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It’s 1899 and Philippa’s fiancÚ Nduku has just broken off their engagement. She is heartbroken – after all, she has followed him from Kimberley, where they first met, to the goldfields of Johannesburg. In this bustling new city, tensions are mounting between the South African Republic and the gold-hungry British Empire. When war is declared, the mines are shut down and migrant workers ordered to leave town.
But how do you get home and out of harm’s way when there are no running trains and home is hundreds of kilometres away? You walk. Over perilous terrain Nduku and Philippa and seven thousand others walk to Natal. Disguised as a mineworker’s wife, for Philippa is white, she and Nduku talk about their true histories, about their fears and hopes, and with every footfall the possibility of lasting happiness seems within reach – if only they can survive, and if only they can weather the storm of an unexpected third player in their troubled romance.
Set during an incredible event in South African history, The Longest March is a tale of heady determination, and a tribute to the perseverance and courage of ordinary men and women when faced with extraordinary circumstances.
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