Wendy Callaway (above) was the guest on the most recent edition of our regular Sunday night radio show – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela. The show airs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station, from 20.30-21.30 hrs and also streams live on the internet. The programme is a good mix of music and chat, popular locally not least because we give away a dinner for two with drinks at Chanters Lodge on every show to the first person to text us telling us who’s singing our ‘oldie of the week’. On this show the track was ‘Umbrella’, the singer was Rihanna, and the winning answer appeared on my phone within seconds! Great, seeing that the previous week no-one had won!
Wendy was a very interesting guest. She told listeners that she was in Zambia for a couple of weeks to work with the The Butterfly Tree, a charity which supports rural communities in Zambia often badly affected by illness. The organization’s aim is to help in the provision of safe drinking water and feeding programmes as well as improved health and education facilities. The NGO also has an orphan sponsorship programme and Wendy explained that she had been sponsoring five orphans in Zambia for six years through this scheme. She was delighted, on this her first visit to Zambia, to have already met four of the five orphans whom she had sponsored, now teenagers aged between 14 and 18 and she said they were all doing very well academically. Most of the The Butterfly Tree’s work in Livingstone is based at Mukuni Village and this was where Wendy had been spending time since she arrived.
The music on the show featured tracks from R Kelly, Calvin Harris ft Ne-Yo, Lionel Richie, Lana del Rey and Jason Derulo from an international point of view. Local tracks were from Red Linso and Winston with ‘Kamwala’ and Exile’s ‘Walimbikila’ – ‘old but good’ was the Chanters Girls verdict on this Exile track. The lodge staff are avid listeners to the show and don’t hesitate to let me know what’s good!
Milli Jam asked Wendy if she’d managed to do any of the tourist activities on offer in Livingstone during her first week with us, and she replied that she’d just come back from Chobe in Botswana where she’d been on safari for a few days. She’d also squeezed an elephant safari, lion encounter and a rhino walk into her busy schedule. She told listeners that she’s an accountant by profession, and that having her own business in Southern England affords her the chance to travel and to do the things she wants to do – a chance that might not be there were she working for other people. She told us that she’s an active member of the Rock Choir and had been involved in their best selling 2011 album as well as appearing on ITV TV in a show featuring 8000 choir members in the Wembley Arena. “Wow!” We said – without asking her to sing for us!
Asked about her plans for the future, this serious minded, hard working, married British lady (she had greeted husband Pete listening to the programme live back in UK) told listeners that she hoped to be able to expand her business and therefore be able to grow her charity work and other interests. “Great!” We said.