Kristina Embry, regional account manager at CNBC, worked in Lusaka
for a year as a consultant for Young & Rubicam.
’I was working in new business and focused my efforts on Toyota - the
car and oil industries are huge in Zambia.
’While working for Toyota, I introduced a membership programme,
something the Lusakans had never seen before. The idea was essentially a
loyalty scheme - similar to store cards - and it fascinated people. I
roped in hotels like Intercontinental and Holiday Inn, as well as
companies like DHL and Multichoice.
’I also presented a radio show once a week in which Toyota had a
half-hour slot that was mainly broadcast in English.
’There wasn’t much nightlife in Lusaka, with only five restaurants - two
Italian and three Chinese - in the entire city. The food sold on the
streets was to be avoided at all costs - I went down with food poisoning
three times. Illness is something you have to watch out for, it’s the
same all over Africa.
’There were a couple of good pubs - I particularly remember a bar called
Chasers. But social activities mainly comprised visiting peoples’
houses. Public transport is virtually non-existent.
’Zambia is a great place to experience tradition and culture, and there
were carnivals taking place all the time. But women should be aware it
is an extremely male-dominated society.’