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Date TimeSeptember 09, 2019
VoiceRaised in Zambia, the rapper moved to the US and made her name in Australia. Returning to her roots – and carrying the weight of representation – terrified her
Sampa the Great: I went back to Zambia and people said, you’re different
Sampa the Great was terrified before she stepped on stage to play her first ever show in Africa earlier this year. The show was in the Zambian capital of Lusaka – and the artist, MC and poet’s cousins were in the front row.
“I’m based in Australia and all the monumental moments in my career have happened there,” says Sampa (born Sampa Tembo). “But I’m from Zambia. My fear was that they wouldn’t get it – and their opinion matters most.” She sums up her concerns: “A person coming out of Africa and playing globally while still being themselves and pushing for their own culture – to go home and not be understood.”

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