Chinese Restaurant Owner Arrested After Discriminatory Policy Against Africans Becomes Public

F2FA March 26, 2015
The Chinese Restaurant located in Kilimani, Nairobi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The Chinese Restaurant Nairobi

The Chinese Restaurant located in Kilimani, Nairobi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Chinese Restaurant owner Zhao Yang was arrested in Nairobi, Kenya, this week, after a local newspaper broke the story that Africans were not allowed in the establishment in the evenings, reports CNN.


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According to Kenya’s Daily Nation, after its reporters attempted to enter the restaurant in the evening, they were brazenly told by a guard “Masaa ya Waafrika yameisha” or “the time for Africans is over.”

In fact, the only Africans reportedly allowed in to the eatery at the night are those who are accompanied by European, Indian, or Chinese patrons, and this policy is reportedly “strictly” enforced.

Restaurant Relations Manager Esther Zhao explains, “We don’t admit Africans that we don’t know because you never know who is Al-Shabaab and who isn’t,” she said.

“It is not like it is written on somebody’s face that they are a thug armed with a gun.”

Zhao insists that the Chinese embassy’s warning to Chinese to be wary of al-Shabaab informed their establishment’s decision.

“The Chinese people who stay here or come to dine want to feel safe.

“They also have families back in China and they don’t want to be in harm’s way during their stay in Kenya.

“As management, it is our duty to ensure their safety,” says Zhao.

Never running out of excuses, Zhao also added that the proverbial straw to break the camel’s back, though, occurred during a robbery of the establishment in 2014, when a gang pretended to be patrons.

“Six armed men — Africans — broke into our restaurant and robbed us of Sh600,000.

“They also robbed our patrons of their possessions at gunpoint. A chef was also injured,” says Zhao.

This incident reportedly prompted their Chinese customers to also request that Africans be barred from the restaurant.

The publication of Daily Nation’s story erupted on Twitter, with the hashtag #NoBlacksAllowed:



According to official Otiende Amollo, the Chinese Restaurant’s practices are both discriminatory and unconstitutional.

“That amounts to racial and ethnic profiling, which is unconstitutional.

“It has in it the inherent assumption that Africans are inevitably pre-disposed to be robbers,” says Amollo.

“Whatever measures they choose to take to maintain security must be measures that treat people equally irrespective of race, gender, or colour.”

Days after the restaurant was exposed, it was found to lack liquor, health, or change-of-use licenses, forcing authorities to shut down the restaurant and arrest Yang.

Not surprisingly, the measures prompted Chinese Restaurant owners to “apologize” with the following statement:

“Because of the concern of the business environment at night and the bad memory of (a robbery in) 2013, we adopted certain measures. Unfortunately, some of the measures were inappropriate, we sincerely apologize for this.”



Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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