"They're not all ultra-marathon runners. They're exceptionally strong and in great physical condition, but that doesn't mean they're physically ready to put on a 100-lb. pack and hike across extreme desert that they've never seen before in their life, facing unknown dangers."
“Nkem means my own,” says Ifejika. “You know, like this this belongs to me. And it can be used as a term of endearment. And then Nkemakonam, which is the name in full, means may I never lack what is mine.”
“About a fifth of the vocabulary come from the Chinook tribal language, and a fifth from the Chehalis tribal language, about a fifth from French, about a fifth from English, about a fifth from this Nootka Jargon from British Columbia,” says Robertson. “So it’s quite a mix.”
After the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, which allowed the capture and return of slaves from states and territories in the US even where slavery was outlawed, Tubman began bringing slaves to Canada. On many occasions, Tubman brought runaway slaves to a church called Salem Chapel in St. Catharines, Ontario.
The band’s music incorporates rap, ska, soukous and Afro-Cuban tunes with their own traditional music. They sing in the Tonga language, which a majority of Zimbabweans don’t understand because they belong to the dominant Shoba ethnic group or Ndebele minority.
“If you think about 'Fiddler on the Roof' for example, there’s no scene where Tevye and his family are sitting around eating pastrami sandwiches,” says Merwin. “This was like the caviar of eastern European Jewish life.”
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