Lansiné Camara, a healer in Damaro, invented an alphabet for himself to write Malinké: his writing is called nkan (it is neither the Latin nor the Arabic alphabet, nor nko), and he names the letters one by one in his notebook. The alphabet has 28 letters. He transcribes all the sounds in Maninka.
He writes for example “I am going to the market”.
He has the numbers, he shows 1, 2, 3… He writes “2000”. He shows the 0.
He says, “God gave me the secret of medicines. I was a simple farmer, I couldn’t read or write, I couldn’t speak Arabic or French. In a dream, God showed me the plants and their medicinal values. I said: you are giving me all this and I have not learned anything, how am I going to write it? In another sleep, God showed me the scriptures and he told me this is a, ba, ka… I continued and now I can write fluently. Before I didn’t teach this to people. Now I have started to popularise my alphabet, starting with my wife. At the moment, it is only me and my wife who read fluently and we are fighting to popularise it.
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