7.28.2011

Africans on Chinese TV

Vimbayi Kajese is apparently the first African anchorwoman in China; she works with CCTV.




The first time I saw this video titled 'Africans in China', I was studying in a city of about 30,000 people in North Eastern England . I watched the video with a really good friend of mine from mainland China. My friend thought that it was not such a big deal, the whole first African anchor woman in China thing. According to her, the channel Vimbayi works with is English-speaking so the chances of Chinese people watching her live are very low so the chances of Vimbayi challenging Chinese opinions is very low.

Naturally I thought of my friend when I came across this article on foreign TV hosts in China. One thing is different though, these foreign hosts speak fluent Mandarin, having spent some portion of their childhood in China. And, one of them is Nigerian.


This is Fauziyya Shehu Balarabe and she has apparently been raising viewer interests. Fauziyya moved to China with her parents (who worked with China Radio International as Hausa language experts) when she was just 2 years old and has lived there ever since. For Fauziyya hosting TV shows is more of a hobby, she is currently studying at university. 
Fauziyya's fluent Chinese and exceptional understanding of Chinese culture won her the Bronze medal at the 8th Chinese Bridge - Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, organized by the Confucius Institute Headquarters in August 2010. Her award caught the attention of the director of a travel program on Travel TV who invited her to host a series of programs in Jiangxi province.

As guest host, she went into the homes of several farmer families for a first-hand taste of farm life.

"I harvested oranges, grabbed crabs, and fed wild geese," she says. "It was difficult but also very interesting."

Both Elizaveta and Fauzziyya have been dubbed "Chinese hearts with foreign faces", and their appearance on TV has created quite a stir.

"While seeing a foreign TV host hosting English or language-teaching programs in China is hardly novel," writes one netizen, "it is so unusual to see a foreigner doing live news reporting in Chinese." from: 'A Tale of Two Faces'

8 comments:

  1. I maintain that Vimbayi is too damn fine.

    Fauziyya too is a traffic-stopper.

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  2. Way to go and very pretty woman

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  3. Oooh, so much for the unattractive, dumb and ghetto mantras?I can see my brothers drooling over both of them.I'm happy that these women are positively representing US!This is definitely a step in the right direction with China.

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  4. OMG she is so cute! And her voice is clear as a bell. I want her to voice over all my english dubbed anime.

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  5. Soo pretty, I found out about her a while back.
    Something that maybe of interest a interview about her life in China.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p09I9sgEUXk

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  6. Vimbayi Kajese is absolutely gorgeous and she's accomplished so much. A tiny part of me would have been much happier had she been speaking Mandarin though.

    I'd love to see Fauziyya Shehu Balarabe's segments. Does she speak with a Beijing accent or was she raised elsewhere? CCTV is broadcast here, but only the hardcore segments with anchors who have mindboggling perfect pronunciation.

    Thanks for bringing these lovely ladies to our attention, EccentricYoruba!

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  7. I found out about her maybe a year or two ago. She was interviewed on a natural hair blog. She's quite an inspiration in my book. :)

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  8. @Ankh

    I agree!

    @M

    Interestingly, it seems most of the interviews I watch on the subject 'Africans in China' feature women. To elaborate, usually English speaking outlets interview men who have immigrated from different parts of Africa to China (usually they are business men) but the Chinese speaking news outlets tend to interview women (who are usually 'successful' in some way, the women above appear on TV but another clip I watched featured a Zimbabwean woman studying in China).

    I wonder if I'm not just seeing things.

    @Pepp

    I want her to voice over all my english dubbed anime.

    Now that's a good idea!

    @Indie

    Thanks for the link!

    @Hateya

    I understand what you mean about Vimbayi speaking Mandarin. The piece didn't mention where exactly Fauziyya was raised but I'm assuming Beijing too considering her parents' job.

    We get about 3 CCTV channels here too but they are either completely English or completely Mandarin.

    @Marona

    Yes, the both of them are inspirational to me. Vimbayi for making the move to China and Fauziyya for speaking Mandarin fluently.

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