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Kenyans head over heels after trip to China

By XIE SONGXIN, OTIATO OPALI and WU XIAOHUI in Nairobi, Kenya | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-11-27 19:04

Acrobatics instructor’s experiences reflect deep ties of friendship

Mathias Kavita little knew 40 years ago that a journey to China would dramatically transform his life.

The then-13-year-old boy from Mombasa, Kenya, knew nothing about acrobatics until he and 23 other teenagers watched a film at the Chinese embassy in Nairobi, the African nation's capital. Kavita, a budding gymnast, had just won a national competition.

"Before traveling to China, we underwent orientation, which included watching films of acrobats recorded in China," Kavita said at his office in Nairobi, which is strewn with equipment for acrobats, some of it imported from China.

Kavita, who now works with the Sarakasi Trust to tap young acrobatic talent, said: "As a gymnast back then, the films of acrobatics we watched at the Chinese embassy were the first time I had seen such performances. I was particularly impressed by Chinese children performing moves I had never experienced before.

"This made me even more determined to travel to China and learn more."

Kavita has since become a top trainer in Kenya, having instructed more than 1,000 acrobats to perform in shows across the world.

"My training in China was instrumental because it made me an international performer and a good teacher of acrobatics," he said.

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