Ethel Mashawila & Shupiwe Mulenga

This week, for a change, on the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Kaufela – our weekly Sunday night radio show, airing at 20.30 hrs for an hour on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm – we featured two of the kitchen staff from Chanters Lodge. Ethel Mashawila (left) and Shupiwe Mulenga pictured above. Shupiwe’s our acting head cook and Ethel ‘the vice’ as she put it, when Milli Jam asked the girls what positions they held at the lodge.

Although the girls confessed to being ‘a bit nervous’ on the way to the studio they had no need to be – they were both well spoken, interesting and happy on air, as indeed they are for the most part at work. “What would you cook for us if we came to eat at the lodge”? George (Kaufela) and Milimo (Milli Jam) asked the girls. “For you Kaufela we’d cook pepper steak with mashed potatoes” replied Ethel. “Mmmm nice” said George. “You, Milli Jam, will have chitonga chicken with nsima” continued Shupi. “Why”? asked Milimo. “You look like a Tonga”! She replied, as we all laughed. The girls went on to explain the preparation of the dishes to the listeners.

Shupiwe and Ethel explained that they’d both worked at Chanters for about 2 years. Milli Jam asked Shupiwe how old she was but she refused to tell him! Pursuing the matter Milimo queried her: “aren’t you too young to be in charge of the kitchen”? Shupiwe acidly replied “leadership has no age barrier”. And that shut him up! Stunning! The presenters, as usual, wanted to know if the girls had boyfriends. Ethel told listeners that she had, and also an 8 month old baby girl, Queen. Shupiwe replied that she was ‘very single’ which made the guys sit up and take notice.

The music for the show was excellent as usual. After our opening ‘Candy’ by Aggro Santos we spun Mohombi’s ‘Bumpy Ride’ back to back with Timati ft Diddy Dirty Money and ‘I’m On You’. George chose a Zone Fam number ‘It’s Alright’ as we’d been blogging about Zone Fam during the week. This he coupled with a latest track from Ty2 ft JK ‘Ubuchende’ – “what does that mean”? I asked. “You’ll be told off air”! Was the answer…and I was! Milli Jam featured Bruno Mars with Damian Marley ‘Liquor Store Blues’ coupled with David Archuleta’s ‘The Other Side’. ‘Drop Down’ Akon ft Ludacris and Katy Perry’s ‘Part Of Me’ wound up a good play list.

“What kind of music are you into”? The girls were asked. Ethel replied that she liked Zambian music and Gospel, Shupiwe slow tracks, with her favourite artists Monica and Whitney Houston. “Stuck in the 90’s with Milli Jam” was my comment on that one! Asked about their ambitions both girls said they’d love to own their own businesses one day involving food production.

After we’d given away the usual dinner for two with drinks, I made the point that one of the least expected positive results of hosting a weekly radio show on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm was the morale boost it gave the staff at the lodge. Ethel and Shupiwe confessed that when it wasn’t busy at work and the show was on, the Chanters Girls back at the lodge danced. “I don’t mind” I said, “I love the big smiles we get when we come back from the studio”! And I do!

In other news one of these girls said she supported Manchester United, the other Chelsea.