Chic African Culture Blog

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. African tech startups raise billions of dollars annually, seven African start-ups were included in the World Economic Forum 2021 cohort of 100 Technology Pioneers: 54gene, mPharma, Cambridge Industries, FlexFinTx, Kuda, Moringa School and Sokowatch.

African Chinese on Kenya’s Pate Island

Africans of Chinese descent on Kenya’s Pate Island have Chinese roots with ancient links to Chinese sea explorers and shipwrecks. Mwamaka Sharifu, from Lamu Island off of Kenya's coast is a descendant of Chinese sailors traveling with Chinese explorer Zheng He in the Ming Dynasty.

Kenya’s Pate Island and Chinese sailors

Chinese Ming dynasty Admiral Zheng He, on his fourth voyage left China in 1413 arriving off the coast of Kenya’s Pate Island in 1418.
Pate Island Family

The Kenyan coast was a major crossroad in the spice and slave trading routes of the 15th century. Chinese Ming dynasty Admiral Zheng He, on his fourth voyage, left China in 1413 arriving off the coast of Kenya’s Pate Island in 1418. 

Admiral Zheng He, the Ming Dynasty court eunuch whose fleet of 300 ships and 28,000 sailors were the biggest the world had ever known. His ships were said to have been four times bigger than those of Columbus and his seafaring travels were greater than any explorer before him.

Pate Island is located in the Indian Ocean close to the northern coast of Kenya and is the largest island in the Lamu Archipelago. According to Kenyan folklore, Chinese sailors who survived the shipwreck swam ashore and were allowed to stay on the Island after killing a python that had been troubling a village.

 

Kenya’s Pate Villages' dressmaker's shop
Pate Villages' dressmaker's shop


The Chinese Ming sailors married and had children with the native African women, converted them to Islam and created a community of African-Chinese whose descendants still live on the Island of Pate.

Kenya’s Pate Island Chinese tradition has ancient links to Africa. On Pate there is an ancient graveyard made out of coral, they are the graves of the Chinese sailors, which died in the shipwreck.  

The graves are the same as Chinese Ming dynasty tombs, complete with half-moon domes and terraced entries. In 2010 Chinese government sent archeologists to the Kenyan coast on a $3-million, three-year mission to dig for artifacts.


China Girl Mwamaka Sharifu

Pate Island China Girl named Mwamaka Sharifu is hailed as the most famous descendent of the shipwrecked Chinese sailors.
African China Girl

Pate Island China Girl named Mwamaka Sharifu is hailed as the most famous descendent of the shipwrecked Chinese sailors. Mwamaka was rewarded with a scholarship in 2005 to a Chinese university, where she is studying traditional Chinese medicine. 

Sharifu said she admires Zheng's courage and adventurous spirit. "I was born as brave as my ancestors," she said. "It is rare for girls in my Muslim village to go so far to study, to such a big and different country." 

Sharifu went on to say "Beijing is a big city," Sharifu added. "But Taicang city will always be a special place for me as it is said it is where my ancestors came from. Located in East China's Jiangsu Province, Taicang is where Zheng set sail for Africa.

Together we build awareness that boost harmony, education, and success, below are more links to articles you will find thought provoking.

  1. Dangerous Erupting Volcanoes of Africa Dangerous Erupting Volcanoes of Africa=
  2. Top 20 Largest Countries in Africa Top 20 Largest Countries in Africa=
  3. What is an African Proverb What is an African Proverb=
  4. African Water Spirit Mami Wata African Water Spirit Mami Wata=
  5. Percentage of White people living in Africa  Percentage of White people living in Africa=


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Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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