Escape from Lubumbashi: A refugee’s journey on foot to reunite her family


Estelle Neethling


Refugees, Congo, South Africa, non-fiction, civil war, biography, African Diaspora


This is the true story of Adolphine, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who was twenty-two when she had to flee her home in the war-ravaged DRC in 1996. She walked thousands of kilometres across Southern Africa to be reunited with her husband Sepano in Cape Town after two years of a desperate search. Her incredible journey to escape the ruinous rule of Mobutu Sese Seko was filled with many moments of terror and despair, every country having its own share of xenophobia.  She told the writer – the retired national tracing coordinator of the International Red Cross’s Restoring of Family Links programme in South Africa – “I felt as if the earth had teeth, I felt its bite when I was fleeing through Africa…”.
The book contains twenty historic photos provided by Adolphine, of her family members.

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Author Biography

Estelle Neethling

The author, Estelle Neethling met Adolphine Misekabu while working for the south African Red Cross Society as a national tracing coordinator (Restoring the links Programme, INternational Committee of the Red Cross). The work over nine years was life-changing mainly in that Neethling became familiar with the enormous challenges faced by displaced people. Neethling felt the strong need to tell Adolphine's story after having known her for many years.


January 4, 2021