I don’t remember having Finnish guests on the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela until last week’s show, so it was a pleasure to welcome Minttu Markannen (front left) and Susanna Mustonen (front right) who featured on the latest edition of our regular Sunday night radio programme on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. The girls were accompanied to the studio by Minttu’s mum Pivy (back right) and her friend Marita, all of whom were Guests at Chanters Lodge. It was a lovely happy Easter Sunday show with lively chat, great music, and of course the prize of a dinner for two at Chanters Lodge for the first person to text us telling us who was singing our ‘oldie of the week’. Milli Jam’s selection was Ne-Yo’s ‘So Sick’ and there was an immediate deluge of messages most of whom had the right answer, but no-one was faster than Felistus who won!
The girls told listeners that they came from Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and were both student nurses. They were currently working in Lilongwe, Malawi for a few months as part of a student exchange programme between Kamuzu Hospital in Lilongwe and the University of Helsinki, where they were both studying, in the final year of a three year degree course in nursing. The girls were very much enjoying their experience and told us there were huge differences between health care in Finland and Malawi, for example in Finnish hospitals roughly 6 nurses to less than 30 patients, in Malawi 5 nurses for 200+ patients!
The music on the show was great – we opened with Carly Jae Repson’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ a former number 1 in Canada, debuting at number 1 in the UK charts that very day. The guys dropped this track back to back with Nicki Minaj’s ‘Va Va Voom’ from her latest Roman Reloaded album – number 1 in the UK album charts – we are nothing if not right up to date on ‘The Experience’! George played Judy’s ‘Chikawama’ and Roberto’s ‘Osayenda’ for his Zambian tracks. Other tracks were by Micasa, a South African, with a number called ‘Heavenly Streets’, Sean Paul, and Labrinth featuring Emeli Sande.
Milli Jam wanted to know how the group had travelled from Malawi to Livingstone and the girls explained that Kenya Airways had cancelled their flights, consequently they’d been obliged to travel the whole way by coach but they’d been determined to come and see Victoria Falls! They told us the effort had been totally worthwhile as they had now seen the magnificent sight of the Falls in full flood – and gotten very wet in the process! They had a one day safari planned to Chobe in Botswana the next day. They were not sure how many other activities they would be able to fit in as they had to be back in Lilongwe by the following Thursday, and once again would have to travel the whole way back to Malawi by coach.
Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in 10 years time, the girls who are both single, had different replies. They said they wanted to be ‘excellent nurses’ but Minttu gave the impression she would still like to be studying, while Susanna said she hoped she would be nursing, married and have children.
We thought their African experience would stand them in good stead for the future!