Remember Doug Funk (pictured above)? You should! He appeared on our radio show and the blog in May this year, and we were delighted to welcome him back again to Guest on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela. The show airs on Zambezi 107.7 fm every Sunday night from 20.30 to 21.30 hrs and is a cool mixture of international and Zambian music, chat and news. Doug hails from Canada, telling listeners that “he lives on Vancouver Island, an island in the Pacific Ocean, a fantastic place”.
Doug works for a wealthy philanthropic family involved in more than 100 projects in Africa, centred mostly on Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi but also extending into South Africa. All the projects are linked to education, and indeed at the end of the show when Milli Jam asked Doug if he had any message for the listeners, his reply was “education, education, education” and he certainly walks the talk! He told listeners that he is busy promoting a programme called ‘Happy Books’ which is a reader programme for developing reading skills in African youngsters. 10 schools in Zambia already have these books. Doug makes two trips a year to Africa to assess the progress of his projects, the rest of his time is spent on the massive administration demands of his work.
The music on the show was super, opening with ‘Doom and Gloom’ the latest by The Rolling Stones especially for Arsenal supporters after the team’s dismal performance the previous day. We followed up with tracks from Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch, Winston and Red Linso, CQ featuring Exile, Rihanna, LMFAO, Nas, Rebecca Ferguson and Ne-Yo. The oldie of the week was Nas’s ‘The World Is Yours’ but the prize we offer to the first person to text us the name of the performing artist went unwon! It was a tough one! We give listeners latest chart news each week and on this show for the first time we gave details of an African chart – unsurprisingly topped by three Nigerian acts.
Doug explained that he had only arrived in Zambia from Zimbabwe the previous night and would be leaving for Mazabuka the following morning, where he had a project at the community school. That afternoon he had been out at Mwandi to assess progress on classroom buildings there. He gave us an update on his THRASS programme saying how important it was for rural youngsters in Zambia to have a better grasp of English as that was the language of exams, and lack of English a primary reason for exam failure. Doug felt the programme was progressing very well in Zambia.
Milli Jam asked Doug what was his favourite Zambian food and his reply was “nsima, but not three times a day”! He revealed that his projects are sponsored by an outfit called ‘Solon’ – one of the seven wise men of ancient Greece, he divulged. As usual we greeted Guests at the lodge, family at home and the Chanters Lodge staff.