Zambian students compete in Chinese language contest

Students gathered at the Government complex during the opening of the Zambia Open University residential school in Lusaka

Zambia’s secondary school students from different parts of the country have participated in the finals of a Chinese language proficiency competition held in Lusaka, the country’s capital.

Ten students from different schools teaching the Chinese language in all the country’s 10 provinces participated in the Zambia final of the 12th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students during a colorful event held on Friday at the Confucius Institute University of Zambia (UNZA).

The competition saw the students showcasing their Chinese language skills, dance and culture, with Nadine Kayuba Chikwekwe merging as the overall winner.

She will represent Zambia at the finals in China.
Lai Bo, charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy to Zambia, said he was delighted to see young Zambians learning the Chinese language, adding that it was a sign the Mandarin fever was on the rise.

He hoped that more Zambian students could make the most of the opportunity to learn Chinese and contribute their talent to the friendly exchanges between the two countries.

The Chinese envoy said his government was proud of the all-weather friendship that has existed between the two countries in the last 55 years and looking forward to future development of the relation with full confidence.

According to him, people-to-people exchange has been one of the important pillars of the relation and that Chinese language teaching has played an indispensable role.

“Learning Chinese can help you not only step on the bridge leading to the Chinese culture, but also enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries,” he said.

Luke Mumba, UNZA Vice-Chancellor, said Chinese learning has become an important part of the relationship between the African people and the Chinese people and that it has helped Africans know more about China.

In a speech read on his behalf by Nkumbu Nkonde Director of Business Development, the vice-chancellor said it was for this reason that the Zambian government has established the offering of Chinese as one of the three optional languages in the country.

He said in 2014, the Ministry of General Education started offering the teaching of Chinese in 10 secondary schools and that the ministry, in partnership with the Confucius Institute Headquarters in China and the Confucius Institute at UNZA, have been developing a curriculum for junior and secondary schools in the country.

Mundia Mwendende, Principal Curriculum Specialist Language at the curriculum Development Center in the Ministry of General Education, said the government was happy to see more students taking up Chinese language and hoped that the competition will motivate other students to take up learning Chinese.


    • You may not know it, Chinese language is the most spoken language in the world. English is second while Spanish /Portuguese is the third. Don’t rubbish what you don’t know.

    • @John Chinena. ?????????? (???????
      The point is not whether it’s the most spoken, no, the point is why the govt has made it more important than other languages, languages like Swahili whose origin is Africa.

    • This is not re-colonization but an expansion of horizon by the students involved. Although people tend to hv emotional attachment to language, there’s no property in language. You can’t own a language. Wars hv been fought over language and there’s one raging now in Cameroun. It’s an “Anglo-French war” without Britain and France so to speak.

    • Dokowe: The point is because China has emerged as an important global player which no nation can ignore. It’s also rising in scientific research and publishing.

    • Mano yabupuba Aya. Why has the government not encouraged teaching Lozi in schools in Kaputa? Why has the government not encouraged teaching Luvale in Petauke? Why isn’t Bemba taught in Mwinilunga? But we have to teach languages from out of Africa What an inferiority complex encouraged by the very people who are supposed to lead us to progress. Ati government! Atase I puke at these mentally enslaved robots in our state house and parliament

    • When applying for a work permit for the UK, one has to write an English language exam… an obvious necessity anyone would imagine.

      But we do things differently in Zambia.

      When a handful of Chinese travel to Zambia, the entire country’s youth will be subjected to a Chinese proficiency exam.

      A very warm welcome for the foreigners.

      But weird planning for a country that is struggling to educate it’s youth with basic education.

    • BaNemwine imwe expansion of the horizon only targets foreign stuff. Imitating foreigners expands your horizon?
      As for your deliberate misunderstanding of the Cameroonian conflict go read about it first because it’s not about language. It’s about which part of Cameroon was colonised by who? Yes it’s a neocolonialism conflict meaning a conflict left us by colonialism

    • Rather we learn or steal ideas like China steals from USA and other western countries. But they (Chinese) don’t get the whole China learning and competing to speak English or other western languages. Come to think of it. There is nothing to steal from China. They have achieved the economic growth on the back of huge population (Market), 12 hours work day and stiff laws. Africa can do this of got rid of corrupt politicians and trade amongst ourselves. No need to learn Chinese.

    • Meanwhile Chinks are coming into the country not bothering to even learn simple basic English and they are Project Managers

    • Mwelwa: Cool it man, cool it. Who needs China, is it Zambia or China? If we don’t learn the language of a big economic powerhouse trading with all and sundry, it makes the odds facing us worse. If we understand the language, we somewhat improve our chances of getting a good deal.

    • Nemwine I’m cool my Bru I’m cool
      To answer your questions China needs China more than Zambia does. China being in the pound seats of the Zambia China economic relations also knows Zambia s potential to ease china’s economic woes. We can’t go sucking up to everyone who is in a position to bail us from our self-inflicted poverty. Mozambique Morocco Guinea, Ethiopia Angola used to have strong relationships with USSR and Cuba did they introduce Russian or Spanish in their schools?

    • If you think this is cool, then you’re a very naive and foo1ish individual. This is nothing but a strategy for colonization. Corrupt lazy Lungu is indeed selling the country to the Chinese. Who cares about the Chinese language? Africans should be learning African languages. Start teaching Swahili in secondary schools if you want to introduce a language in schools that’ll help unite not only the country, but ultimately Africa. The Chinese are supposed to be learning African languages, and not the other way around. Again this is very foo1ish. Shame on every Zambian that’s promoting and supporting this. You have a colonized mind. At least corrupt Lungu is allowing this for the money he can get out of it. How can foreigners come into your country and entice you into learning their…

  1. Let those who wish to learn Chinese as a foreign language do so as a matter of choice! We should not hear that Chinese is Zambia’s second official language where you impose it in our schools and when our children fail, you deny them school certificates the way you have been doing with the English language!
    Those whose only hope in life is to be employed, please go ahead! Our children will employ you for peanuts as your future employers and masters!

    • Matter of choice should mean none of our taxes must be spent on teaching Chinese. We did not vote for this

  2. First time I went to china boys from Tanzania milked me..

    Its $40 per day to accompany you.. you cant use subway if you cant read and understand chinese.

    Students from africa make pocket money fro visitors

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