Keith Mushonga, a student at the University of Namibia Confucius Institute, won the 16th Chinese-Bridge Proficiency Competition for College Students in Namibia here on Monday, beating nine other contestants.
The competition was organized by the Confucius Institute in Namibia.
His victory, said Mushonga, culminates from hard work and a keen interest in Chinese culture and history.
“It’s an honor to have won the competition,” said Mushonga.
His reward is an invitation to attend the 16th Chinese Bridge competition in China later this year.
The 26-year-old Bachelor of Arts student at the University took up the challenge to learn Chinese language in 2016.
“I started learning Chinese language on my own last year, and in 2017 I officially enrolled with the Confucius Institute. I have never looked back,” he said.
Like many people, he thought Chinese language was difficult to learn, “but contrary to popular belief it is not.”
A multilingual speaker of French, Russian, Spanish and English, Mushonga said that learning the Chinese language had been a different and unique experience.
“Compared to all other languages that I speak, learning Chinese language had been the most exciting as it includes mastering the tones and characters. But I was able to learn it fast. The writing system is also fun,” he said.
According to Mushonga, winning the competition is a stepping stone and inspiration to do better.
“This is where the hard work begins. It is a stepping stone to working harder,” he said.
Meanwhile, he looks forward to traveling to China to attend the 16th Chinese Bridge competition. “It will be my first time in China. And during my time there, I wish to meet people, speak more Chinese as well as see a mixture of ancient and modern China,” he said.
His second runner-up, Ndemwiimba Jason, studying towards a degree in geology at the University of Namibia has also been accorded the chance to attend and observe the 16th Chinese Bridge competition in China.
According to Jason, learning the Chinese language was difficult at first.
“Winning the competition took a lot of practice and I am excited to have won .It will be my first time to travel to China,” said Jason.
In China, according to Jason, he looks forward to eating Chinese food and improving his written and spoken Chinese language.
Accordingly, in the long run, said the students, with the multi-cultural experience and exposure in China, “I wish to spread the Chinese culture in Africa and equally promote the African Culture in China,” Mushonga said.
In the interim, Li Nan, Acting Ambassador of Embassy of the Republic of China in Namibia said that learning the Chinese language also provides more opportunity of self-improvement.
The University of Namibia Confucius Institute was established in July 2013 and is jointly sponsored by the University of Namibian and Chinese partners. To date, the Institute has enrolled 1842 students. Enditem