Drama Review: Ebola Fighters (Luo Jin, Mao Xiao Tong)

Drama Review: Ebola Fighters (Luo Jin, Mao Xiao Tong)

When I first heard about Chinese Drama called Ebola fighters, I wondered whether it was related to Africa or not. I wanted to watch it since Africa had the Ebola virus in some countries and I know most of my followers are in Africa therefore I want to discuss this drama with everyone. Good or bad, this drama will change the perception of people around the world on Africa so it’s important that I publish this review and share my thoughts.


Tells the story of Zheng Shu Peng, a virologist, and the Chinese medical team that involves their fight against the Ebola virus in 2014. They use their humanitarian spirit to fight the virus and finally successfully contain the spread of the virus to save a large number of lives.

First Impressions.

I paid a lot of attention on the first two episodes as if I was a detective. The first episode had a perfect start by showing the friendship between Africans and Chinese, totally loved how they interacted with each other. I really can’t explain that I had when I noticed huge number of Black actors, it’s so rare to find that in a Chinese Drama. So far, the first two episodes clearly showed that there are more challenges on the way but let’s review the whole drama.

The Good.

Better representation of Africa.

I have watched films that gave Africa a bad image and this drama is better than most. The drama also had some scenes where they would do cleansing ceremonies, dances… they’re part of our culture as Africans even though we have different cultures. I also noticed some African music being played frequently, which is really exciting especially when you realize that you’re watching a Chinese Drama. Most of the time, it felt like I was watching an African film.


This drama is based on a true story and from my side, I loved how they turned that story into a film.

The Bad.

Plots got buried.

The drama was running smooth with it’s plots and storyline until Dr Zheng left the village. I admit that Dr Zheng is the main character but that doesn’t mean they should drop other plots just to get him on screen all the time. They had a great story with Mosses, Tabanashi and the Diamonds but they buried the plot and only gave us 10 second action between them, you only see Mosses shooting someone and you don’t even know how did he find him… then we go back to the drama at the hospital between the doctors.


Propaganda or not?

One can say China is using this drama to build up their image by helping the “struggling and sickly” Africa. They have been promoting China since the first episode, the medical team wears clothes with Chinese flags all the time. We know that it’s a Chinese drama but they must also remember that the story revolves around Ebola and Africa. It’s unnecessary to put flag stickers on your uniform since it’s a China and Cabalia hospital, it clearly shows that China wants to get all the merits alone.

You can tell from the moment their medical team started demanding to use their “Chinese” kits instead of using kits from South Africa, mind you that those kits produce the same results but they kept changing the laws of Cabalia and did everything their “Chinese” way… Everything they did was “Chinese” related. The way they used Ebola and Africa to promote China is like allowing Coca Cola to advertise in one of your videos for 30 seconds but they end up taking 1 minute… it’s too much and annoying.

Every scene had a Chinese flag and I wondered, ‘why isn’t Cabalia’s flag in every scene like the Chinese flag? Yes, Cabalia is an imaginary country but it’s regarded as an African country in the drama so they should’ve promoted it just like they did with China. In short, China is telling it’s people ” Hey, we went to Africa and this is how Africa is… this is how we helped Africa…”

One could also say it’s not propaganda because USA always does the same thing. You can also say that they just followed the story of Dr Zheng who was in Africa during the Ebola outbreak in 2014 since the drama itself is based on a true story. You can also say West Africa is indeed struggling because of bandits and wars.

You can also say that China’s intentions with this drama was to show the Chinese people that people of all races can coexist, they can go through life and death together. You can say China wanted to share the legacy of Dr Zheng with others so that his story can inspire them. You can say the image of Africa wasn’t hurt by this drama. The production team spent more than four months in South China’s Hainan Province building sets replicating the natural and residential environments in West African countries, they did their research before jumping to conclusions, everything that’s being portrayed is true.

Propaganda or not, the drama had positive reviews and it also had negative reviews especially with how Africa was portrayed in the drama. My view and your views will always be different, I just want to share my view about the drama and here’s the truth:

China played a significant role in the international efforts to halt the spread of the Ebola disease. Through four rounds of emergency aid supplied in April, August, September and October 2014, a total of 750 million yuan (about USD 123 million) was contributed to West African countries by China. In addition to financial and material assistance, China also sent more than 1,000 medical personnel to the region to help with local epidemic prevention and control work (NHFPC 2015a; UNDP 2014a). This was unprecedented in the history of Chinese foreign assistance. In fact, China has often been considered as lacking a philanthropic culture, and its international aid and financing models are frequently criticized as resource-backed and tied to aid in a way that simply serves the business interests of the country.



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