Michael Jackson Dance Show. He said his family supports his career 100%. He’s also currently studying Hardware And Network Engineering at New Horizons College. He first explored his music career on Muvi TV’s popular Show ‘Teen Star’ in 2007 and came out second place in the competition.

JK chillin’ with R Kelly

Zambia’s own superstar Jordan Katembula (JK) is in Chicago, USA, with the other members of the Pan-African super group ONE8 apparently set to revolutionise music in Africa. The One8 project is a coming together of some of Africa’s best musical talent. JK is one of the artistes chosen for the super group along with Nigeria’s talented 2Face Idibia, Ugandan hip hop artist Navio, Amani of Kenya, Tanzanian heartthrob Alikiba, Ghanaian trio 4×4, Gabonese duo Movaizhaleine and DRC’s hot sensation Fally Ipupa.

Rockstar4000 and Sony Music Worldwide have announced the last signing to the ONE8 music super group international mega-star R. Kelly, and the release of the group’s first single – ending weeks of anticipation across the globe. The ONE8 artists have been amped up, living the high life in Chicago and most importantly recording what will no doubt be one of the world’s hottest singles this holiday season.

‘Hands Across the World’ will soon be released to radio stations and clubs across Africa and worldwide. ONE8 will release not only the hottest single of the year, but also a full album and DVD later. This long-term project was kicked into high gear when the artists flew into Chicago late last month to record ‘Hands Across the World’ with R. Kelly and his world class production team. The group also recorded a video and documentary to be released shortly.


Mike Tabor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May his soul rest in peace.

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