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  • Chris Statham

Synopsis - The Afronia Series

There are 5 (finished) volumes of the Afronia Series (80-90.000 words each) and which is the story of contemporary Africa encapsulated in a amalgamated fictional country.

Genre: Action adventure - fiction based on African fact (think, Black Earth Rising by Hugo Blick).

Target audience: University educated, global traveller, expat, Africa interest, socio-economic and politically minded

Adult content: Yes

The Afronia series is set in fictional Afronia and which is notionally located in the Horn of Africa and loosely based on Eritrea. The happenings in the country are based on African fact, the series referencing contemporary African events, such as, the mass looting of state funds in Malawi (commonly known as Cashgate), the 2014 Al-Shebab Westgate Mall terrorist attack in Nairobi, the post 2005 election massacre in Ethiopia, national service in Eritrea, President Mugabe’s lavish birthday parties, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and, President Mobutu’s of Zaire (Now DRC) lavish palace in Gbadolite.

The Afronian story follows a chronological storyline. Each book is 80-90,000 words. The series starts with Crying for Afronia (Volume 1). The perfect storm of poverty, corruption, cronyism, nepotism, greed and idealism, culminates in the Lesotho Street attack which kills hundreds and sends the country into turmoil. Seeking the truth behind the attack, a coalition of local and international investigative journalist friends uncover the truth behind the government’s lies. They discover more about the way Afronia works than they ever wanted and which leads the country on the road to civil war. The book ends with the start of a military coup.

Escape from Afronia (Volume 2) Following the failed overthrow of the president, Afronians are ever more desperate. The book discusses the natural resource curse, conscription and, the journalists who uncovered the truth behind the Lesotho Street attack now follow the lives of ordinary citizens, who, reaching their breaking-point, make the life-changing decision to become refugees. They travel with migrants through the blistering Sahara Desert, across the Mediterranean Sea in flimsy dinghies and walk over Western European mountain ranges only to be met with open hostility on reaching the UK.

Dying for Afronia (Volume 3) Afronia is moving steadily towards becoming a failed state where public speech is absent, the media muzzled, civil society and the judiciary defunct, and the security forces a law unto themselves as they respond with evermore brutal reprisals. The president practices scapegoat politics and intimidates, manipulates and arrests political opponents; his only agenda, personal survival. In a last unexpected gambit, the president disbands the regime and calls for multi-party elections. The story highlights election-rigging, exiles returning and, the dark arts of international espionage. The country descends into civil war with foreign intervention from global powers (loosely based on what happened in Syria) swinging the balance.

Afronia Rising (Volume 4) Families torn apart by civil war wake to a new dawn under the charismatic leadership of a president who declares: natural resources are the assets of the people. For the first time in many a year, there is hope. Afronians wait with bated breath for the economy to be rejuvenated and become a hub for technological innovation. They pray their country will become a regional beacon of good governance, that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be convened, that Islamic State in Sub-Sahara will be driven out and, that the vote-rigging, money-laundering, civil war-inducing former president will be brought to justice. However, the regeneration of Afronia is not a smooth affair, the country watched intently by individuals, corporates and nations who want access to the natural resources and will play any dirty trick to get them.

Developing Afronia (Volume 5) Having survived civil war, Islamic State in Sub-Sahara, the sickening revelations during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a devastating drought, Afronia is finally developing. The future under the charismatic president, and who picked a cabinet of experts in their respective fields, is hopeful. The citizens can confidently look forward to a brighter tomorrow. However, the president needs international and local financial support as he walks the political, cultural, and economic tightrope to develop Afronia. The country is attacked from all angles by investment banks, global business leaders, spies and governments who are trying to stifle the resurgence of the Second Federal Democratic Republic so they can monopolize Afronia’s natural resources.

Afronia Revolution (Volume 6 in first draft) Following the civil war, Afronia rose, the country impressively developing as foreign investors help with the rebuilding. However, unchecked, this strategy led to unsustainable levels of debt… exactly what the Jobuja Group of European business tycoons, prime ministers and hereditary elite want in their quest to control Afronia’s natural resource riches and, ultimately to create a one-government continent based on neo-liberal principles. The book follows the fight for the future of the nation state with foreign investors, businessmen and politicians on one side and Afronian patriots, and who are fighting against the economic colonisation of the country, on the other.

I have started to collect notes to Volume 7 – The Disintegration of Afronia

Throughout the series I tackle social, economic, cultural, religious and political questions which many countries on the continent, and indeed globally, are currently grappling with. In doing so, I hope the reader will understand a little bit more about the curses of corruption and nepotism, a little bit more about how so many have so little and, how absolute poverty sitting side-by-side with a lack of human rights in the shadow of an elite can drive ordinary people, like you, to desperation and drastic acts.

As you read through the series, you will see that Africa - as a continent embodied in Afronia - is generally moving in a positive direction. However, there are many challenges along the way and which are catalysed by those who will do whatever they can to keep the status quo whether that be a corrupt president, neo-liberal businessman, hedge-fund investors, spymaster or a prime minister intent on economic colonisation.

I use a range of characters so that the reader can peer into the daily lives, fears, challenges and opportunities that a refugee, housewife, militiaman, army colonel, student, journalist, entrepreneur, activist etc. who lives in such a country as Afronia, might think, feel and experience. I hope the reader will gain new insights into the effervescent though often mis-understood continent that is Africa and, that some universal issues raised through the medium of Afronia will provoke considered thinking once new perspectives have been discussed.

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