Opinion

REFLECTION: WITH REGARDS TO THE LAN TIAN INCIDENT.

Mr. Tang who owns the Lan Tian restaurant in Longacres that was involved in a supposed racial incident two weeks ago, apologized to the nation in a press briefing after a reporter from Muvi TV reported the incident on social media. The video went viral and attracted a lot of emotions both on social media and from authorities. This later led to a visit by the Mayor of Lusaka to Lan Tian restaurant and the subsequent closure of the restaurant.

But the question remains, if the incident was caused by an act of racism or a case of “Lost in communication?” We’ve recently obtained interesting footage from Lan Tian CCTV cameras from different dates, which were analysed by IT experts, including footage from that fateful date in order to judge for ourselves if what transpired on that day was a case of racism and if indeed the establishment has in previous cases discriminated against local people.

In the first video, which is an hour before the incident, you can see a local Zambian being served by a Chinese lady who even assists him with finding the products he is looking to purchase. This is the same woman who was accused of treating a Zambian in a racist manner.

In the second video you can clearly see the couple who was engaged in a case of miscommunication with the Chinese store manager. The store manager informed the couple that they had to wait outside. Unfortunately, she didn’t adequately explain that she was asking them to stay outside due to Covid-19 measures that were put in place by management to restrict the number of people who could be in the shop at a particular time. This led to the ensuing misunderstanding. However, the couple can still be seen going in and looking around in the shop before they took their leave.

In the third video, you can see the couple return on the following day with another Zambian man who we all later learn that he is a journalist from MuviTV. When they arrive in the shop, the Chinese store manager clearly lets them into the shop without stopping them. They walk around the shop and then later approach her and ask her to see the owner. That’s when everything goes haywire. Keep in mind that this is all before the story breaks on social media or any other networks.

You may now ask where and how did we get here? In Mandarin, the word “Wai guo ren” is used to describe a person with nationality other than Chinese. The store manager spoke to the wife to the Zambian man and used the term “Wai guo ren” in reference to him. It was not meant to injure him nor to make him seem as a foreigner in his own country but as a differential term between the wife and husband. Had the same scenario played out in England, India, Lebanon or any other country in the world, that term “wai guo ren” would still have applied. An Arab, an Indian, a white man can all be called “wai guo ren” … “wai guo ren” is in no way a derogatory term…and the body language of the Chinese store manager will show you that the incidence was not confrontational.

Mr. Tang has since reached out to the couple and requested to personally meet with them and apologise the misunderstanding and the pain it caused to them. These videos are being released to the public in order for us all to reflect and to make an informed opinion. Again, we ask, was this a case of RACISM or “Lost in translation” Be the judge! Remember that we all have the power to make this country a better place for all to reside in or make it unbearable for ALL!

Copyright © 2020 ZR.

You can get in touch with our news team by emailing us at: editor@zambiareports.com

6 Comments

  1. Musyani

    So what are you insinuating,if you want to be treated like garbage in your own country good for you,we expected proper leadership from the powers that be but it never happened, why do they even allow Chinese people to have chinese workers in there shops,zambians are not full people just an orientation on what is expected from them they will run that ka shop with ease,to manage that shop is not an essential job then you cry they are no jobs when that job is supposed to be done by zambians not imported labour,engineers, doctors those can be taken from china to come steady the ship if we dont have zambians first.
    Whatever deal pf has with the Chinese is not fair on the majority zambians hence we need to reverse that,
    In China even before you board a bus they want to see your passport and it should be valid,if you work there every now and then they test you for things like HIV and you think they are fair in treatment to us?
    I don’t even know who I can vote for next year as all these gains by Chinese need to be reversed,it is our Zambia they must be told we speak English as the official language,it can’t be that a visitor in your house starts controlling you in your own house. Nakana nkaninye.

  2. Yambayamba

    Well, if these Chinese businesses in Zambia really want to avoid such “lost in translation” incidences from now on, they should start hiring Zambians to run their businesses. What is so hard about being a Store Manager, or waiter in a restaurant, that Zambians can’t do or learn? If they insist on hiring Chinese workers in their businesses, then Zambia(ns) should also insist that those workers communicate in a language (English in this case) that most Zambians understand. Even product labels and menus in their stores and restaurants should be accompanied by English. After all, these Chinese Marchants brought their businesses to Zambia with the majority customer base in mind being Zambians. If this wasn’t their intention then Zambia isn’t their right place to do business in.

  3. Musyani

    Yambayamba true,imagine me going to china in wuhan to open a barbershop,it is impossible but them in Zambia they do anything now I hear some are selling land but who sold it to them in the first place, no zambian owns land in china.

  4. Mr intellect

    Probably this is not are

    Probably this is not a restaurant but Chinese prostitution den.For the sake of color,they think having a Chinese waiter might bring the firm some fortune in the case of a black Zambian admiring the light skin,,

  5. Lee bruce

    If you Zambians stop going there for services do you there businesses would survive . Buy zambian be served by a Zambian live as Zambian

  6. Alex walumba

    It all started when zambians decided to name a vegetable ‘ati’ Chinese cabbage

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