Over 600 years ago, the admiral Zheng He, China's most revered explorer, led a fleet of treasure ships across the oceans seven times, and legend has it that one of the ships belonging to the fleet was swallowed by raging storm by the coast of modern day Kenya. Sailors were washed ashore, and then started families on the small island of Pate.
Mama Baraka, now in her 70s, told her family tale of being Chinese descendants to her children and visitors alike. For China, whose economic ambition in Africa is undeniable, such a story attracted attention. For this story, I traveled to the island, wrote and photographed for South China Morning Post.