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The Black Expat Experience in Hong Kong

African residents living in China today are either students or traders, according to widely-held perceptions. With more than 80,000 African students studying in China every year and tens of thousands of people from across the continent doing business in port cities like Guangzhou and Yiwu, it’s not surprising that a lot of people see it that way.

But it’s a gross over-simplification of what’s a very diverse population and those perceptions also don’t account for the growing number of black professionals who now live in many of China’s largest cities, especially in places like Hong Kong.

Adedamola Sowole, aka the “Fantastic Fo” and Louisa Awolaja, aka “Lou,” want to change that with a new podcast they co-host together about the black expat experience in Hong Kong. Both Fo and Lou are Nigerian British expats who work in the territory in professional jobs and interview other black expatriates about daily life in one of Asia’s largest cities. The two join Eric & Cobus to talk about the show and the sensitive issues they tackle in each episode.

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About Adedamola Sowole and Louisa Awolaja

Adedamola Sowole (AKA the Fantastic Fo) is a product development manager for a UK based, high-precision metrology and healthcare technology group. Born in London and raised between the UK and Nigeria, Fo has always been interested in the challenges of connecting and collaborating with different cultures.  He first moved to Asia in 2017, spending 8 months in Taiwan before moving finally to Hong Kong in 2019. His work in Asia Pacific takes him to the manufacturing regions of China, Taiwan and Korea (and increasingly south east Asia), where manufacturing practices are affected by language and culture. Alongside his day job, Fo is interested in the growing relationship between China and Nigeria, especially as it involves manufacturing.

Louisa Awolaja is a British-born Nigerian whose dual heritage played a key part in her upbringing. After developing her career in London as a management consultant and then Legal Project Manager, she first came to Hong Kong in July 2018 as part of a three-month secondment with her law firm. Louisa’s passions include portrait photography and promoting diversity and inclusion in organizations and societies around the world. The HomeGrown podcast has been an expression of both of these interests, with her photographs visually documenting the stories of featured guests.

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