"We are in Africa, and what we are most worried about right now is not the virus but the riots. The Chinese people are robbed, attacked and injured, and it may be fatal."
When the epidemic arrived, African countries were fighting against Ebola and other diseases. In the current spread of new coronary pneumonia, people are not concerned. Compared with some countries in Europe and America, the confirmed cases announced here are not many due to testing conditions.
However, this virus epidemic may be an unstoppable storm for Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, warned that the continent is facing a “violent evolution” of the coronavirus pandemic.
但是，这种病毒的流行对非洲来说可能是不可阻挡的风暴。世界卫生组织（WHO）非洲区域主任Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti警告说，非洲大陆正面临着冠状病毒大流行的“暴力演变”。
On April 6, Xinhua News Agency stated that due to the spread of the new crown pneumonia, the refugees, unemployment and poverty problems that the region had already faced will probably intensify.
Jianfeng has worked hard in Africa for 10 years. He has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, and Uganda. From his earliest career in international logistics, to now he is engaged in agricultural services in Zambia. His situation is, in the words of the circle, "China that cannot go back to Africa is inseparable".
According to data released by the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the 5th, a total of 8,736 confirmed cases in Africa and 399 deaths. Jianfeng's judgment on the new crown epidemic in Africa is not optimistic. He has been hoarding food for 4 months, ready to fight a protracted battle. He said that the most worried thing now is not the epidemic, but the riots.
The following is his narrative.
A friend of mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo flew back home urgently on March 23. The long-standing independent forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo took advantage of the epidemic to launch riots. Not long ago, government forces shot and cleared rioters in the golf area, only 500 meters away from where my friend lives.
On March 18, I returned to Zambia from Uganda. At the Addis Ababa Airport, I saw that whites, blacks, and Indians were not checked. I just stopped the Chinese, took their temperature and filled out forms. On March 18, Zambia had a confirmed case, a couple from France, two people.
I went to Uganda because the Uganda branch was stolen. Two colleagues went out to buy things. After less than 3 hours, they found that their computers and cash had all been stolen and lost more than $10,000. This is not a big deal. During the Mid-Autumn Festival last year, our Zambian company made a pot of food and took away my cash of more than 20,000 US dollars. Crying without tears at the time.
Since the outbreak in China, I was walking on the street and was pointed at and said "CoronaVirus", which means "the virus is coming, the virus is coming". It is too common. I always reply. You have to fight, come. The more you swallow, the more he thinks you are bullying.
Including one of my customers in Uganda, an Australian, who sent me a Wu Han Virus on WhatsApp. Every sentence starts with the Wuhan alphabet and is insulting. After I went to Uganda, I specially invited him to dinner, and I sat down and cursed. He was silent all the time.
Many people ask me, do you eat dog meat? This is the deep-rooted misunderstanding and prejudice towards us Chinese. I said that there are 56 ethnic groups in China. There are only two places that I know of eating dog meat. Not all Chinese eat dog meat.
Relatively speaking, the native black people in Zambia are relatively moderate, but after so many years, some of the immigrants from other African countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, are very brutal. These people are often the ones who rob Chinese people.
There are many Indians in Eastern Africa, and there are more whites in Central and Southern Africa. The Chinese go there later than them, and the cost of robbing Chinese is the lowest. If the white man is robbed, the white man shoots directly, and the Indian is unambiguous. Do you dare to try the Chinese? As soon as you took it out, the robbers accused you and brought the police to arrest you. The Chinese themselves also pay attention to tolerance, avoid troubles, and are more likely to be bullied.
In August 2011, I went to Tanzania to research the market for the first time. At that time, I was sitting with two Cantonese businessmen from Kenya. The driver was calling on the road and I didn't care, because the Tanzanian army is not the "East African Liberation Army", it is our traditional ally. I didn't think so much.
Passing by a small wharf, it was very congested. Suddenly, a Cantonese businessman next to me, a woman with a very loud voice, shouted, "My bag! My bag!" I just looked at her and stretched out my hands to break me. In my hand, I was holding the Nokia N97 slider phone. A black man, without even looking at me, blatantly broke my hand, trying to grab the phone. I just punched and hit the face when I went up.
I was retired from the armed police force. I jumped down and prepared to fight him. I felt like he was going to take something out of his pocket. Another Guangdong businessman, a man, also hurried down. They didn't rush to run, so we quickly turned around and ran to the boat. After getting on the ferry, the most funny thing was that an old Tanzanian asked me, are you from China? I said yes. He said that China and Tanzania are good friends. It's two worlds.
In 2012, in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, there was a huge slum-like flea market. The Chinese call it Gado Street. It's in the small market that can't be seen at a glance and is full of shacks. The Chinese have formed a so-called Chinatown inside. Both rows are Chinese shops, and they are basically all shops of Fuqing, Fujian.
The chaos in Gadao Street is beyond your imagination. Whenever a Chinese enters, a group of blacks surrounds it. Take you to the left and right, and touch your bag upright. You go in and see those who hold one or two newspapers in their hands, or one or two plastic bags, blocking one hand, they are basically thieves. So I really admire the Fujianese. So many people have been there for more than ten years, which is amazing.
The local believe that the Chinese are not abiding by the rules, and this impression comes to a large extent from these Fujian businessmen. When they do business, they are a bit sloppy, walking on the edge of local laws. Including some people from Zhejiang before, most of them were driven away by Fujianese. Because of this impression, many Chinese people are actually treated unfairly here. Like us in Africa, we can basically rely on ourselves and friends. This is true.
There are not many confirmed cases in Africa, but I tell you that many hidden cases may have been scattered to the people.
The streets of Zambia are still busy. The president spoke. The prayers in the church should not exceed one hour and no more than 50 people. On March 30, I drove north from Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, to Chisamba. It was more than 100 kilometers away. I saw a person wearing a mask on the road. I counted 5 fingers.
The white people here don't wear masks. I also told a white client very seriously that you should wear a mask. I was told that the air here is very fresh, and you are two meters away from me. It means that I am like a pathogen. I said I wear a mask because I am afraid you will infect me.
At 9 a.m. on March 31, when I took my gun license from the superintendent at the Central Police Station, they were not wearing a mask. People with money would rather drink two more glasses than spend money on buying masks. They believe that buying masks is a matter for the government.
The local black people are more pitiful. You tell him to wear a mask, the epidemic is terrible. He said that I also know that money, he has no money and can't afford it.
Now the price of masks is getting higher and higher. A mask here is now 7 or 8 yuan. If you multiply it by 2, it is the price of the local currency "Kwacha". The salary of the locals here is only one or two thousand Kwacha a month. Besides, masks are useless, you have to have disinfectant.
A Chinese businessman told me that a disposable protective suit here costs 200 yuan, which is 400 Kwacha. The nurses who receive or take care of coronavirus patients only wear gloves and masks. They are not professional, and protective clothing is not available.
The government itself is poor. Zambia's national income is all derived from selling copper ore. When the price of copper was 7,000 US dollars a ton, it was profitable and the country was rich. How much is it now? 4300~4500 US dollars, the country has no money. Moreover, next year's election in Zambia, a lot of money will be used to prepare for the election. What are you doing? Buy clothes and print campaign portraits, shout and dance every day.
You don't know that the lives of the people here are really hard. There are beggars at every intersection, mostly children and disabled. Some healthy young people will gesture their hands to their mouths when they see you coming by, asking you to give them food.
I give my workers 10 masks each, and they are going to stop work after finishing the work. During the stoppage, I will still pay the basic salary to make sure they have food. After that, this is not something I can afford as a small startup company. I told the workers, if you get infected, I'm sorry, I can't help, I can't help selling my company. This is the responsibility of your country.
Before the new crown epidemic, for example, Tanzania and Uganda had yellow fever, cholera, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ebola. I got malaria 10 times. Malaria is not difficult to treat now, but if you don’t pay attention, you will die because of it.
Malaria disappeared in our country in the 1960s and 1970s. After you are infected, the first few days are also symptoms of a cold and fever, but if you fail to detect it in time or treat it in time, and the malaria parasite penetrates the barrier and enters the brain, you are basically hopeless. When a lot of Chinese people arrived here, they thought it was a cold and fever at first, and then missed the treatment time, and disappeared at a young age. I have experienced several games here.
I have already hoarded food and rice noodles for 4 months. I asked the employees, are you afraid of this virus? They said they were afraid. But I predict that its epidemic control will not be optimistic, and it will be fought in accordance with a protracted war.
A while ago, the materials donated by a domestic foundation have arrived. I don't know where they went after they arrived. The people can't see it, and the government department didn't give the people an explanation. I'm serious, I think they are dead without China's assistance. In fact, we can't blame the locals. Many people are also very kind. It's really hard for the people's livelihood.
Now that the flights have stopped, I can’t go back even if I want to go home. What we are most worried about now is personal safety. It turned out that I carried a gun with me when I was doing international logistics. Now I have changed to agriculture, and I will bring a gun when I go to the farm. People will misunderstand me. But all the farmers here are long-armed.
A few years ago, black robbery here did not hurt people. You just took the money away. Now it starts to hurt people.
I encountered one recently. At the end of last year, the yard where we lived was only 500 meters away from the Chinese Economic Counselor's Office. The French Embassy in the front, the South African Embassy in the back, and the Malawi Embassy on the left. The place is very good. The monthly rent 1700 dollars. The landlord is a Chinese. I told him that starting a business is not easy, so can I not raise my rent? He agreed not to increase at first, but in January, he suddenly said that someone gave him US$2,500 a month. Now that's the point, I am more sensible and moved out. The person who moved in was also a Chinese. I moved out on January 15. He moved in only 22 days before an accident occurred, one died and the other was seriously injured.
Four black men jumped in and robbed him, strangled his girlfriend and gave him twice in the ribs. Later, the landlord told me that he regretted his death and should not be greedy for this little money. We raised 5 big dogs when we lived there, and there was a power grid on the yard wall.
But it's not that. One of the murderers was caught, and the other one he confessed was also caught. One day my employee said to me, Boss, who do you think is that person? I asked who it was and he said it was Terry. Do you know who this Terry is? One of the courtyard workers I had hired before was a gardener.
It was actually him. But I did not expel him from the company, but he voluntarily left. I went to the police station specifically to ask if the person he wanted to rob that day was me. The police said that you are very lucky, enjoy your luck. I'm really scared after thinking about it.
Many acquaintances commit crimes here. There was also a murder case in Uganda a while ago. My colleague told me that the old tofu vendor was strangled to death in his own home. Who did it? His babysitter colluded with people outside. Let the nanny see where the boss’s money is.
Why do I continue to stay here in such an environment? Simply put, it is an opportunity. I think this opportunity is far greater than the injustice we carry, that is, blackmailing these negative things. First of all, your father is not Li Gang, and your mother is not Zhang Lan, ordinary children, where social roles are solidified, and the opportunity cost is unfair. The second generation of the rich will come out and the third generation will be rich, and the third generation will be rich. It's getting harder. At least I thought so in 2010.
Another is that it is better to travel thousands of miles to read thousands of books. Now my ultimate dream is to build a career here, and then hire a professional manager, or send other shareholders over, I go back to China, maybe once every six months, once a year, this is the best situation. This is also ideal, but frankly, it is difficult.
Moreover, I have been in Africa for 10 years, and the network of connections, circles of friends, and business networks are all here. So they said that I am "China that cannot go back to, Africa that cannot be separated from".
The natural environment here is indeed very good, basically it is blue sky, white clouds and green grass. You only need to buy a car and it is very convenient to travel. The basic living conditions of Chinese people here are very good, not worse than that of white people. The Chinese live in a villa here, and the cars they drive are considered luxury cars locally. Then, before and after life, you have servants to help you do everything, cleaning, moving things, and washing dishes.
It may be said that the quality of life is not as good as that of white people. For example, the white people should rest when they should rest, and only you, the Chinese, work overtime. The white man here, tell me that work is never finished, it is your time, you should rest and rest.
In fact, you have to think about it from another perspective. If you are a newcomer to Africa and have a cold and go to the hospital, some clinics opened by Chinese tell you that it is malaria, and an infusion will cost US$50. If you go to a hospital run by an Indian, they may tell you that it is not malaria, just take some medicine. Looking at it this way, people can understand how much they blackmail you.