By Lydia Gichuki
A recent BBC Africa Eye investigation dubbed Racism for Sale has revealed that children in Africa are being exploited to make personalized videos, racist in nature for sale on Chinese websites and social media.
According to the investigative journalist Runako Celina her interest to investigate the matter was sparked in 2020 when she came across a racist video in one of the websites.
The video consisted a group of young African children being instructed, by a voice off-camera, to chant phrases in Chinese.
The chants in the video were derogatory and it is obvious the children did not understand what they were saying.
With enthusiasm and smile children are seen saying “I am a Black monster and my IQ is low. I am a black devil”
These videos range in price on the website is between 10 and 70 dollars or Sh1, 172 to Sh8, 200.
In China it has become popular to send personalized greeting videos via social media and messaging apps using African children.
Her journey to uncover the source of the videos lead her to a village in rural Malawi where she nabbed a prolific Chinese video producer. He was known as Susu which translate to uncle in Chinese but his real name is Lu Ke.
Runako was joined by Malawian investigative journalist Henry Mhango — and together they began tracking the digital and on-the-ground footprints of a Chinese filmmaker they suspected of making the ‘low IQ’ video.
They combined open-source analysis, traditional reporting and undercover journalism to nab the Chinese man.
With the help of Chinese journalist, using undercover filming, the team was able to record the man expressing a series of shockingly racist opinions about Malawians and about black people in general.
‘Don’t treat them as your friends. Never pity them, you have to remember that, No matter the family situation. This is how you should treat black people. Remember that.’ He is seen saying
According to one boy identified as Bright but know across Chinese social media as Xiao Gulah, the children were pinched, whipped and detained they did something wrong.
‘He would pinch us when we made mistakes and when we did something wrong he would whip us with a stick and give us detention.’ He said
His mother, Fausika Banda said Susu would take the children by force from their home even when the parents did not allow it.
‘When I took him away, the man would just come and take him back.it is painful in my heart .we do not see the benefit,’ she said
This film can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/I0DJlSqlmEw
Photo Credit; The Observer