President-elect Barack Obama has a half-brother by the name of Mark Ndesandjo who’s been in Shenzhen for a few years now. According to this video report by a Shenzhen TV station (we think), on the day of Obama’s victory, Mark Ndesandjo sent a text message to all his friends announcing “新美国来了！” (“The new America has come!”). The video also shows Ndesandjo teaching kids piano at an orphanage and practising calligraphy in his free time when he’s not running his Internet company World Nexus. And, oh, he seems to speak very fluent Mandarin too.
Our friend Thomas Crampton (who recently had a big break with his video interview of ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra in Hong Kong) has been compiling information on Ndesandjo here while trying to track him down for an interview. He observes that Ndesandjo’s “interest in the orphanage seems fully sincere and not at all political”. Also, “Chinese-language media reports on him playing piano in the orphanage long precede Obama’s rise to global prominence”.