On Sunday 26th April, Ghanaian entrepreneur Nana Kwame Bediako made a statement directed at the Chinese government requesting an official apology for the current and ongoing maltreatment of Africans in China. As a sign of solidarity with the Africans who have been marginalized and abused in China during the Covid-19 pandemic, Nana Kwame Bediako led a peaceful demonstration to raise awareness for the mis-treatment of black people in China. He was accompanied by the police and members of the ‘Freedom Movement’; a non governmental organization that advocates for human rights and racial equality.
Real Estate developer and industrialist Nana Kwame Bediako also known as ‘Freedom Jacob Caesar’, has voiced out his pain in seeing fellow Africans and people of colour unfairly treated recently in china. He expressed his concern at a press conference held at the revolutionary grounds of the Black Star Square in Accra yesterday. “As a concerned global citizen, I was deeply disturbed by the treatment I saw of black people in China as they were being evicted from their homes, forced into quarantine and even being denied admittance to restaurants, hotels and other businesses. I was also surprised that even despite the close relationship between China and most African countries, there hasn’t been any public denouncement or apology from the authorities. I felt the need to use my voice to let the world know that Covid-19 simply cannot be used as an excuse to dehumanize or deny the civil rights of black people in China or any other nation,” he said.
Nana Kwame Bediako added that it was necessary for all people of colour to voice out on this particular matter because this was an issue that affected all Africans or black people as a whole. “Although, African diplomats in China have expressed concerns to officials there, this maltreatment is an issue for every black person in the world. Any one of us from the continent or the diaspora whether it be Jamaica, America, France, or Nigeria living in or travelling to China might suffer these same abuses. If we simply remain silent, this treatment and disrespect will continue and even become more widespread in China and other countries. Black people are not animals as we have been depicted in museums and galleries in China and these actions are unacceptable considering the eminent value that Africa and our resources play in global economies and supply chains,” he explained.
Finally, Nana Kwame Bediako said that in these times of the Coronavirus pandemic, it was necessary for everyone, irrespective of race or colour, to come together. “I believe that this virus does not know gender, race, religion, age, or colour and this could be a sign telling the world that we are all equal and need to come together as one world and a universal people to overcome the crisis and restore humanity together. Therefore, I will continue to use my voice and platform to change perceptions of Africa, build unity and forge deeper connections between Africa, the West and the East”, he said.
During the procession, signs reading captions such as ‘Africa is a Beacon of Hope’ and ‘Africa is separated by culture but united by colours’, were held up by participants who maintained social distancing measures and wore face masks inscribed with the words ‘Freedom of Speech’. The Police and other security personnel were also present to ensure that the demonstration remained peaceful.
Nana Kwame Bediako operates an international real estate development company in Ghana and other countries and has hosted personalities at his hospitality ventures such as Naomi Campbell, Idris Elba, Conan O’Brien, and Chinese billionaire entrepreneur Jack Ma. In March, he singled handedly donated close to 500 bags of rice, and other food items to the less privileged people in some parts of Accra amid the lockdown as a result of the presence of the Coronavirus.
By Jerry Wonder