“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!