During my Conference in Alkmaar, The Netherlands, where Zambia took the Centre stage and witnessed my ringing the Bell to signify the opening of the Cheese Market, a preserve of Royalties. Steve and my family accompanied me to the Conference as 'the First Gentleman', great support. The rest is beautiful history.
I have since enrolled as a facilitator for My-Tyme Personal Management which allows me to walk the walk and practice the Six areas of Life being: Family and Home, Spiritual and Ethical, Financial and Career, Mental and Education, Physical and Health, and Social and Cultural. On this story, Im fulfulling my Family and Home. Allow me to share this story of how a great marriage can be great for Business through the support we sometimes take for granted. Steve has given me 30 years of support in his caring so it was time to celebrate.
It was a bright sunny morning of 22nd August 2015, Steve and Sylvia set southwards into Siavonga to explore the holiday facility known as "The Southern Belle". We arrived to a wonderful welcome by Rita Holland with a glass of Champagne in hand and a broad smile and said ‘welcome to the home of the Southern Belle, Protea Hotel luxury leisure at your disposal’. Rita made us comfortable, as we waited for the arrival of other guests before we could get on the Boat. We expected many people to arrive. To our very surprise, we were the main guests joined by the friends of Mr Mark O’Donnell; Mr and Mrs Vernon Wright, and Captain Musonda with whom we developed memorable and hopefully lasting relationships after the four days Anniversary Cruise.
Before I get into the story, I must mention that we went to get Blessings from Father Chilinda who blessed our rings too and sent us off!
Once you are parked on the Cruise, that’s it! You are in a hotel exploring everything. As the crew is busy settling you in your rooms, you are on the deck getting a very serious briefing on safety rules aboard the Southern Belle. We were then served with drinks of our choice, folk music playing to sooth us and ambience surrounded us. Two hours and half on the lake, we docked for the night, and fun started.
I almost forgot to share with you our room 123 Presidential Suite. From here we were able to explore all surroundings from the balcony; from fishermen on canoes bringing fish and exchanging ideas, to other activities on the water. There was so much peace on the water that I almost forgot that I usually suffered from motion sickness because it did not come this time. I would recommend all those that are scared of being on the water that the Southern Belle takes care of all, nothing to worry about but sheer happiness and leisure. The fact of the matter too was that, for the last 3 years, Steve and I have had very little quality time due to the busy schedules that we both have.
One other thing I almost forgot is that on the Southern Belle, you eat 5 times a day! We arrived on the Southern Belle at 1300 hours and as soon as we settled in, it was lunch time. Then we had the Sundowner at 1630 or thereabout, meaning that we had snacks, tea and coffee and our usual favorite drinks. We then refreshed and it was time for dinner. Think of this; there is nothing like ‘I forgot something’. You just go up and down everything is there! Is that the life we needed after 30 years in marriage and especially when you are celebrating it as we were doing? As all days end, we had to retire to bed. Going to bed on a full stomach and just up the stairs was hectic, fortunately, Steve agreed to do an aerobics class with me.
We made a deal with Rita to see the villages around and before it was hot, we set off at 0700 hours for a nice walking exercise in the bush and along the banks of the lake. I know you are wondering how we got off the Southern Belle!! The Southern Belle is equipped with two speed boats that take you up and about the lake. Our first village was where we found a charming Mr Colgate with his family. He is a great entrepreneur who needs encouragement in utilizing opportunities. One great discovery is that he banks the fish that he smokes over a period of time to go and sell in town. Believe it or not, he refused to sell us his fish which we saw being prepared!. Tried to put in our entrepreneurial lecture, it still failed but his neighbour took advantage and sold all his fish to us. On our way back we met another fisherman entrepreneur who was very innovative; he and his family have a make shift deep freezer where they keep all the fish bought from smaller fishermen to consolidate for market value. Here we also saw three species of guinea fowls, very interesting.
We sat on the deck for drinks and to see the sun set. I think this happens only on the Southern Belle as there is nothing to obscure the view.
We set out for our daily morning boat cruise to the village to meet the Chief. Unfortunately, there was a funeral in another area within the chiefdom and chief had gone there. Nevertheless, we were entertained by the people we found. Oh my God, we had fun!! This reminded me of the olden days when we used to visit my late grandmother Belita Bwalya in the village north of Kasama. Everything came back and I was able to pound the millet and grind it on the mortar (how I wish you could see the video. If we convince our IT young man Ndumiso you can find it here: www.thechangeagencyinitiative.com/events). We joined in the dance (does anybody remember the Barberton guitar) with a homemade guitar. We qualified to become local revelers. Afterwards, it was time to start getting back so we get to celebrate our day.
Surprise, surprise as our boat approached, Steve had been coached to come over and receive me by the boat, help me get out and walk hand in hand to the reception area. We toasted, wow almost forgot, Rita had arranged for a cake for us perched on the Fish plate to symbolize we were on the Lake Kariba that was famous for its fish!! We exchanged rings which had been blessed by Father Charles Chilinda SJ prior to departure from Lusaka. It was really a great day and it felt like we were on all over again and thanked God for this wonderful experience. We are living a life of gratitude and hope that our good health continues in order to share the great experience with others.
We woke up leisurely we were briefed that the Southern Belle would depart around 0800, we did not care anyway because we needed not go anywhere, and this is the beauty of being on the Southern Belle. As we were going, we got ready, down to the dining room for breakfast. After breakfast, we went to the front and just basked in the sun and travelled back to base. We went on a lake tour of the dam wall and back to dock.
We recommend any persons planning or wishing to celebrate something in their lives to go and enjoy the Southern Belle where there is total freedom of movement and space as well as privacy to catch up on all your love stories. For corporates out there, the Southern Belle is an ideal venue for Board or Management meetings away from the hustle and bustle of the city. For social gatherings or service organizations, this is the place to be, the Southern Belle under the Protea Hotels Group in Siavonga, Zambia.
Thank you for your time reading and nourishing your soul. I trust that this will rekindle you too to take a break with people who matter in your lives and at the end of the day utilize your refreshed mind to double your productivity in order to raise funds for your next holiday at the Southern Belle.
CEO SBM INVESTMENTS
CONSULTANT CHANGE AGENT: PERSONAL AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AT THE CHANGE AGENCY INITATITIVE - CAI