Kenyans living in the shadow of shattered Chinese dream

China's Southern Airlines lands at the airport in Guangzhou, in southern China's Guangdong province, on June 2, 2013.A growing number of Kenyans are losing hundreds of thousands of shillings to con men offering them non-existent jobs in China. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Most victims describe being taken to a house in Shenzhen, a city one hour by train from Guangzhou and gateway to Hong Kong. The house is run by two Kenyan women, only identified as Florence and Flora, who use it is a reception centre for the victims. That is where they are accommodated and given some orientation before being handed over to Chinese recruitment agents.  
  • First comes the shock that there is no job immediately available, and the realisation that a one-month business visitor visa does not allow one to take up employment, and in any case will soon expire.
  • They also discover at that point that while there are indeed thousands of jobs for English language teachers at all levels from kindergarten to university, Chinese immigration law provides that such jobs can only be offered to persons from “native English-speaking countries”. That is mostly the UK and it’s former “white” colonies, and the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

A growing number of Kenyans are losing hundreds of thousands of shillings to con men offering them non-existent jobs in China.

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