WALKING along the second floor of Shenzhen Book City CBD store, one is suddenly attracted by music coming from a ukulele shop. Looking inside, a Frenchman, holding a ukulele, is playing and singing songs with some kids.
Christopher Nudd Mitchell, 33, has settled down in Shenzhen with his Chinese wife. They had a son in November and now he teaches kids how to play the ukulele.
“I first learned the guitar from my cousin. I had taught French before, but it was not until I began teaching the ukulele did I found myself on the right path,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell’s family had a horse farm in France. He said, “My dad raised horses for racing. When I was 18 years old, my father asked me, ‘Do you want to inherit my horse farm?’ I said no. The workload for my dad was so heavy that later he sold off our horse farm. I didn’t carry on his career, but I have no regret.”
Mitchell studied artistic philosophy in Italy. Before coming to China, he had been to many countries. He went to Spain as suggested by his fellow students in Italy. After a journey in Spain, Mitchell went to Britain to discover his roots. “My grandpa is British, so I want to figure out what was happening in Britain and spent a year there,” he said.
The young man visited three European countries in three years, and he wanted to venture somewhere farther. So he embarked on a journey in China.
Once in China, he decided to settle down, because he found his true love here. Mitchell met Qing’er, who later became his wife, on his fifth day in China.
Qing’er also loves traveling and took a three-year journey to many countries.
Mitchell sometimes plays guitar in his wife’s shop, and it was there that he met his Chinese partner, Johnny Chen. They started their career together and are finding lots of joy in it.
“Teaching kids is really interesting. Usually, when I play the ukulele and sing songs with five to eight kids, it really makes me feel energetic. I find lots of joy from it,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell said he loves the ukulele and of course his wife and life here. He said, “The first song I wrote was called HOMO STATUS, which is from Latin. It means a man who has settled down. I feel my heart opening just like a blossoming flower. I find myself in Shenzhen.”