Meet Lonny Henderson (left) and Simon Tolmie (above), co-ordinator and trustee respectively of On Call Africa, an NGO founded in Scotland and very active in the Southern Province of Zambia in the field of the provision of mobile medical clinics to the villages in the province. Lonny, an American from Connecticut USA and Simon a Scot from Glasgow were Guests on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela – that’s our weekly radio show on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. The show airs every Sunday night at 20.30 hrs CAT and features latest Zambian and international music, combined with lively chat with our guests of the week. Chanters Lodge and On Call Africa met on Twitter! Is there any better place to meet?
Lonny told listeners that he and partner Ellen (an education co-ordinator with On Call) had been in Zambia since May this year and were thoroughly enjoying their time in the country and the work they were doing. Simon is a full time doctor in one of Glasgow’s largest hospitals and was using his two weeks’ leave to assess progress on the project. He revealed that he’s largely responsible for generating finance for the NGO through donations, and was happy that recently Rotary International and On Call Africa had forged links that should see the organization move forward and expand. Lonny had been recruited through an on line advert and subsequent interviews via Skype. How times do change!
The music on the show was great and featured tracks from Bastille and Killers at the top of the show. Local tracks from Slap D featuring JK as well as Danny rocked the studio! Milli Jam chose Robin Thicke’s summer smash ‘Blurred Lines’ back to back with a number from John Legend. Our oldie of the week was a local track ‘Coca Cola’ by Oga Family and there was a host of text messages correctly telling us the name of the performing artist, so the prize of a dinner for two at the lodge that we give away for the first right answer, was quickly won!
Simon told listeners that he and his fiancee were planning to get married in June or July so 2014 would be a big year for them. He professed no real interest in football but told us that he followed rugby and cricket. Music wise he said his tastes were very broad. Lonny said the same thing, but in a surprise turn of events he revealed that he was a dedicated Arsenal supporter – ‘unusual for an American but very welcome’ thought Milli Jam! So, we discussed Arsenal’s current place at the top of the EPL while George, a Liverpool supporter, listened! The guys said they had enjoyed a night or two at some of Livingstones’ clubs since they had been in town and enjoyed Zambian music and night life.
As far as challenges were concerned they said that the biggest challenge for On Call Africa was distance. Both the distance that people had to walk to the villages to get basic medical assistance and the distance that the NGO’s not new Land Rover had to travel to meet the needs of the people. The NGO is very much involved in training clinical officers to help meet the rural peoples’ medical needs.
Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing ten years’ from now, both Lonny and Simon said that they would like to be part of a a very successful expanded On Call Africa. We thanked them for appearing on our show and for the great work they were doing for the rural population of Southern Zambia.