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!
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