Chinese businessman named Mike Zhang has been turbaned as a “chief” in the Kano State of northwestern Nigeria, designating him as the leader of his fellow compatriots in the region.
Zhang’s appointment as “Wakilin Yan China” comes as a growing number of Chinese traders have moved to Kano, leading to some problems that locals have found difficult to solve without any form of organized leadership among the Chinese.
The turbaning was carried out at the Gidan Rumfa, the palace of the emir of Kano who serves as the region’s main religious and cultural authority.
While Zhang is not the first foreigner to become a chief in Kano, he is the first Chinese to be granted the honor.
His position is also likely to be more difficult than most. As in other African countries, resentment against Chinese immigrants has built up in Nigeria, particularly among locals traders who are angry about their prices being undercut by the newcomers.