Mark Ndesandjo is president Barack Obama’s half-brother who lives in Shenzhen, teaches piano at an orphanage and runs an Internet company, World Nexus, that helps Chinese companies export to the US.
The company website says they assist Chinese companies set up websites for foreign customers. Their motto: “Good Communication is Good Business”.
Boilerplate says Worldnexus is registered with the Shenzhen city government and under the Chinese name 天下(TIAN XIA).
I did an earlier blog posting about the World Nexus.
Above photo is from Shenzhen Daily article published Nov 6 that had an amusing “only in China” anecdote:
After Ndesandjo’s identity was revealed, the wine producers of Shenyang Dragon Medical Co. Ltd., Liaoning Province, invited Ndesandjo to be their product spokesman. Ndesandjo turned down the offer, saying that he would think about it after the election.
If anyone knows him, please let me know. I’d like to request a video interview for my blog. Sounds like he has carved out a very interesting life in Shenzhen.
- From Chinese-language sources in Chination Report:
Mark teaches piano in an orphanage, according to a March 2004 article in the Nanfangnet Daily:
Mark doesn’t have much money. His goal is to bring the art of music to the orphans. He believed an orphan’s life needs not only the essentials. The arts are needed, too. Mark began teaching piano lessons at the orphanage every week – at least until events of this year overtook him. Since 2002, Mark has taught several dozen piano students. Two of his students studied with him for more than two years, one is Xing Yun, who went on to college in Guangzhou. The other is Long Ben.
From a CD cover that Mark produced:
Mark is a writer, painter and composer who spends most of his time in Asia and USA. He was born in Kenya. He studied at Brown and Stanford Universities. He published 3 CDs and one book. The book’s title is Observations in Africa and others. This (semi-autobiographical) book is about a young Kenyan man who immigrated to the US and lived in a metropolitan city there. He studied Communications and worked at Lucent Technologies and Notel Networks in high positions. His hobbies included sky diving, skiing and surfing.
Mark’s business ventures:
While dining, Sui came up with a plan: Instead of just consulting, why not also open a barbeque stand? This idea excited Mark a lot. He said he wanted to open such stands in Kenya to introduce grilled tofu and potato chips to his countrymen. While enjoying their beer and chips, they drew up a business plan on a piece of scrap paper. They even designed a menu. Mark insists that it has to be natural. He wanted a very simple, unpretentious hut instead of a fancy restaurant. They named the hut-restaurant Cabin BBQ. At the end of 2003, the first Cabin BBQ was opened in Shenzhen, adjacent to their existing information consulting office.
As of today, Cabin BBQ has seven branches, including one in Yingchuan in the northwest of China, far away from Shenzhen. They are also planning on entering the Kenyan market with their next Cabin BBQ. Sui said, “From a simple joke out of desperation to a viable business, we feel like we’re in a dream!” Thanks to the opening of their first Cabin BBQ, which became a very successful, profitable business, they were able to pay themselves a salary while covering the overhead of the consulting firm, which is still not profitable.
- According to a 2004 article in News Guangdong
MARK NDESANDJO has been teaching children at the Shenzhen Social Welfare Center how to play piano since June 2002. A successful businessman in telecommunications, Ndesandjo is also a self-taught musician.
“When I first came to Shenzhen from Florida (in the United States) two years ago, I started collecting VCRs, DVDs and pianos from my classmates in the executive MBA program in Atlanta, Georgia and donated them to the welfare center,” said Ndesandjo.
But soon Ndesandjo found that every time he went there, it seemed like a big party. “Children were dressed up and organized to meet us,”he said.
“The children here don’t need food, but there is no art, or music to appreciate. Music connects human beings on the spiritual level and can have a lasting impression on the children, so I thought of setting up a program in arts education in the center,” said Ndesandjo.
- According to Roger Cohen in the NY Times
Obama’s half brother, Mark, the one in China, he’s described as studying physics at Stanford in the 1980s. “The things Mark studies are so complicated only a handful of people really understand it at all,” Ruth enthuses.
But Mark, “a black man of my height and complexion,” tells Obama his work’s a breeze. He expresses limited interest in their shared father who died in 1982 at 46: “Life’s hard enough without all the excess baggage,” he muses.
- Here is Mark’s Linked In profile. He has three connections as of Nov 6.
- While at Emory in 2000, Mark co-wrote a paper on New Applications for Global Positioning Systems.
A video report from Chinese TV Mark:
Appreciate details on how to get in touch.