Views from the ‘rooftop of the world’

-Wadeisor Rukato “If anyone asks you where you are going, tell them Xining. If you mention Tibet, it might cause unnecessary questioning and we don’t want that”. As we prepared to board our 6am flight from Beijing Capital International Airport at the start of our trip to Tibet, we all heeded this advice carefully. While making our way through security, I suppressed my anxiety about potentially being too excited, mentioning Tibet,  and being the person who would be kept behind while everyone dashed to the boarding gate to catch our flight. It was difficult to not be completely thrilled by … Continue reading Views from the ‘rooftop of the world’

Perspective and insight into the realities of the African Experience in the East

A conversation with Nicole Bonnah: Wadeisor Rukato  & Sihle Nontshokweni sat for an interview with Nicole Bonnah, sharing their perspectives on being an African in China. This interview first appeared on, written by Nicole Bonnag and was later published … Continue reading Perspective and insight into the realities of the African Experience in the East

African Excellence Series: YGS

– Wadeisor Rukato

A Conversation with Sharon Tshipa.

china meets the world

Suppressing a giggle, Sharon begins her self-introduction; “I always laugh when I’m interviewed! This is actually awkward, because when you are behind the scenes all the time, every time you are asked to be the subject it’s like…” at this point Sharon stops speaking and continues to laugh lightly. Her energy is bright and natural.  She mentions that she is often ‘accused’ of being a laugher, something that is more than clear as we prepare to begin our conversation. Continue reading “African Excellence Series: YGS”

African Excellence Series: YGS

-Nothando Khumalo 

-A conversation with prospective UN Secretary General: SIMBARASHE MOYO-

china meets the world

On the final day of the Yenching Global Symposium (YGS) I had the pleasure of interviewing Simbarashe Moyo. The ever vibrant Simbarashe hails from Zimbabwe. He is currently a Teaching Assistant at the University of Zimbabwe where he also holds the role of Vice Chancellor’s Ambassador. His main professional goal is to become the United Nations Secretary General.  Simba co-founded  AGRINEXUS, a social enterprise that is aimed at promoting food security in Zimbabwe. Inspired by the “clean state of Beijing” on his first visit to China in 2014, Simba founded the ‘Let’s Green the Future’ (LGF) project which seeks to achieve environmental sustainability through empowering children to become environmentally responsible.

Simba is one of five African YGS delegates that were selected from a pool of 1800 applicants from across the world. This is the first of a five-part interview series that will capture the perspectives and insights of the five African YGS delegates. Continue reading “African Excellence Series: YGS”

Observations on China in Africa: A Three Part Series.

– Wadeisor Rukato

Part 3: A typology of Chinese migrants to Africa.

The previous post in this series presented a brief history of Chinese migration to African countries. Reactions to part two of the series reflect how the discourse on Chinese migration to Africa has tended to focus on recent migration from China to Africa that is fueled by Sino-African economic relations. This has been to the neglect of the complex pre-twentieth century history of Chinese migration to Africa. A reader affirmed this point by remarking that he had “no idea how complex the migratory history between  China and Africa actually was”. Most people don’t.

Continue reading “Observations on China in Africa: A Three Part Series.”

Guangzhou “The Chocolate City”

-Sihle Isipho Nontshokweni

There are two ways for a man to travel a city. With the locals, or as a tourist. The latter route usually follows a travel guide with a list of top 10 things to do in Guangzhou.

At the top of Canton tower: Guangzhou (tourist route)

October 2015,  alongside the South African delegation group that was visiting China, we tried the tourist route. To unpack the history of the province we started off at the Guandong Museum, second on our list was the pen-shaped canton tower, also renowned for being the third highest tower in the world. We then admired captivating views of the city skyline, traversing on the Pearl River night cruise (I highly recommend this cruise).

When we first arrived our bus drove through Yuexiu district.

My eyes thundered open as I observed the “chocolateness” of this area and city.


Continue reading “Guangzhou “The Chocolate City””

Observations on China in Africa: A Three Part Series

 – Wadeisor Rukato

Part 2: A brief history of international migration from China since the formation of the PRC

In the first post of this three-part series, I wrote about the diverse interactions between China and Africa that I observed during recent trips to Kenya and Zimbabwe. In this post, I provide a brief history of Chinese Migration to African countries since the formation of the People’s Republic of China. The third and final post in this series will focus on providing a typology of Chinese migrants to Africa. Continue reading “Observations on China in Africa: A Three Part Series”

The China-Africa Guanxi

– Thuthukile Mbanjwa

The Chinese involvement on the African continent has become a topic of discussion around the globe. China has become Africa’s number one trading partner with trade volume between them increasing exponentially over the past few years, from about US$10 billion in 2000 to more US$220 billion in 2015 (Sikuka, 2015). In light of this, the Chinese government is determined to expand its investment portfolio across Africa.images (1)

… the relationship between China and Africa is certainly not a new phenomenon…

Continue reading “The China-Africa Guanxi”

WeChat: Changed my life.

-Sihle Isipho Nontshokweni 

It maybe somewhat difficult to take me seriously when I have a title as exaggerated as “WeChat: changed my life” But I cannot ignore the fact that WeChat is an innovative invention that has–liter-a-aally changed my life.

WeChat versus Whatsapp

Growing up, my greatest social anxiety was: ordering a meal, enjoying a full steak ranch with a drink or two, offering to take the bill and then realizing… Continue reading “WeChat: Changed my life.”

Observations on China in Africa: A three part series.

– Wadeisor Rukato

Part 1: Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Harare

This post is the first in a three-part series that reflects on Chinese migration to Africa. This is a slight switch up from our usual reflections on our experiences in China. I begin by sharing my experiences of ‘the interaction between China and Africa’ in my recent visits to Nairobi and Harare. The two posts that follow in this series will respectively focus on Chinese migration to Africa from a historical perspective, and a broad typology of Chinese migrants who have moved to the continent. An analysis of China-Africa relations through the complexities of migration brings a much needed human aspect to the forefront of a dynamic that is too often discussed in terms of billions of dollars and signed agreements.

During the just-ended winter vacation, I took a trip to both Nairobi and Harare. When I left South Africa in August 2015, I had not expected that I would visit home or a country in Africa until I had spent at least one year in China. Having just arrived back in Beijing, I am grateful for my travels back because I was able to practically engage with some of the things I had learned about China’s relations with African countries. Continue reading “Observations on China in Africa: A three part series.”