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Bridging the gap in communication

2024-05-15  Correspondent

Bridging the gap in communication

Iuze Mukube


The University of Namibia recently held a Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition at its main campus in the capital. The event highlighted a very important moment as the Confucius Institute at Unam since its establishment has been undertaking to be the most spoken language globally in the next 30 to 40 years.

“Language is a bridge; it’s not a border. If you do not learn a language, you marginalise yourself. If you learn a language, you are able to take advantage of the opportunities wherever you find yourself.”

These were the opening remarks of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Namibia, Kenneth Matengu. He narrated that he was very pleased with the turnout, as Namibians are taking the challenge in large numbers to partake in the path of learning a foreign language, which will foster a communication bridge between themselves and the outside world.

The People’s Republic of China’s Embassy in the Republic of Namibia hosted the competition, which was planned by the Confucius Institute at Unam, while also honouring International Chinese Language Day.

To commemorate the day, a competition is held annually, which provides a platform for students marking the 23rd year for college students and the 17th year for foreign secondary school students in Namibia.

Dianbo Liu, the director of the Confucius Institute, stated that the competition was designed to assess college-level and secondary school students’ competency in Chinese language learning, and is made up of three phases: a speech presentation, question-answering, and a talent display.

The Chinese ambassador to Namibia, Zhao Weiping, stated that through the gathering, “we are not only promoting Chinese language teaching and learning in Namibia, but also strengthening cultural exchanges and friendship between our two countries.” “In this globalised world, it is not difficult to understand the importance of learning some foreign languages as it will help us to know the outside world better, and interact smoothly with people from different cultural backgrounds,” he said. Dianbo told Zhao that the need for Chinese language learning in Namibia has been increasing every year. As such, there is a need to add more teaching sites to catch up with the reality.

Zhao stated that he would work hard to get more resources for that purpose and with the joint effort, and hopes that Chinese language teaching will benefit more Namibians. “The Proficiency Competition is a good demonstration of our achievements in Chinese language teaching and learning in Namibia.”

The schools in attendance were the Amazing Kids Private School, Chairman Mao Zedong School, People’s Primary School ,and college students from the Confucius Institute. Three students from each of the two parts won the competition- Teko Sedney Abong (1st), Jennifer Hashipala (2nd), and Olivia Haufiku (3rd) for the college students and Angela, Willikka and Victoria from the various foreign secondary schools in Namibia.

Prizes ranged from Huawei phones, smartwatches and ear pods for first, second and third winners, respectively. The theme displayed ranged from the diverse cultural attire worn by the performing students to Chinese decorations of red lanterns and various calligraphy and Chinese art paintings.

The event highlighted the diversity of the Chinese culture, ranging from performances of the Dragon and Lion dance, singing of the Descendants of the Dragon, dance of medley Chinese songs, and finally at the end of the event, the cultural exhibition and experience of Chinese cuisine.

2024-05-15  Correspondent

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