Riding the Sound Waves

Picture this: a 17-year-old Chilu Lemba mimicking his favorite on-air personality, Mike “the Maverick” Tabor and leaving his high-school buddies in stitches. It was clear that the radio bug had struck, big time.

Chilu’s love for radio had developed in the mid 1980’s thanks in part to Zimbabwe’s Radio 3; a station he listened to most frequently whilst a resident in Livingstone, Zambia. The Radio 3 FM signal could be picked up throughout Livingstone.

As a 20 year old, Chilu joined Zambia’s first privately owned radio station, Radio Phoenix and before long ‘Bongo, the Sharp Shooter’ as he became known, was a regular feature on the station - hosting music shows and interviewing celebs, government officials and the man on the street. By 1998, he was Radio Phoenix’s Acting Station Manager, adopting a role alongside senior management to not only handle the day-to-day running, but also to also help direct the station’s future. 

Chilu left his beloved Zambia for the city of gold, Johannesburg in 1998 to further his studies. Upon completion and after a brief stint as a project manager at Young & Rubicam and Wunderman SA, he was voted runner-up in the citywide Hot Jocks Search for ‘Jo’burgs Number One Hit Music Station’, Primedia’s 94.7 Highveld Stereo. Pretty soon he was hosting the Saturday and Sunday afternoon shows on Highveld - an inevitable conclusion. 

Today, as he juggles a number of media ventures, Chilu is still associated with Primedia as the Station Voice for Eye Witness News. He is also involved with Radio Consultancy & Training. He has recently completed a run of hosting season one of The Circuit Break Top 10, a weekly radio chart show produced by Ten 27 Communications in South Africa and broadcast on QFM in Zambia.