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Kenyan college student wins prize for mastery of Chinese culture

By Liu Hongjie | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-05-25 22:23

Kenyan college student wins prize for mastery of Chinese culture

Ruth Wakuhi Kimani delivers a speech in Chinese. [Photo by Liu Hongjie/chinadaily.com.cn]

"I think I will start preparing from tonight because I know the China stage is much more challenging than this one," said Ruth Wakuhi Kimani after winning the Chinese proficiency competition in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, on Monday.

Kimani, whose Chinese name is Jin Ruoxi, and 15 other competitors attended the 15th Chinese Bridge—Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students held Monday at the University of Nairobi.

The contest, an annual event, includes three sections: Chinese speech, knowledge answering and talent show, comprehensively inspecting contesters' Chinese language skill, Chinese traditional culture, Chinese national situation and other knowledge about China.

After four hours' fierce competition, 21-year-old Kimani, from the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi, won the championship and will attend the semi-finals to be held in China. Two of her schoolmates, Muthoni Ngigi Emily and Grace Wagithi Muchiri, shared the second prize. The third prize went to Mwaporojo Hazary, Muthoni Brenda and Mercy Mweni Kathina. The former two are from the Confucius Institute at the Egerton University and the latter one is from the University of Nairobi.

Kimani said the first time she heard people speaking Chinese was after her graduation from high school, when her father worked with some Chinese. Because of the language barrier, her father faced great difficulty in communicating with his Chinese colleagues, which aroused his daughter's interest in learning the language.

After enrolling at the University of Nairobi, Ruth learned about Chinese lessons at the Confucius Institute, which provided a rare and valuable chance to study the language.

While watching last year's competition she was most encouraged and began to prepare for the big event. Upon winning the first prize, Kimani was excited to tears. She said her love for the Chinese language and her hard work in learning it, as well as her Chinese teachers' patient guidance and help had paid off.

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