Malawians have taken to the social media to express reservations about a video documentary on Malawian children chanting Chinese phrases bearing demeaning and racist undertones.
The documentary, run on BBC Africa Eye Investigation, depicts children standing behind a placard bearing Chinese phrases and singing. The phrases in English read: “I am a black monster! My IQ is low!”
In the investigation, BBC journalist Runako Celina and Malawian journalist Henry Mhango identified the man allegedly behind the video as Lu Ke. The two traced the place where the video was shot to Njewa in Lilongwe.
The BBC Africa Eye investigation found that Lu Ke was shooting 380 videos a day and earning about K77 million, but he was paying the children in his videos below $1.
While some faulted the police for letting the whole incident slip through their fingers, in the comments that followed the post on the BBC Africa Facebook page, others faulted authorities for allowing foreigners go around freely and make films without permission.
Reads some of the comments: “Colonialism started with other people taking advantage of the accommodating nature of Africans. We tolerate so much nonsense in our communities and I think this has to stop.
“This is horrific! He should be arrested for this, he knows the families are struggling and don’t understand the language he is using. Taking advantage of children and families struggling, he should be deported from the country and never allowed back.”
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati and National Police deputy spokesperson Harry Namwaza said they have launched an investigation into the matter.
Said Kaliati: “I have heard the news, it’s sad. The director of child affairs is already on the ground investigating the matter. This is an abuse to Malawian children and Malawi as a nation.”
On the other hand, Namwaza said the police have noted issues of child exploitation in the video content and are investigating more.
“We are following all legal processes. As police, we are supposed to investigate where we feel that a crime has been committed. There are so many issues in the videos and we will use the content to find our case,” he said.
Lu ke’s shocking videos began circulating on Chinese social media in February 2020.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives executive director Sylvester Namiwa challenged government to immediately trace the man behind the video.
“Those staying in the country illegally and those doing contrary to what they came to Malawi for, should be given 48 hours to leave,” he said.