Peter Langmead, PhD

By Me

I did pretty much what everyone else of my generation did: I focused on security - sort of. I trained as a photographer of the old school, plate and film cameras with little time or philosophy beyond making a living. The deviation was working in Nigeria for protracted spells, taking photographs and making filmstrip training programmes and films, mostly for World Bank agricultural development programmes. This extended into working for FAO and UNDP, on Communication Support programmes, until 1989, when I had with Weil’s disease in Indonesia while working on a marine archaeological survey, from eating rice that rats had urinated on while on Pulau Ru.

This was debilitating, somewhere between malaria and hepatitis; I could hardly work at all and resorted to potato harvesting and pursuing an MBA at Heriott-Watt University in Edinburgh, which was the flavour of the year. Feeling far from well and doctors failing to diagnose the problem, I continued catching up on my neglected education, sequentially completing an MSc in Finance and then a PhD in Finance and Accounting at the University of Strathclyde, the latter using data from the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

In Thailand, my American squash and drinking partner reintroduced me to the flute, which I had played more or less since I was seven. He had been to a conservatoire in the States and therefore knew a lot about music and the gem business. I had much to catch up on, playing duets and even giving an impromptu Christmas, or was it Thanksgiving, concert, between seeing Jean-Pierre Rampal, and other great musicians in Bangkok, the Bamboo Jazz Bar at the Oriental Hotel, and smoking too many Havana cigars, which do no favours for flautists. One Christmas, he gave me a ream of manuscript after I had declared that I was going to write an opera one day. I was later to take this seriously.

The exotic life in Thailand became dull after a while and I longed to return to Zambia, which I was able to do after buying a farm there earlier, in 1993, and working as a development consultant. I found this increasingly depressing as the quality of development ‘professionals’ continued to diminish until they really did not know the difference between their beliefs provided by their education and home simulacra, and real Africa. They still don't.

In my last four years of tolerating the nonsense of famous but notably unqualified pop singers and actors - in the accounting sense - I rediscovered my interest in photography and started taking photographs of the donors’ uncomplaining clients, small-scale farmers usually. Not believing that ownership of a camera qualified me to be a photographer, despite my original qualification with plate cameras, I completed a BA(Hons) in Creative Arts at the University of the Creative Arts, UK, at the age of sixty, focusing on music composition and social documentary photography, and an MA in Film with distinction at Staffordshire University a bit later.

Of course I did this on purpose: since then, I have produced four social documentary books on Zambia, Postcards from Zambia, The Zambians, zedscape and ZedPipo, and two operas, Damyna Damyna the opera, which had its premiere on April 3, 2014 and The Legend of Konga Mato, the opera, which had its premiere on April 9, 2015. I am now making my third film after making Damyna the Musical, a feature film, based on my opera Damyna Damyna, and The Borderline, a film noir. Apart from director interest in Langmead & Baker Ltd, a PR and Communications company, I do occasional sorties into consulting.

For an article about my Photography, please see here.

For an article about my Music, please see here.


Ph.D. in Finance (1998), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow on the revelation of information from initial public offers on the Thai stock exchange (an emerging market)

M.Sc. in Finance (1994), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow United Kingdom, emphasising econometrics, project evaluation (shadow pricing etc.) and securities analysis

MBA (1993), Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, emphasising decision-making methods and negotiation. The career development initiative followed extensive experience in agricultural development in Africa, Middle East and Asia with World Bank projects and the Food and Agriculture Organisation

BA (Hons) 2013 in Creative Arts, University of the Creative Arts, UK, focusing on music composition and social documentary photography.

Raindance MA (Distinction) 2018 in Film, Staffordshire University, UK, focusing on scriptwriting.

Countries of Work Experience

I live in Zambia and have done for nearly 30 years, but I have worked in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom and Cambodia.

For more detail, please see my Curriculum Vitae, here.

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The Next Movie

The script is prepared for my next movie and pre-production is in progress. This is the most time-consuming part of filmmaking and production is expected to begin at the end of the year,