Abuja: A Nigerian engineer who migrated to Beijing in 2001 has became a pop star overnight in China after being discovered by a local TV reality show.
Hao Ge, whose real name is Emmanuel Uwechue, is a qualified engineer from Nigeria. He left Lagos in 2001 after a Chinese friend advised him to move to Beijing.
Hao used to sing in bars in Beijing until he got his big break in 2006 when he was selected to participate in the Chinese equivalent of American Idol, called Xin Guang Da Dao.
His songs in Mandarin, accent and his taste for good clothes succeeded him in winning the hearts of many young Chinese.
His performances were met with electrifying enthusiasm from the public and the Chinese media started to cash on this rare singing phenomenon.
His latest romantic songs "Red and Black" and "Love of my life" have topped the Chinese pop charts.
Already a documentary tracing Hao Ge`s history and extraordinary journey has been produced and broadcast.
Very few foreigners have tried to pursue a singing career in China, making Hao`s success an overwhelming achievement.
He had to learn the language right from scratch and tried very hard to get his pronunciation right, africanews.com reported.
Despite his tremendous success, he admits that he sometimes felt frustrated due to the restrictions on the political references in his songs as required by the government.
"I feel boxed in, always singing romance songs. I don`t want to sound ungrateful, but I would like to expand the horizons of my distributed work."