Thisgingnio: South Africa’s only Chinese woman prisoner

by Karen Williams  Although Chinese men made up the main contingent of prisoners that the Dutch East India Company (the VOC) held in South Africa, one Chinese woman prisoner has been documented. Thisgingnio1 was from Cirebon in Indonesia and she arrived in Cape Town on 9 April 1747. There is no information on her crime… Read More

Chained and enslaved: Early Chinese prisoners in South Africa

by Karen Williams   In 1705 a gang of Chinese slaves were caught robbing the burghers at night. When interrogated, it was discovered that they escaped from the (Slave) Lodge by forming a human pyramid in the courtyard to escape over the roof. – The Dutch East Indian Company’s Slave Lodge at the Cape, by Helene… Read More

The Eunuch Admiral: was Zheng He the greatest sea explorer in history?

by Karen Williams Diplomat, soldier, admiral and eunuch. Possibly, also, the model for Sinbad the Sailor[1]. Chinese admiral Zheng He mapped the Indian Ocean from Japan to Kenya and conducted seven epic voyages across the “Western Seas” to cement centuries of Chinese dominance in trade and seafaring across the Indian Ocean. Surprisingly, it is only… Read More

Teaching English in China While Black

by Ashley Evangelista In the industry of teaching English abroad, people of colour don’t exist. Or at least that’s what you might think from reading articles like Vice’s White People with No Skill Sets Wanted in China. In the piece, Walker and Hartley suggest that Chinese people believe all white people can teach English well.… Read More

‘Exotic’, ‘Tribal’, ‘Ethnic’ fashion?

by Samira Sawlani Walk into any store on the British high street and you are bound to see costume jewellery, artefacts and clothing which look as if they are made in Africa or branded as ‘ethnic’ or ‘tribal’ (the usage of both which are not only irritating but also problematic). Women will use these words… Read More

Crude, Capital and China #Africom

by Garakai Chengu All considerations about whether or not to release the dogs of war begin and end with the spoils. Uganda sits atop the geo-strategically important intersection of seven oil rich African nations which Senior US Dept of Energy Analyst Sally Kornfeld has called “the future Gulf” ”I am amazed by what I have… Read More