Kudus Oluwatoyin Adebayo
- Research Fellow
- University of Ibadan
China-Africa relations have grown rapidly since the twenty-first century. As a deeply consequential encounter for both sides, the relationship is producing flows of capital, goods, people and communities. This study explored the migration and community formation processes of Nigerian trade diaspora in Guangzhou, the biggest city in South China. Based on 3-months ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative data collected through observation, life histories (3), and in-depth (38) and key informant (10) interviews with Nigerians and Chinese, it examined the "organization of people in trade," as against the "organization of trade," by describing emergent and established community structures of Nigerian traders in China. Specifically, it investigated how community formation is shaped by intra-diasporic dynamics, norms, values and contexts of inclusion/exclusion, legality/illegality, surveillance and processes of “othering” in China. The study advances knowledge on Anglophone African diasporas in Asia, and provides ground for engaging in comparative study of African communities in Chinese society.
How does the deportation practice of China contribute to precarity and disruptive changes in families and gendered social relations in the society of return? Despite the increasing attention on Africans in China, the simultaneous reverse flows engendered through deportation, and the post-deportation lives of African deportees are under-researched. This study explores the post-deportation lives of Nigerian deportees from China and how deportation experiences shape their family dynamics and masculinities in Nigeria. A qualitative ethnographic design will be adopted, with life histories as the data collection approach in two Nigerian cities, Lagos and Onitsha. Data will be collected from deportees (20) and their family members (20). Nigerian community leaders in Guangzhou will be interviewed using Skype and other audio/visual means. The study will call attention to a chronically under-engaged aspect of African-China exchanges and unveil hidden processes in the diasporisation and unmaking of the African diaspora in East Asia.