Category Archives: sports

[Africans in Hong Kong] 香港故事 – 民間,集氣!:爭氣波


[Sports] Nigerian acrobats in China

[Soft Power] Chinese Super League (CSL) ‘going’ to Africa

[Kung Fu] Shaolin Kung Fu attracts African apprentices

Xinhua (26 July 2016). Twenty African apprentices are learning Kung Fu, Zen meditation and other traditional Chinese culture at the Shaolin Temple in central China’s Henan Province. The learners from the Republic of Congo, Mauritius and other countries will stay at Shaolin for three months. They are the fourth batch of African learners since China’s Ministry of Culture initiated the program for Kung Fu fans on the continent in 2012.

The Shaolin Temple, with a history of more than 1,500 years, is home to Zen and Kung Fu.

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Ngalle Emmanuel Leolein from Cameroon, also known as Yandan among Buddhist peers, is a coach for the apprentices. He graduated from the first Shaolin Kung Fu training class for Africans, and has spent the following five years in the temple. “Not only have I learnt how to fight with swords, sticks and hands, but I have also been immersed by China and Shaolin Temple’s unfathomable cultural heritage.”

He Yaofei, a 20-year-old Malagasy recruit in the class, used to be Bruce Lee’s movie fan. Three years ago, he started learning Changquan, a genre of Chinese hand fighting. “This is the first time I have come to Shaolin,” he said, “and it is a dream come true.” He said he is determined to keep practicing and perform Kung Fu for his countrymen when he returns. “I want more friends to go to China and realize their Kung Fu dream,” he said.

Kung Fu master Zhuangyan of the Shaolin Temple believes the 3-month study will help the African apprentices transcend themselves physically and spiritually, and that they will thus grow to be future culture ambassadors between China and Africa.

“Kung Fu is not something you learn in just a few years; rather, it is a cause worth lifelong commitments,” said Emmanuel. “If possible, I would like to spend the rest of my life at Shaolin.”

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[Sports] The emergence of a #SinoAfrica soccer fandom?

The image below -circulating on Chinese social media- was reportedly created by a Beijing-based travel company to promote their packages for a trip to Guangzhou – where the upcoming match between Beijing Guoan and Guangzhou R&F Fuli will take place. The source reported not knowing ‘the intention behind it’ (the image).

For more contextual information on Fuli’s African supporters go here. For more on the African presence in the wider Chinese soccerscapes go here.

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[Sports] The Africans are coming: is the Chinese Super League the next big thing for African players?

Amid the massive uproar that several shocking moves caused over the winter in the international soccer market, here’s a list of some of the most renowned African players that have recently made it to China – along with a reminder that these players are indeed NOT pioneers in China’s soccerscapes.

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Mbia completed a move to Hebei China Fortune for a fee estimated at around £7m

List of current African players in the Chinese Super League


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In 2015, Asamoah Gyan completed a move to Shanghai SIPG for an undisclosed (massive) fee

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According to the Mail Online, out of the 2016 top 10 players in the Chinese Super League, 9 are ‘black’ and 5 hail from countries in Africa.

Notwithstanding all the novelty of Chinese sides acquiring great players, African soccer players in China are indeed nothing new. For decades now, Africans from all over the continent (and all walks of life) have played in the country, albeit at an amateur level. The history of ‘Afrika United‘, a Pan-African soccer team in Beijing, is evidence of the evolving ‘African’ (and international) grassroots soccerscapes in China. Have a look at the media report below and, if interested, you can also watch this documentary, read this academic article, or listen to this podcast.


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[Sports] Football : le grand mercato de la Chinafrique #SinoAfrica

Par Sébastien Le Belzic (chroniqueur Le Monde Afrique, Hongkong)

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L’année du singe qui débute en Chine va-t-elle sonner le véritable coup d’envoi du football business dans l’empire du Milieu ? Jusqu’aux derniers jours, le mercato a ressemblé aux courses de Noël : les clubs chinois auront dépensé cette année 259 millions d’euros, soit davantage que le championnat anglais.

Selon un rapport de la FIFA, la Chine a été le sixième marché le plus dépensier en matière de transferts en 2015, se plaçant derrière les cinq plus gros championnats européens. « Ils ont les moyens de faire venir les meilleurs joueurs du monde. Il y a des clubs qui ont beaucoup d’argent comme Shanghai, Canton et Pékin. Seulement cinq joueurs étrangers sont autorisés par équipe et donc ils prennent les meilleurs », nous explique l’entraîneur français René Lobello qui vient de passer une saison au Shanghai Shenhua. Dans ce même club en 2012, et pour un salaire mirobolant, Didier Drogba avait essuyé les plâtres avant de partir pour Montréal.

René Lobello assure que les joueurs africains sont bien intégrés dans un championnat chinois qui représente une étape de plus en plus importante et lucrative dans une carrière de champion. « Ce n’est plus une voie de garage et on trouve en Chine de nombreux joueurs jeunes et talentueux. » Tour d’horizon de ces stars africaines venues grossir cette année les rangs des clubs chinois.

Les nouveaux arrivants

Gervinho au Hebei China Fortune FC. L’international ivoirien quitte l’AS Rome où il aura joué deux saisons et demie. Il s’est engagé pour trois saisons avec le club de Hebei China Fortune FC. Triste nouvelle pour l’Olympique de Marseille et le FC Porto qui lorgnaient Gervinho. Mais l’offre mirobolante de la Chine n’a pas fait hésiter le joueur très longtemps. L’équipe chinoise a déboursé 18 millions d’euros ! Une « expérience »comme l’explique l’attaquant

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