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Two students from the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Sinegugu Nyaka and Aphile Ngcobo excelled at the 23rd Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for university students in South Africa. This prestigious competition consisting of 13 participants from universities across South Africa was held recently, in Cape Town.

Sinegugu Nyaka during the talent show segment.

Ngcobo, a Mechanical Engineering student delivered an outstanding performance, where she achieved an impressive Top 4 finish in South Africa. Nyaka who is a Language Practice student earned a unanimous praise from the judges during the talent show segment. Her tea ceremony performance stood out with its innovative form, graceful movements, and professional narration. Both students had competed against constants from the University of Johannesburg, Stellenbosch University, University of the Western Cape and Rhodes University.

According to Mr Frank Lin Wu, Co-Dean of the DUT Confucius Institute the finals consisted of three segments: a written test, themed speech and talent show, assessing the contestants’ Chinese language proficiency from various aspects, including knowledge of the Chinese language and culture. All the contestants showcased their Chinese skills and love for Chinese culture.

Aphile Ngcobo competing in the “Chinese Bridge” competition.

“Aphile Ngcobo captivated the audience with a heartfelt and powerful rendition of the song Thousands of miles, a common dream (Wan Li Meng Tong Xin), receiving enthusiastic applause from the entire hall. In the speech segment, Aphile shared moving stories from his experience at the Understanding Chinese Modernization themed winter camp hosted by Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University last year. He expressed his desire to improve his Chinese proficiency and serve as a bridge of friendship between South Africa and China,” shared Lin Wu.

Amongst the distinguished guest present in the competition was Ms Mokgadi Tene, Chief of Staff for the Ministry of Higher Education, who witnessed the development and success of the “Chinese Bridge” competition in South Africa for eight consecutive years. She noted that the competition reflected the enthusiasm of the South African youth for learning Chinese and understanding Chinese culture. Tene also indicated that the “Chinese Bridge” demonstrated the increasingly close educational and cultural exchanges between South Africa and China. She hoped that young people from both countries will use Chinese as a medium to build a bridge of friendship between the people of South Africa and China.

It was not the first time that the DUT students excelled in the “Chinese Bridge” competition. Last year (2023), two students, Nonjabuliso Kunene and Sinegugu Nyaka scooped third Prize after showcasing their excellent Chinese language skills.

Pictured: Mechanical Engineering student, Aphile Ngcobo, Co-Dean of the DUT Confucius Institute, Mr Frank Lin Wu, Language Practice student, Sinegugu Nyaka, DUT Mandarin lecturer, ZHANG Yuxin, Mr Sanele Ntuli, DUT Mandarin lecturer and LI Jiaheng, DUT Mandarin lecturer.

Simangele Zuma

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