In February 2020, a shocking video began to circulate on Chinese social media. A group of African children are being instructed, by a voice off-camera, to chant phrases in Chinese. The kids repeat the words with smiles and enthusiasm — but they don’t understand that what they’re being told to say is “I am a black monster and my IQ is low.” The clip ignited outrage in China and beyond.
But no-one ever answered the crucial questions: Why was this filmed? Where was it shot? Who made it?
These questions send #BBCAfricaEye and #BBCEyeInvestigations reporters Runako Celina and Henry Mhango on a journey into a Chinese video-making industry that exploits vulnerable children across the continent.
Africa Eye brings you original, investigative journalism revealing secrets and rooting out injustice in the world’s most complex and exciting continent. Nothing stays hidden forever.
You can check out all #BBCAfricaEye investigations here: https://bit.ly/bbcafricaeye
Investigated and Reported by Runako Celina and Henry Mhango
Filmed, Produced and Directed by Chiara Francavilla
Assistant Producer – Runako Celina
Executive Producer – Dan Adamson
Open Source Investigators – Aliaume Leroy and Edward Tian
Film Editor – Matthew Bradley
Motion Design – Emile Costard
Camera – Godfrey Badebye
Additional camera – Jake Tacchi, Michael Jenkins, Kevin Okai, Lameck Luhanga
Online Editor – Chris Stott
Dubbing Mixer- Jez Spencer
Colour Grader – Boyd Nagle
Reversioning Producer – Anna Payton
Digital Producer – Suzanne Vanhooymissen
Social Media Producer – Anusha Kumar
Impact Producer – Courtney Bembridge
Production Managers – Simon Frost and Helen Swindells
Production Coordinators – Charlotte Fraser, Emily Dubois, Neil Williams, Negin Vaziri
Digital Technician – David Smith
Production Support – Lonjezo Blake
Translators – Adrian Mvula, Alefa Bisiyere, Clifford Munthali, Florence Phiri, Steven Mkandawire, Towera Moyo, Yang Siong Sim
Archive – SVT- Sveriges Television AB, Kobina Ackon aka Wode Maya
Original Music – Madalitso Band
Drivers – Blessings Emmanuel Bonface and Hillary Mwagomba
BBC Africa Eye Editor – Tom Watson
Head of Investigations – Marc Perkins