AN African Alphabet:
From AGadir to Zagazig
An African Alphabet follows Lu Barnham’s 20,000 mile journey across the length and breadth of the continent, visiting a town for every letter of the alphabet—in order. Riding shotgun in a Congolese logging truck, befriending a drunken secret agent in Angola, dodging militants in the Niger Delta and fist-fights in a Bamako market, the author follows the little-travelled Western route from Morocco to South Africa by bus, boat, roof rack, donkey cart and lorry, always in the company (and sometimes the laps) of the locals. With her philosopher-photographer partner, Seth, she discovers the modern, everyday Africa that exists beyond doom-and-gloom headlines and sunset safari shots.
They are embraced like family in Ibadan, robbed at twilight in Dakar, and invited to bargain with voodoo gods in Lomé. Their route is blocked by everyone from Ninja rebels in the forests of Congo to bribe-hunting police in Cameroon, yet smoothed out by a Burkinabe chef, a gentle Moroccan stonemason and an 18 year old Gambian boy with a passion for football. An African Alphabet is a travelogue about flowing with Africa rather than overcoming it. From the first tentative hours in Agadir to the triumphant arrival in Zagazig, travelling alphabetically takes the reader through 24 countries, through dust-blown hamlets and teeming cities, to the continent's hidden places as well as its eternal icons.