Dominique Saatenang the first African Disciple
Dominique Saatenang subsequently became the first African, and only the fourth foreigner, to be designated as an official member of the Shaolin Temple, and was given the 34th generation name of Shi Yan Mai by the Abbot of Shaolin Temple. Since then, Dominique has brought African culture to China and enjoys minor stardom there.
He is a hero in Cameroon. His larger mission is to bring Shaolin Kung Fu, pilosophy and Chinese medicine to the African continent to improve the lives of many struggling people. His more personal, pressing and immediate mission is to bring his tiny rural village of Bafou up and out of poverty, give it electricity and running water, and keep the school he went to as a child from closing. Kung Fu is the vehicle which unified his vision, and his mission, and helped him achieve all of this.
Dominique’s biggest struggle came with the choice he had to make to become a religious monk and take a vow of celibacy, or to honor the parents he bitterly disappointed earlier and carry on the ancestral family lineage. His grandfather was the king of Bafou, and Dominique Saatenang was thus a prince. So he chose instead to leave Shaolin Temple to marry, spread Shaolin Kung Fu to Africa and help his village thrive.
In 2011, the Abbot Shi Yongxin appointed Dominique as the Cultural Ambassador of Shaolin Temple, further solving his dilemma. Dominique’s mission would subtly transform to help spread Shaolin Kung Fu and culture around the world – and particularly on the continent of Africa.