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Africans in China sharing 'Chinese Dream'


10:58, March 23, 2013

GUANGZHOU, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Felly Mwamba from the Republic of Congo traveled to countries like the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Thailand to seek his fortune, before he arrived in Guangzhou, where he has lived for 10 years.

Mwamba sensed he was near to a "gold mine" as soon as he arrived in the capital of south China's Guangdong Province in 2003. He was immediately attracted to the city's abundant resources of manufactured goods and free market environment.

Working as an agent for a multinational freight trading company, Mwamba has an office in Tianxiu Tower in downtown Guangzhou.

"I find that people from all over the world focus their eyes on China. The market is so big," he said.

The Tianxiu building surrounded by bustling shops is the center of "Africa Town," popularly known by locals as "Chocolate City" or "Little Africa." It is the largest African community in Asia. Authorities estimate there are some 100,000 inhabitants here.

Like many Africans in the country, Mwamba is living his "Chinese Dream."

The 34-year-old said his work is to monitor commodity prices and help his boss in Dubai to decide on import orders of Chinese goods.

Since moving to Guangzhou, Mwamba has gained experience in selling electrical gadgets, accessories, furniture and motorbikes, and now has knowledge of international freight shipping.

"I always tell my friends from Africa that we are lucky to settle here. We need to learn how to do things and how to plan for our future," he said.

No longer a wanderer, Mwamba said his dream is to be able to raise enough money to buy an apartment and marry his Chinese girlfriend.

With the Chinese economy expanding fast over the past decades, African immigrants, previously unseen in China, have streamed into prosperous cities of Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and even to second-tier cities like Yiwu, known as one of the world's wholesale centers of small commodities and accessories.

Guangzhou, one of the pioneering cities of the country's economic reform and opening up, has been a primary destination for Africans.


Chukwuonye Pat Chike spends most of his time working in a recording studio in Guangzhou.

When the Nigerian arrived in the city in 2006, he earned a living by running a shop selling wigs and ornaments.

However, the music lover has never ceased pursuing his dream.

"I've created nearly 100 songs, and about 40 of them were written in China," said Chike, who is overwhelmed when talking about his first album "It's Real" featuring rap and blues, which hit markets in both China and Nigeria in 2011.

He has introduced the sounds of Chinese musical instruments, such as reed, to his music.

"Chinese audiences are getting more familiar with black superstars like Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba and Nigerian Yakubu Aiyegbeni. Let me make an impact and be the first African to break into the Chinese entertainment market," Chike said optimistically.

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