Author Mukuka Chipanta's Fictional Portrait of China-Zambia Ties


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By The China Africa Project, Eric Ol, er, and Cobus van Staden. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Given the tensions and controversies that have shaped China's decades-long engagement in Africa, it's a bit surprising that there are so few fictional books on the subject. For some reason, Africa's deep reservoir of talented writers has largely avoided using the Chinese presence on the continent as theme or character in their novels.

The situation is similar in China, where the fictionalization of the Chinese presence in Africa is dominated by big blockbuster movies like Wolf Warrior II and Operation Red Sea.

Zambian-born writer Mukuka Chipanta's 2016 book "A Casualty of Power" is the exception. Mukuka, who is also an aerospace engineer in the United States, tells the story of a young Zambian college student, Hamoonga Moya, who was falsely imprisoned and then upon his release goes to work in a Chinese copper mine.

The story talks about the tensions between African workers and their Chinese supervisors are simmering over wages and unsafe working conditions and there’s a tipping point when a horrific accident sparks a bloody riot. Mukuka joins Eric & Cobus to discuss his book and why he thinks there aren't more China-Africa themed novels. Join the discussion? Do you think the China-Africa relations presents an interesting backdrop for writers and novelists to integrate into their stories? If not, why? Let us know what you think. Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque | @chipanta Email: LinkedIn: Eric | Cobus A Casualty of Power is available for purchase on And if you would like to join our weekly email newsletter mailing list for a carefully curated selection of the week's top China-Africa news. Sign up here.

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