Benjamin Gyimah, 21, is a high school graduate working at GS Plaza Hotel, a leading Chinese hospitality facility in Ghana’s capital.
He grew up loving Chinese movies and arts but did not understand the words in these movies without the translated subtitles.
His dream of learning the Chinese language was fulfilled this year when his elder brother, who had studied the Chinese language at the University of Ghana, encouraged him to enroll at the Confucius Institute.
“I thought Chinese was complex. But then, as time went on, I began loving it,” he told Xinhua.
Learning Chinese “is simpler than I thought. Learning Chinese is fun. I love Chinese movies, especially Kungfu,” he said.
Like many other young Ghanaians who have studied the Chinese language, the Chinese-owned hotel where he works presents him with plenty of opportunities to interact with Chinese people.
Others, like Emelia Ansong, a local Chinese language teacher at the Confucius Institute of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), about 146 kilometers west of the capital, are continuously improving their proficiency in the language.
“I had my Bachelor’s degree in Chinese and geography. After that, I traveled to China to do a master in teaching Chinese to speakers of other languages. Later, I secured the opportunity to come back to Ghana and teach the Chinese language in UCC,” Ansong said.
The Confucius Institute established its first Ghanaian campus at the University of Ghana in 2013, and the second at UCC in 2016, to promote Chinese language and culture learning among Ghanaians.
“Opportunities are available for people to learn. In the Confucius Institute at UCC, we have three courses for students who are interested in learning Chinese,” she said.
In addition to the Confucius Institute centers in the two universities, the University of Ghana also runs a degree program in Chinese language, giving opportunities to many who want to learn the language.
The interest should be there for anyone seeking to learn this language because it is different from what most people are familiar with, said Ansong.
“A lot of Ghanaian youth are curious and would like to explore beyond their borders. In their search for adventure, I suggest they consider learning Chinese because it is very adventurous,” she said.
Nathaniel Oquaye graduated from the University of Ghana with a double major in Chinese language and political science. In 2016, he had the opportunity to study in Zhejiang province of China, where he studied Chinese language and culture for nine months.
He said the Chinese language is a must for every young person seeking to climb higher in the job market.
“I think the Chinese language is going to become very important in the next decade,” Oquaye said.
He described Chinese artworks as really beautiful, and “I studied a bit of calligraphy and water painting. They always use it to depict nature and peaceful environments.”
Already in Ghana, he praised the Chinese government for doing so much through the embassy to reward excellent and outstanding students who study the language at the University of Ghana. Enditem