How Africans see China and what does it mean.

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The conversation

It should be evident by now, murmured Thabo, ‘China is taking over. They have begun building a police station for themselves in the Eastern Cape. Those crooks are here to police us. And they have a community comprising solely of themselves in Johannesburg. This community(Johannesburg) serves as their strategic base. China’s strategy is simple; indebt us exorbitantly, then seek compensation in other ways.’

I paused as he said this; firstly, who is ‘us’? I am baffled as to why he only recognises an ‘us’ when it’s suitable for him. I am acutely gobsmacked. Last I asked a favour from him; I received such a backlash that I distanced myself from him altogether. I chose not to remind him of it, though, because, well, silly of me for expecting too much from people.

But here we are now, supposedly an item. Frankly, I doubt I even trust this man.

Suffice it to say that I later heard a couple weighing in on whether their children should learn Mandarin. But their rationale was more of ‘The Americans are doing it.’

During our session, I almost bought into the ‘China is making inroads here’ travesty. But as nighttime came, all went back to normality. I remembered why I shouldn’t trust this man and how we, as Africans, are sometimes cruel to each other. Although China is a communist state, there is a little wrong with that, but at least they trust each other. Or maybe it is just well masked; either way, yay China!

I suppose if I could choose to be both African and Chinese, then I would, I think!

Right now, I think I’ll have some explaining to do once I enter the spirit realm run by our ancestors! We call them amaDlozi or Badimo(Differently dubbed in other dialects)!

I can’t measure how much of our prayers to amaDlozi have to do with keeping the Chinese at bay. But I am confident it’s very little. One could argue that if an issue was really bothering us as a community, we would raise it there. Maybe we just haven’t reached crisis proportions yet.

Different classes

Let me offer a short description of our country to the uninitiated. We have several layers of everything. For instance, there is cultural appropriation happening among Black communities. In South Africa, we have four layers of classes. Class A is historically and is primarily still reserved for White people. Then Class B would go to Asians, mostly Indians. Class C goes to ‘Coloureds’. And D to Black South Africans.

This hierarchy is closely linked to economic welfare. I forgot to note that we have a pseudo-class, loosely Class E. This comprises migrant continental Africans who now reside here.
By appropriation, I mean that we frown upon them occasionally and really cringe when sharing spaces. We feel that their culture did not work for them or their leaders failed them or something. Either way, their state failed; hence they are here. Therefore they must learn our ways as theirs is unevolved.

As Class E, they have the most negligible economic prospects of us all. In my opinion, these people would be in the most danger from the Chinese if a takeover ensues, as their homelands are virtually defenceless. However, of all of us, they are the last to mention the Chinese in any context.

I appreciate how they always remind me of the truth when I sway into my imaginings. They have very few opinions of the Chinese, and honestly, I find that attractive about them.

If your economic prospects are not endangered, then you can afford to bother yourself with other fancies. In the USA, it’s called keeping up with the Kardashians.
You could even ascertain that they(The Kardashians) are taking over HBO.
To prove my point, open Google trends to glimpse what America searches for compared to Angola. Angola, Zimbabwe, Croatia, and some African countries look up mostly entrepreneurship-related articles. Whereas in North America, the Kardashians and Taylor Swift won the charts.

In South Africa, we find fascination with American culture. At this stage, I feel that if Kardashian sneezes, we will hand deliver a tissue to her/him. If they say something rudimentary about a culture or people, we will make their opinion our own too. But if China advocates for censorship, then suddenly, oh no, #DictatorshipVibes. Even though we are clearly perishing mentally as a species due to tv.

South African Twitter is now called a meme onto itself. That should say a lot about our interests. Also, how funny we can get!

Honestly, ours is a country where people are quick to react but quicker to forget. South African-Americans are always joking about things and very carefree. They seldom use China in a conversation, rather than what China is doing to America, and America sort of deserving it for what they did in Iraq. This is where I leave this topic.

China’s takeover is more of a conversation in the peripheries. By South Africans who would lose the most if this were to happen. These people consider themselves #woke.


I am convinced that China is well within its power to overturn a few states/countries on the continent. That being said, Africa is not a country and ‘Africa’ in itself is not attainable. Historically, a few European countries have colonised much of Africa amongst themselves. However, even then, Africa was not attainable. Last, South Africa is a member of BRICS, along with China. And we can certainly pull international intervention like they can.

http://By Martin23230 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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