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Chinese language contest realizes dreams

China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-19 10:14

An emotional, 16-year-old Eva Kahili, with tears smudging her makeup, had her dream come true to represent Namibia in China, following her triumph at the 12th Chinese Bridge proficiency competition for secondary school students held in Windhoek recently.

"I still cannot believe it," she told Xinhua. "I am still shocked that I won, I cannot even hold back my tears," a visibly elated Kahili said.

The 16-year-old who was born and bred in Greenwell Matongo, an informal settlement, located in the suburbs of Namibia's capital city, Windhoek, managed to shrug off tough competition from a pack of nine eager and visibly talented students from surrounding schools.

"I had always had a dream to travel out of the country and now through my perseverance, I will be able to actually travel out of the continent," she added.

Kahili attends school at the Chairman Mao Zedong Secondary School and has been taking up the Chinese language for the past two years.

At the event in Windhoek, the young Kahili, oozing with confidence managed to tackle the question and answer segment of the competition with ease, as well as put up a flawless performance of her Chinese song.

"I cannot wait to travel and hope I can achieve more at the competition," she said.

"My teachers played a vital role in me grasping the language," she said, adding that she received a lot of support from her mother.

The runner-up at the competition, Alvaro Suze, 17, who was clearly distraught, by not winning, told Xinhua, that he was very disappointed.

Suze who has been studying Chinese language and culture for the last three years at Immanuel Shafidi also put an exciting kung fu performance during the competition.

"I will not lie to you I am disappointed. I was hoping to travel to China this year as I worked hard. I thought a runner up this year was also going to travel like last year, but unfortunately it was changed," he said.

"Hopefully next year I will make it," he added.

Zhang Fan, director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Namibia, told Xinhua that this year's competition was tough as most of the students came up with different acts signaling they are evolving and venturing into other Chinese cultural acts.

"This year we saw a number of students feel comfortable playing different instruments and also perform the lion dance, which had not been done before," he added.

With the Chinese language learning continuously growing in leaps and bounds in Namibia, Chinese ambassador Zhang Yiming earlier in May told Xinhua that the Confucius Institute is planning to introduce the Chinese language to more schools in Namibia.

The Confucius Institute at the UNAM annually hosts the Chinese proficiency competitions both in college and secondary school level, with summer camps to China.

The 12th Chinese Bridge proficiency competition for secondary school students in Windhoek was held on Sept 12. Nine talented students from different secondary schools participated in the event, where they had to undergo three rounds of the competition so as to be crowned the overall winner.


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