African Women Voices

[Open Research] Feeling at home in the “Chocolate City”: an exploration of place-making practices and structures of belonging amongst Africans in Guangzhou

Africans in China

By Roberto Castillo (2014). Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.
Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 5.17.51 pm

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 11.50.16 am“China is the new land of opportunities,” I am told by Chuck, a 33-year-old Igbo from Imo in Nigeria. After attending a Sunday evening Christian Pentecostal congregation, Chuck picks me up to go to the restaurant he owns in the vast Guangda Clothing Wholesale Market in the north of Guangzhou. Lost inside this massive compound of warehouses and stores is the newly opened Guangda African Market—a commercial space allocated by the city’s authorities to leaders and representatives of the various African communities.

Chuck first came to China, without any contacts, in 2006; then, after moving back and forth for two years, made Guangzhou his operating base in 2008. He recalls that, in the beginning, it was not easy. “The thing is that there is no real employment in China, here you have to employ yourself, be creative.” After almost five years in the…

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This entry was posted on 21 September 2014 by in Women.

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