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Rwandan singing Chinese songs is smash online hit

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-08-20 10:19

Pacifique Izabayo, from Rwanda, has become a hit on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, for singing Chinese songs while showing rural life in his country.

Izabayo, commonly known as "Bobo", started making short videos in 2019 on the Chinese video-sharing app Kuaishou. Since last year, he has posted videos on Douyin. These two platforms have garnered him more than 4 million Chinese followers.

The 23-year-old has found success in his venture by showcasing his singing skills in the Chinese language on Douyin.

"Due to my passion for the Chinese language, I joined Douyin last year, and ever since I started posting my videos in the Chinese language on a regular basis, I have seen my following grow considerably," says Izabayo, with a smile on his face.

Douyin, a social media entertainment platform, has become a landmark on the digital landscape for young people who wish to turn their creative skills and talent into viable career opportunities.

Before joining Douyin, Izabayo was a translator because of his ability to speak fluent Chinese, English and Kinyarwanda (local language).

He says when he was in China, he met several Chinese friends who introduced the Douyin app and, consequently, he developed an interest.

To attract fans from China, following the comments he receives, Izabayo creates short videos featuring Rwanda's agricultural activities, cooking, feeding children and other social and economic activities, to help Chinese people to learn more about Rwandan life in particular and African life in general.

Due to his popularity on Douyin, Izabayo has taken up content creation full time. He has a team of three singers who support him to create the content for the platform.

He learned the Chinese language through the Confucius Institute in Kigali, Rwanda, five years ago.

"I used to watch Jackie Chan's movies. I liked his movies and this motivated me to learn Chinese. It took me four years to learn the language and now I can fluently speak the Chinese language," he says.

"I was in China for one year. I went there to participate in the Chinese Bridge competition. I am planning to go back to China to further my studies in the language. My target is to tap opportunities from China's global job opportunities."

According to him, sharing videos on Douyin will enable him to attract more Chinese followers which will further improve his language knowledge.

"I like Chinese songs because they help me to easily learn Chinese. When you speak Chinese, it will be easy to find a job. I also want my family to have a good life," says Izabayo.

The youthful Izabayo's passion for singing Chinese songs has become a powerful tool for expanding his network with Chinese who are interested in knowing more about African culture and people.

"Whenever I post a short video on my Douyin account, my Chinese followers comment on my videos asking me how I managed to learn Chinese and be able to sing Chinese songs with ease. My followers also ask me about African culture, languages and food. When I get time, I send replies to the comments," he says.

He also tries to show the traditional Rwandan way of living when he shoots the videos.

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