Black Lives China is hosted by two women bound by the ties of African Sisterhood
Runako and Hannah chose to write each other’s bio’s, keep reading and witness a true sisterhood…
Hannah on Runako:
The day we met Runako’s hair was styled in long braids, in a high bun with flyaway strands hanging below her shoulders. She was standing outside waiting for a Didi, texting away with her glossy purple nails. Everything about her was fashionable and I remember thinking “she is so cool!”
One year and a relocation to Beijing later, I’m blessed to have a true sister in Runako. We bonded over midnight hour chats on Pan-African unity in our fellow sister Celia’s room. Born to Garveyite parents she entered the world championing pan-Africanism with her fist held high. In intellectual debates, she listens intently, identifies commonalities, and articulates her thoughts with razor-sharp precision.
She is very humble, quick to praise others, and yet slow to reveal her talents. Despite her modesty, her poise and quiet confidence make it clear that she is highly intelligent. It took some time to dig under her humility and tease out the wide breadth of her achievements; but here are a select few.
Right now she is busy juggling a Chinese language thesis on language policy for a Masters of International Relations degree at Peking University alongside her work commitments at Chinese electronics company TCL. Through these experiences, she has gained a unique insight into Chinese business practices. Runako is also the Public Relations Officer for the Peking University Africa Think Tank, a body which conducts research on issues relating to African countries and Africa-China relations. Through this role, she has built upon her existing base of knowledge on these areas and published related articles on CGTN, and ChinaAfrica magazine.
In her free time, she studies Yoruba, Ga, and Swahili as part of her ambition to speak as many African languages as possible.
Runako has combined her passions for community development, Pan-Africanism and volunteer work into her project: The African Diaspora Volunteer Network (ad-vn.org). Through ADVN she has mobilized her interests and talents into causes relating to the Global African Diaspora and its unification.
And if that wasn’t enough, consistent with her uniqueness, Runako is also a gamer and an avid SIMS player.
She is still so cool, but also much, much more.
Runako on Hannah:
Hannah’s the kind of character you meet once, marvel over – and instantly realise you’d be foolish not to meet again. She seamlessly manages to combine that which is nurturing, entertaining and educational all in one impressive larger than life vessel.
Academically astute, Hannah’s currently an LL.M candidate in Transitional Law at Peking University. Before this, she’d done her B.A at McGill and completed an LL.B. from Queen Mary School of Law, University of London. She’s also found professional success working at the UNECA and for the Ministry of Environment and Forest in her native Ethiopia. Most recently she enjoys writing about and researching BRI and related issues.
Since moving back to Beijing last year after a stint away in Shenzhen, Hannah’s thrown herself into the things she’s most passionate about…and left a trail of successes made possible by her graft in her wake. When she’s not busying herself with her scores of flowers and herb collection, she reads Africana womanist literature, muses over identity, and perfects her Amharic. Not only this, she’s invested much of her time in China to pursuing her interest in Pan-African unity, sisterhood/female empowerment, south-south cooperation and more. As such, she is the Chief Editor at Peking University’s Africa Think Tank and also the General-Secretary of Peking University’s African Students Association. She also established the hugely successful Sisters Circle which has contributed in no small way to keeping many an African woman at PKU sane!
One of the most admirable qualities that Hannah possesses is her adaptability and worldliness- she’s the most open-minded individual I’ve ever had the pleasure of befriending besistering. This is likely due in part to her being extremely well traveled (– I mean, where hasn’t Hannah lived?) Her ability to relocate and resonate with people across varying social groups makes Hannah who she is. I’ve always struggled to imagine a place that couldn’t benefit from her boundless energy and positive aura. The world needs way more Hannah’s. Not least because they’d be gaining a teacher, mother-figure, and comedienne all for the price of one!