Episode 7: The Soul of Music: Sampa The Great returns to her roots

Nat Geo Explorer and wildlife biologist Danielle Lee meets rapper Sampa The Great to discuss feeling like a foreigner, the power of language, and mental health therapy through nature.

National Geographic Explorer Danielle Lee (left) with musician Sampa The Great.
Photos by Joe Martinez and Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella

This episode is part two of The Soul of Music—Overheard’s four-part series focusing on music, exploration, and Black history. Our guest this week is Sampa The Great, a Zambian-born rapper, singer, and songwriter. Sampa spent most of her childhood living in Botswana and her music career took off in Australia; but when the pandemic hit, Sampa returned home to Zambia where she recorded her album As Above, So Below. This album sees Sampa shedding her mask and getting personal. Sampa is joined by Nat Geo Explorer and wildlife biologist Danielle Lee to discuss inspiration through history, the power of language, and mental health therapy through nature.

Listen on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, and Amazon Music.


KHARI DOUGLAS (HOST): Hey there, I’m Khari Douglas. I’m a producer here at Overheard, and this is the second episode of our four-part series focusing on music, exploration, and Black history. It’s called The Soul of Music. National Geographic explorers will be sitting down with some of our favorite musicians to discuss how history and the natural world inspire their art and adventures.

Today’s guest is Sampa Tembo, better known by her stage name Sampa The Great. Sampa is a Zambian-born musician and she’s blown up over the last few years. Her song “Never Forget” was used in the trailer for the Marvel movie, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Pop culture-wise, it doesn’t get much bigger than that.

Sampa’s music is inspired by hip-hop, rock, and the traditional Zambian music of her homeland. Her most recent album is called As Above, So Below. On that record, Sampa gets personal— divulging her struggles, her successes, and her self-love.

SAMPA TEMBO (MUSICIAN): For me, you know, as above, so below, as within, so without, has a lot of meanings. It just means that your outer world is a reflection of what’s going on within you.

DOUGLAS: Sampa says she didn’t always feel like she could show off her inner personality, in part because she spent a lot of time living outside of Zambia. She was raised primarily in Botswana, and in 2013 she moved to Australia to study audio engineering.

TEMBO: Especially in Australia, I felt like I had to put on an ambassadorial role because of where I stood in my community. And I had to make sure, you know, whatever I sang, whatever I put out, represented my community well, because we were sort of the only examples of Black music and Black culture in Australia. We didn’t allow ourselves to be humans. And for me in particular, a lot of scars came from it. But I know a huge part of it was perfectionism, because any mistake I made was an African community mistake, and it wasn’t a Sampa mistake, you know? And that’s just a huge weight to bear. And I just didn’t allow myself to be the whole range of Sampa. The goofy Sampa, the funny Sampa, the Sampa that loves to love, the Sampa that loves love.

DOUGLAS: During the pandemic, Sampa moved back to Zambia, and she says she was able to shed the armor she had built up and be more genuinely herself.

TEMBO: And I actually got to show that through this project, I got to show a full range of who I am—all the mistakes, you know, all the laughs, all the tears, everything, all the goofiness. Like, I actually got to finally show fully who I am as Sampa Tembo. And I feel like that was my “as above, so below” moment. I didn’t have to wear any mask. My outer worlds finally represented what I was going through in my inner world, and it felt like the perfect phrase.

DOUGLAS: This is Overheard, a show where we eavesdrop on the wild conversations we have here at Nat Geo and follow them to the edges of our big, weird, beautiful world.

This week, as part of Overheard’s The Soul of Music series, Sampa The Great sits down with National Geographic Explorer and wildlife biologist Danielle Lee. Danielle has studied the behavior of giant African pouched rats, which are used to sniff for landmines all around the world. And she’s passionate about science outreach. We featured Danielle in an episode of Overheard last year.

DANIELLE LEE (EXPLORER/BIOLOGIST): My whole thing is I like to take pop culture references and then help people understand that they already have a really good comprehension and foundation in science already. Like, you already know a lot of science, you already know a lot of behavior, you already know a lot of this. And I use their vernacular and cultural lexicon that is already familiar. And then I relate it to these scientific terminologies.

DOUGLAS: Sampa and Danielle discuss inspiration through history, the power of language, and mental health therapy through nature.

More after the break.

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LEE: How you doing? How’s it going?

TEMBO: Hey, Danielle, how are you?

LEE: I’m doing great. So for the audience, could you tell us your name and what you do?

TEMBO: Hello, everyone. I’m Sampa Tembo, also known as Sampa The Great, and I’m an artist from Zambia.

LEE: Now let folks know exactly where Zambia is.

TEMBO: Zambia is in southern Africa. So you have South Africa at the lowest point of the continent. You have Botswana, right on top of that. And then you have Zambia on top of Botswana.

LEE: And you grew up in both Zambia and Botswana, right?

TEMBO: Yes, that’s correct. I grew up between Botswana and Zambia. So, born in Zambia and at the age of one, one-and-a-half, my parents moved to Botswana. My dad got a job in Gaborone, the capital city. And we were sort of raised between the two countries. So our Christmases or special occasions or any, like, family, huge family event was spent in Zambia. And our upbringing, our school, primary and high school, and everything else in between was spent in Botswana.

LEE: So what was Botswana like as a schoolchild spending time there?

TEMBO: It was quite an adventure. It had both pros and cons. The pros were, you know, you got to experience life outside of Zambia and you got to bring all those stories back to your cousins. And they’d be like, Wow, that’s crazy. But, also, you’re not raised around family, so all your extended family’s in Zambia and you sort of feel left out, you know, in an experience that everybody else is having. And it was a huge sort of identity thing for me when I was younger.

And it still is in a sense, today, where you knew that you were being raised in a country outside of the country where you’re from, so you didn’t quite fit in. And then also, when you went to the country where you’re from, people were kind of like, Well, yeah, but mmm. You are being raised outside of your home, so you’re not quite fully like us. So there’s always that thing where you were neither of the options, but you were also a middle ground for both.

LEE: That’s interesting. So I spent a lot of time in Tanzania, which is a bit more northern than Zambia. And I had that experience as an Afro-American, because that’s usually the terminology that was used on the continent.

TEMBO: Yeah.

LEE: Visiting, you know, the continent. And I was often called zero point five.


TEMBO: What was that?

LEE: So this idea of being half there, like I was half. I was African, you know, historically and heritage, and wanting to connect, but I wasn’t there. And so I was always back and forth. There was still this overwhelming Americanness to me, which wasyou can see it. Like, I walk differently, how I wear my hair. And you’re right, that kind of being in between. It does still hit you.

TEMBO: It stands out.

LEE: Yeah, it does make you stand out.

TEMBO: I mean, I guess for me, I tried to heal that by—obviously it’s not at the same level as your experience—I just tried to heal it by, you know, being in Zambia more, learning more about my language, learning more about even just the inflections in the way we speak Bemba. You know, my “mulishani” [traditional Bemba greeting] is different than a Zambian who was raised there. You can tell the influence of English. You can tell the colonization in my language.

So I really tried, and I think it’s still passing on through adulthood to reconnect with, you know, all these different aspects of being Zambian and trying to fill that hole. It’s obviously not at the same level. But I do love when my friends of the diaspora do come to the continent and just get themselves involved in language and culture and just seeing, you know, what it would have been like had we been raised in our ancestral homes.

LEE: Yes absolutely. So there’s a song of yours that I want to share a clip from. It’s “Never Forget.”

(“Never Forget” by Sampa The Great, featuring Tio Nason, Mwanjé & Chef 187 plays.)


Ehhh uhhh

Ehhh uhhh

Ehh uhhhh

Ehh uhhhh




Who took fabric

Made that shit classic

That shit aint average




(Never forget)


Who did music

Made that shit language

African branded




(Never forget)


Who took movement 

Spirit included

Made it a movement

We did


(Never forget)


Who’s the origin

Straight from the soil and then



Who did


(Never forget)

LEE: So can you break this song down for me?

GREAT: Wow. I think this is an epitome of me and my friends just creating music that we love and are inspired by and didn’t know what it was going to do. Oh, so wild.

LEE: Just jamming out, huh?

TEMBO: Just jamming out, and whoops we just created something amazing!

(Never Forget continues.)



Aya eh!

Iyo nkanda yako ni nyali

Ndiwe mfumu lelo osa ibala

Iyo nkanda yako ni nyali

Ndiwe mfumu lelo osa ibala


(English translation)

Aya eh!

Your black skin is a shining light

You’re royalty, Never Forget

Your black skin is a shining light

You’re royalty, Never Forget


(CHEF 187):

Fititi inkanda, umushishi ni nappy… (Yea)

Konse twanyanta umushili we mark… (Yea)

Injinela, dokotela wa first afuma kwesu

Kubufumu nobu kumu fyonse fya tula kwesu

Ubunonshi mu chitundu (then) Umufundo umushili (and then)

Ama values ya chi muntu, Uba funde umu shili

Battle rapping in form of ifishobo

Twa fyambile kale ifwe, teti unchaile showboat


(English translation)

The skin is Dark, the hair is nappy…yeah

We leave a mark everywhere we set foot…yeah

The first engineers and doctors come from our land

Royalty and Civilization all originated from our land

The richness in our culture (and then) fertility in our soil (and then) Iyo nkanda yako ni nyali

Ndiwe mfumu lelo osa ibala

The values of Ubuntu, you teach them wherever it’s absent

Battle rapping in the form of making fun of each other as kids ~ Battle rapping as kids with “Yo mama” jokes

We have been at it for a while you can’t stunt on us



Future ancient

Our souls they’ll never get it


Passed down for generation


Future ancients

Our souls they’ll never get it

They will never forget

LEE: Now, your sister’s on this song with you, isn’t she?

TEMBO: Yes, she is. My sister actually co-wrote the chorus. So that was pretty huge. And when I started creating the album, we sort of booked out the studio for a whole month and all the people involved in the album were all just hanging out together, literally forced to be with each other, and within a span of two weeks and just talk about where we are. Reconnecting back in Zambia and working on music together. And a huge genre that stood out to me while I was in Zambia was Zamrock—

LEE: Yeah.

TEMBO: —and just how huge the influence of that music was and just the knowledge that, you know, some people in Zambia don’t know how global Zamrock music went. And it just sort of mirrored my experience in being a Zambian artist whose career took off in a continent and country away from her own, and more people outside of her country know about her. And I sort of took that as, well this may be something that is interesting to explore. And just did a deep dive into Zamrock and decided to create this song that was supposed to be us paying homage to all the Zamrock legends who came before us, and just sort of yeah, just sort of saying thank you and taking that inspiration and paying it forward.

LEE: Ok, that sounds—so we’re going to come back and talk a little bit more about Zamrock, but I did have a question about, so the second verse of this song.

TEMBO: Yeah.

LEE: Is it chef or chief?

TEMBO: Chef.

LEE: Chef 187, So he’s speaking in, is it pronounced Bemba?

TEMBO: So Chef is rapping in Bemba and Tio is singing the hook in Nyanja. So you have Nyanja, Bemba, and English just all rolled up into one beautiful—

LEE: Now, Bemba and Nyanja are those mother tongues in Zambia?

TEMBO: Yes. One of the 62 languages and dialects in Zambia. So, I mean, if you get one, at least you have something! So Bemba—my mom is Bemba. So Chef speaks my mom’s mother tongue. And then my dad is from a tribe called Tumbuka and Tio is my cousin and he’s speaking in Nyanja.

LEE: Alright.

TEMBO: And he’s my cousin from my dad’s side. So we’re kind of bringing both of those energies together subconsciously.

LEE: I love it.

TEMBO: But it was also just really beautiful, again, language to be involved in music more prominently now in this project than in my other projects, just as a way of reconnecting and, again, reclaiming that part of me that was lost growing up somewhere outside of my own country. So it was really important to have language be a huge part of it. And also just to have rap being done in a different language and just showing the huge influence that hip hop has had on the continent. And just showing how we appreciate it in our own style and our own art form, so to have it being rapped in Bemba was really cool.

LEE: That is really cool. So I use a little hip hop in the work that I do in science communication.

TEMBO: Yeah.

LEE: I don’t, I don’t flow though, let me be honest.

(Laughter and excited crosstalk.)

LEE: I don’t spit. I don’t do that.

TEMBO: Something influenced a little bit. I know there’s bars, but OK!

LEE: But I love how vocabulary and I love the artistry of it, and I’ve been able to use it to explain concepts to not just my students in science but to general audiences. And using that to explain concepts. And I’ve used not just American hip hop, but I also used some continental hip hop. So out of Nigeria, you know, like because my jam is “Chop My Money.”


TEMBO: Aye, classics!

LEE: Using that to explain animal behavior. And I love how hip hop, which is an Afro-American derived art form, but like we acknowledge here in the States that that’s part of a call-and-response culture that we were able to hold on to. So, like, we recognize that it’s continental, too.

TEMBO: Yeah.

LEE: It was, you know, it was a memory that we didn’t even know we had. You know, we were able to hold on to it.

TEMBO: Right. I think music, out of all of it, is the one thing that just, DNA just seeped into. Wherever we are in the world, like, we just kept the connection with the continent strong. That’s really beautiful.

LEE: Yeah. So speaking of connections and language, when we were talking before the interview, you mentioned that growing up, you really struggled connecting with your grandparents back in Zambia because they spoke Bemba, your mother’s family mother tongue.

TEMBO: Yeah.

LEE: But in Botswana, because you lived in Botswana, they don’t speak Bemba. So you didn’t really get to cultivate that. And I love that you talk about the fact that you have at least three different languages together on that one song. How do you think language shapes and affects our relationships?

TEMBO: Oh, man. There’s so much information, so much emotion, codes of DNA that go into language that I just can’t express how different it is to hear music in English versus music in your ancestral tongue. There’s so much you miss out on, and I think it’s sort of a blessing and a curse to be able to be in this middle ground, especially as a rapper, where you see sort of the impact your verses have and your flow have when you’re rapping in English and when you are rapping in Bemba. And for us as an oral people, it’s so important for us to be able to pass information and feel through the sounds that are happening in, you know, our phonetics. It goes back to just the drums and how we were able to talk to each other through sound.

And as well, like, English isn’t our language—it’s a colonized language. And it itself has all its sort of bastardizations as well. And I know as Africans, wherever we are on the continent, we make English our own, we put in our own little flavor in it. And I know my brothers and sisters in America also do their little thing too, Ebonics. It can’t just be mmm. We need to add our own little flavor to it. And also in that realm, I know that the tone that happens when you’re speaking Ebonics versus when you’re speaking English, that’s also different as well.

LEE: It is.

TEMBO: Yeah, exactly.

LEE: Here, the Americanized version of that is like how the word “girl” can communicate. How you say it…

TEMBO: Like 10 different ways…


LEE: Like, (With different inflections) Girl. Girl. Girl. Girl, though!

TEMBO: I saw an SNL skit with Megan Thee Stallion and that was the “girl” skit. And I was just like, that was actually really perfect. 

 LEE: So we’ve been talking—you mentioned very briefly about Zamrock and how you’re a big fan of it. Now, Zamrock is a very special Zambian designed, Zambian grown genre of music, and it became popular in the seventies.


LEE: And it’s this combination of traditional Zambian music with psychedelic rock.

TEMBO: Yeah.

LEE: What are those traditional elements that differentiate Zamrock from that psychedelic rock that was popular back in the day?

TEMBO: Man. So in Zambia we have this music that’s called Kalindula music. And it’s sort of, I guess we could say, Zambia’s folk music. So a lot of our storytelling happens through Kalindula music. A lot of sort of the traditional sound of the guitar happens in Kalindula music. And so I guess the kids from the seventies heard psychedelic rock and were like, This is insane. We love it. But we’re also going to infuse it with the style of where we’re from and just spark something different. Which I think is really inspiring, especially for a conservative country like Zambia; to have psychedelic rock be your inspiration, to me, is wild.

And so they infused these two sort of genres and still kept, you know, the art of storytelling as a center for it. I mentioned rock also is rhythm and blues and blues is also sort of that folk storytelling thing. So, you know, you have folks from these different continents and sort of the feel of these distant relatives that is coming through this music, which is really beautiful. And so, yeah, you have these young kids who are inspired by this music, they fuse it together, and it sort of became a huge phenomenon in our country and became our national music, like Zamrock was the Zambian sound.

And then, unfortunately, we had this huge AIDS epidemic that sort of killed a lot of our legends. And so Zamrock started to sort of die down. And we saw other music take center stage on the continent. So you had your Afrobeats at that time, which was huge. You had your Congolese sort of rumba music that was huge. And we sort of adopted that music, which was really beautiful, but we sort of lost the essence of our own folk telling music, our own folk story music.

And as I deep dived into Zamrock, I reimagined a Zambia where we still had our own music, you know? We had our own musical identity. Just the way Afrobeat is influenced by West Africa and the stories that surround West Africa and the storytelling that’s around West Africa, I thought Zamrock was that for us. And what would it take to go back to that?

And I sort of saw the similarities again with Zamrock being known outside of Zambia, like much like myself and my career. And then I stumbled on some huge information this year, which was, my uncle was part of one of the huge Zamrock bands called the Witch, and he was part of the founding members of that band.

LEE: Nice!

TEMBO: Which was like information that was wild to me and information that I needed when I started my career because it was like so lonely doing it alone. And my dad nonchalantly says, Your uncle was part of that group.

LEE: Just, just out the blue? Oh my goodness!

So who are some of your favorite Zamrock artists?

TEMBO: OK, I’m going to be biased with the first choice. It’s the Witch, just because uncle was part of the founding members of the Witch. And then also Paul Ngozi was—he was really huge, and again, one of the leaders of Zamrock—was huge to me as well. So I’d say those two.

LEE: One of your other big musical idols is Angelique Kidjo. Tell me about her and why is she one of your favorite artists?

TEMBO: Angelique Kidjo. How do you express how important she—Angelique was, like, not to compare, like our Madonna. You know? She came into, sort of, the music sphere, brought being African and showing our culture to the world, to the conversation and made it cool. Not only that, but showing our spiritual side as well, which was often and is often demonized. And, sort of, to me, one of the founding members of Afrofuturism, before Afrofuturism was a thing visually and artistically—to me I saw Angelique Kidjo do that. And, you know, as a young African woman, you’re like, Oh, cool, we can do that. We can show that part of ourselves and that be cool. And that was what Angelique Kidjo was to us, a huge inspiration and still is a huge inspiration.

LEE: Where does she hail from?

TEMBO: She’s from Benin.

LEE: Benin. OK.

TEMBO: Yes. She is from Benin. And yes, she just infuses her culture, the spiritualism of where she’s from and her language into her music, which I think is really amazing.

LEE: So I really love this song and she’s featured on your song, “Let Me Be Great.” It is, first of all, it’s a dynamic song and the video is just, visually, just jaw-dropping. So I’m going to play a little bit of that.

(“Let Me Be Great” by Sampa The Great, featuring Angelique Kidjo, plays.)








These certainly are the signs

Many men left to their own devices

Tell the story leaving out the cries it’s


Say me

Say me

Quite sucks to be the boss

The hunter should be licking at my balls

I’m lion





applause I’m feeling it

But of course

At what is the cost

I’m healing


Dealing with my heroes

All shitting on my flaws

When I was younger you was all my goals

Now iss

“Replace this”

LEE: So what was it like to collaborate with her on “Let Me Be Great?”

TEMBO: Oh my gosh. I’m still shocked because I’d say that’s the only feature in the album that was super unexpected but fit in as if it was planned.

So we were in the middle of making our album and we had just done our NPR Tiny Desk in Zambia, the home version, because we were in lockdown at the time. And I remember that being released and we sort of did it and wanted to infuse our whole culture in it. We were wearing our Zambian attire. We were like, Yeah, this is really—we’re really gonna show ’em!

And we were just really proud of it. And I remember getting a DM from Angelique Kidjo, and I remember seeing that on my phone and just like screaming, wilding out, showing my cousin and my sisters like, Angelique is DMing me! Do you understand?

Because again, like, legends DM? I don’t know. I never, I’ve never had this encounter before. So it was so wild!



Let Me

Let Me


Mmm Ahh

Yeah yeah


Mmm Ahh

Yeah yeah


Let Me

Let Me

I just remember opening the DM and she was like, That NPR performance was so beautiful. I’m working on my album. Don’t tell anyone. Do you want to be a part of it? And just still being in shock that like Angelique Kidjo is DMing me?

LEE: You’re like, Yes auntie. (Laughs.)

TEMBO: Anything you want. I’m going to do it. Anything. And that was just, I don’t know, it was just really insane. And I remember doing the verse for her song and just knowing that we had just worked on the song called “Let Me Be Great,” and her vocals would be exquisite on the song.

Angelique has these vocals that we call ancestral vocals. I think these are like the way we sang before we were influenced by classical music or any other sort of way of singing, because this has like spiritualism inside. I think that her voice is just, it carries so much history and so much—it just sounds spiritually connected to our ancestral music.

LEE: Nice.

TEMBO: So to even just have her there is just a huge honor. And I remember sending her back the song that we did on her album and just like sneaking “Let Me Be Great” in the email as well, and being like, Here’s the song for your album. Here is my verse; but I’m also working on my album—and just like trying to do two things in one go.

And luckily enough, you know, she was gracious enough to be like, I love this song. I want to be a part of it. What is it about? And me just expressing to her, you know, as a young upcoming artist, you face so many doubts, so many fears. You don’t know whether you want to do this path anymore. You’re influenced by these huge legends. Some of them you meet and they don’t quite live up to your expectations of them.

And then you realize that they were supposed to be examples that you could do it. You know, they were supposed to be reflections and representations of someone who looks like you doing what you’ve dreamt of doing. But you were not supposed to be a copycat of them. You were not supposed to be the second version of them. You were supposed to take that inspiration and sort of manifest who you want to be through that inspiration.

And I think that’s the beautiful thing about being able to interact with your legends and people who created these paths for you so that they’re able to sort of pass the baton and give you these stories and show you how you can pay it forward. And it be this healthy conversation between different generations on what they went through to be able to give you this path that you have now. And she just seemed like the perfect person and it just felt like perfect timing to have her on that song, especially for what it meant. And I was just so happy and lucky that she was down to do it.

But not only was she down to sing lyrics that were already written—I mean, she’s Angelique Kidjo, she can write whatever she wants. She was like, I’ll sing this chorus you guys wrote, but also add her language to the outro of the song. And just that’s more passion and more spirit involved in this song and this message. And we couldn’t have dreamt of a better track.

LEE: Now being a touring artist is a pretty stressful job, I can imagine. But when you’re taking time off from touring and making music, you like to hang out at your family’s farm in Zambia. Tell me about that. What’s the farm like?

TEMBO: So the farm is immensely quiet. There is nothing that goes on around there. Really all you can hear are the birds, you know, the wind, the people who are in the background tilling the land, and you can actually be present with life. I feel like when you’re touring, you go from one place to another, you’re changing time zones, you’re talking to all these people, exchanging so much energy. You’re in rooms that are not your own space. And you’re really going through these different spaces at a huge speed and you don’t actually have time to yourself.

On top of that, you’re not getting any rest, and it can be a huge punch on your mental health. On top of being an artist who expresses music differently to, I guess, what mainstream or commercial artists express, and you’re doing that every night. You’re connecting with people who’ve been inspired by the music and you’re exchanging stories, you’re exchanging traumas. And that just can be a lot to bear for a huge amount of time.

And I was finding that, you know, every time we were off tour, we’d get like two, two weeks off. And then we were back to the same sort of strenuous cycle. And it just isn’t, one, a normal way for humans to live and interact with each other. But also, as the artist, you find that you don’t have time to fill in your cup again. You don’t have time to recoup. You don’t have time to sort of replace the energy that has been exchanged or exerted. And a lot of what I express through my music has a lot to do with grounding yourself.

As a person who started off with major anxiety, I started meditating really early in my career. I knew what I wanted to do, but it was so huge and so grand of a dream that it scared me to even want to pursue the dream. And a friend of mine sort of explained anxiety as you being in the future, while your body is in the present, and you sort of create this rift in your chest of trying to be in these two places. And I really had to practice being present and just growing my confidence for knowing what I wanted to be as an artist. And that has sort of stuck with me throughout my career. So when you’re adding touring to that equation in order to exert all of this energy, to exude the confidence that we do on stage and share these stories, there also has to be time to self, to reflect, and to grow. And I usually do that by connecting to nature and being sort of away from everything else, you know.

LEE: Yeah.

TEMBO: Grounding myself in the actual ground, in the actual grass, being able to reconnect and hear my own breath and hear my heartbeat and just be in a place of solitude and stillness, which is what nature gives me. It reminds me that I’m alive more than any stage could, you know? And I feel like that’s one of the beauties in nature that we’ve lost with technology, with buildings, and everything else that is like in the middle of it. So when I finally have some time to myself, my remedy, my medication, is to be able to go back home and connect with the land and actually be involved with sitting in nature and bringing myself back to ground zero. And so that’s sort of how I deal with everything.

LEE: Thank you so much. This has been a pleasure.

TEMBO: Thank you Danielle. This has been really beautiful. Thank you for taking me down memory lane.

DOUGLAS: That was Explorer Danielle Lee in conversation with musician Sampa The Great. If you like what you hear and you want to support more content like this, please rate and review us in your podcast app and consider a National Geographic subscription. That’s the best way to support Overheard. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe.

Learn more about Sampa The Great at her website sampathegreat.com. That’s spelled S-A-M-P-A-T-H-E-G-R-E-A-T, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram @Sampa_The_Great.

Learn more about Danielle Lee at her website about.me/DNLee. And listen to an interview with her in the Overheard episode The Wonders of Urban Wildlife, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @DNLee5.

That’s all in your show notes, right there in your podcast app.


This week’s Overheard episode is produced by me, Khari Douglas.

Our senior producers are Brian Gutierrez and Jacob Pinter.

Our senior editor is Eli Chen.

Our manager of audio is Carla Wills, who edited this episode.

Our executive producer of audio is Davar Ardalan.

Our photo editor is Julie Hau.

Ted Woods sound-designed this episode, and Hansdale Hsu composed our theme music.

The Soul of Music series is produced in collaboration with National Geographic Music.

Special thanks to Hannah Grace Vancleave, Jennifer Stilson, and Brittany Grier.

This podcast is a production of National Geographic Partners.

The National Geographic Society, committed to illuminating and protecting the wonder of our world, funds the work of National Geographic Explorer Danielle Lee.

Michael Tribble is the vice president of integrated storytelling.

Nathan Lump is National Geographic’s editor in chief.

Thanks for listening, and see ya next time.


Want more?

Learn more about Sampa the Great at her website sampathegreat.com. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram @Sampa_the_Great.

Learn more about Danielle Lee at her website about.me/DNLee. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @DNLee5.

Also explore: 

Listen to an in-depth interview with Danielle Lee in the Overheard episode “The Wonders of Urban Wildlife.”

Zambia is home to the impressive Victoria Falls. Learn how you can visit the waterfall in this Nat Geo article.

If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe today.