A Chinese restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya, has been closed down after it was discovered the eatery was barring black patrons from entering the premises.
According to IOL, the seemingly racist actions of the restaurant were reported by authorities on Wednesday after management said “no blacks” could enter the restaurant.
Angry residents in the area took to the social media to denounce the restaurant for not allowing black patrons through its door after 5 p.m. The trending tags on Twitter were mainly #NoBlacksHere, #TheChineseInvasion, and #RacistRestaurant, although some posts did contain a little humor and were possibly a little racist themselves.
— It’s me (@kim_alexx) March 24, 2015
Once the news hit the Twittersphere, it came to the city’s authorities who then took action. Apparently the restaurant’s owners have since apologized and told the media that they put this measure in place following a robbery back in 2013.
When you are hungry and its past 5pm and #RacistRestaurant is open pic.twitter.com/34KfMN04YB
— BoredGenius (@_Ojow) March 24, 2015
The manager of the restaurant, Esther Zhao, said the policy of saying no blacks is aimed not only at keeping out thieves but also members of Somalia’s al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab militants. Those militants were responsible for the killing of 67 people in Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall back in 2013.
“We don’t admit Africans that we don’t know because you never know who is Al-Shebab and who isn’t.
“It is not like it is written on somebody’s face that they are a thug armed with a gun.”
The manager added that after the massacre at the shopping mall, Chinese businesses had been warned by their embassy to be vigilant over the possible threat of attacks.
According to the Daily Nation, Ms. Zhao Yang was detained for two days after the prosecution objected to her release on bail following a court case that found she had been running the restaurant illegally. She apparently obtained bail because she was a foreigner, but she further refused to disclose the details of her immigration status in Kenya.
Besides the allegations of saying no blacks could enter, the court apparently closed down the Chongquing Chinese restaurant on other grounds, as Nairobi governor Evans Kidero said in a statement that it did not hold the proper licenses.
“We have established that the restaurant did not have the licenses and I have ordered it closed until the management complies.
“The owners of the restaurant have no change of user from residential to commercial which is a requirement to operate a business in Nairobi.”
— Mr. B (@Benogola) March 24, 2015
He further added that the restaurant does not hold a valid liquor license and had failed to comply with public health requirements for food handling.
“As of now the restaurant will remain closed until they comply with all set rules and regulations. We have deployed security officers around the premises.”
On the racist allegations of saying no blacks could enter, Kidero continued that businesses and service providers have to ensure all customers are “treated with respect and dignity, irrespective of race, color, sex, tribe and religion.”
It seems Zhao Yang and her managers have also been called in by Kenya’s immigration authorities, and the Parliamentary Committee on Security has also been requested to carry out an investigation.
— The Star, Kenya (@TheStarKenya) March 26, 2015
An official for the city stressed that the incident “has nothing to do with the friendship and diplomatic relations Kenya enjoys with China,” which is a major investor in the east African country.
While the economic investment of China is welcomed in Kenya, there have been other concerns over the country’s huge demand for ivory, which according to wildlife campaigners, is decimating Africa’s elephants.
Speaking of the owner’s bail situation, according to the magistrate, there were no compelling reasons to deny her bail, but she will be held at the Lang’ata women’s prison until Monday. In the meantime, other foreign-owned restaurants will no doubt be wary of starting a “no blacks” campaign themselves.
On the subject of China and cuisine in general, the Inquisitr notes that a woman, suffering from excruciating headaches, has discovered she has a parasite in her brain from eating frogs when she was a child. It all kind of makes you want to put those chopsticks down.
[Image: CC BY-SA 2.0 bryan]