Richard Experiences The ‘Experience’!

Check the photo above! Yes that’s me on The Chanters Lodge Experience as the guest last Sunday with host Milli Jam over my shoulder! The tables were turned! ‘Why would you guest on your own show’ I hear you ask. Well our scheduled guest had a last minute problem and was unable to appear, so co-hosts Milli Jam and George Kaufela quickly said ‘it’s a long time since we interviewed you Richard, you’ll have to do it!’ For the uninitiated The Experience is our weekly radio show airing every Sunday evening at 20.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm and is a great mixture of music and chat. Each week we give away a prize of a dinner for two to the first person to text us the answer to a simple question – usually who’s singing our ‘oldie of the week’. This week the answer was James Blunt and the response was fantastic – not always the case.

So, what did they ask me? How long had I been in Zambia? – 32 years. When did I open Chanters Lodge? – 1998. What was I doing before I came to Livingstone? – I was general manager of what is now called Southern Sun Ridgeway Hotel, then just Ridgeway Hotel in Lusaka. How did I get into the hotel industry? – I studied hotel management at Middlesex University for 4 years. What did I do between the time I qualified and the time I came to Zambia? – A lot! Namely, working in various hotels in UK followed by stints in Mombasa Kenya, Mahe Seychelles, Lake Malawi and Jos, Nigeria. I was able to give listeners some insights into the highs and lows of working in the hotel industry across Africa.

The music on the show was great, once we’d sorted out one or two technical issues (it was one of those nights I’d say!) The guys opened with ‘World In Our Hands’ a great new track from Taio Cruz back to back with Drake’s smash single ‘Take Care’ recorded with Rihanna. George chose Naeto C’s ‘5 & 6’ – topical as the star is due to perform in Lusaka this Friday night. He coupled this track with Pompi ft Exile and their ‘Chipolopolo Remix’. Milli Jam featured Kelly Rowland’s ‘Work It More’ back to back with Ace Hood featuring Chris Brown with ‘Body To Body’. James Blunt’s ‘You’re Beautiful’ was the ‘oldie of the week’ from which we moved on to Trey Songz hit ‘Top Of The World’ closing with ‘Do Ya Thing’ by Rihanna.

The guys asked me about my ‘history in broadcasting’ and I explained to listeners that my first experience of the media was in Nigeria where I occasionally appeared on state television in interview programmes. During my time in Lusaka we had organized Christmas and Easter entertainment specials featuring the Cool Knights, Lubumbashi Stars, Akim Simukonda etc in conjunction with Field Ruwe, Errol Hickey and late Timmy Mvula. I’d become well known on radio through the Ridgeway Radio Request Show, a very popular Sunday night music show on national radio in 1984/5, which I hosted. We had started the Chanters Lodge Experience on 107.7 fm in 2007.

Asked where I would like to be and what I would like to be doing in 2021 (!), I said I hoped I was still in Livingstone but working rather less, and that my children were all doing well.

The tables were turned indeed!