A former teacher from Shanghai who has lived in Nigeria for four decades has been appointed a tribal chief, becoming the first Chinese expatriate to receive such an honour in Africa. Hu Jieguo, 68, said he first went to the western African country in 1975 to help his father with his textile factory business, the Guangzhou Daily reported. Hu was working as an English teacher at a middle school in Shanghai until then. Appointed as tribal chief in 2001 for his contributions to local society, Hu is a successful businessman and a celebrity in the country, the report said. He worked at his father’s factory until 1997, when he set up a restaurant in a prime location in Lagos as he said he was interested in working with people, not machines. The Chinese food restaurant is popular, especially with government officials. He counts the Nigerian president and the foreign affairs and cultural ministers as customers and has become friends with them. More Nigerians are learning Chinese as political and economic ties deepen Hu said Nigerians shared similar values as the Chinese, including an emphasis on family and education. In 1999, he spent 30 million yuan (US$4.34 million) to fund the building of four public primary schools. Hu said although he earned no profit from his investment, the projects added to his good reputation among local residents and indirectly boosted his business. There are 60,000 Chinese expatriates living in Nigeria and many of them call Hu when they have problems in their lives. Hu urged his fellow Chinese expats to “integrate themselves into the local society” if they want their business to grow, rather than regarding Nigeria simply as a place to make short-term profits. The tribe that has welcomed Hu allows polygamy, but he only has one wife.