News from Xinhua

Kenya’s Judith Ogutu has just returned after completing her Masters Degree in International Communication at the Communication University of China in Beijing.

She won a scholarship provided by the Chinese government to friendly countries like Kenya as part of deepening the whole spectrum of diplomatic relations.

“I went to China after winning a government scholarship to pursue Masters Degree in International communication,” she said in an interview with Xinhua in Nairobi.

“Among the activities I was involved in was visiting various parts of China and sight seeing. I went to the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Oriental Pearl Tower and Pingyao which is a World Heritage City,” said Ogutu.

For one year, she said she sampled range of the Chinese culture and the time offered her an opportunity not only to interact with the Chinese people, the Diaspora living in China from across the world, but also got a chance to compare the way of living in China and Africa.

“My stay in China helped me to understand the Chinese people more and know about facts and fiction about China. I learnt a lot from them as well as about their culture and history,” she said.

She said from her experience and stay there, she has developed a new and different perspective about China and its people.

“I got an opportunity to make new friends and created new networks that are beneficial not only now but in future,” she said.

She will use the knowledge gained in China not only to provide different perspective of development for Kenya and Africa in general, but also to develop her career in communication.

Having worked as a journalist for various media houses in Kenya, she said she is in a better position to interpret and apply the knowledge gained from China as the nature of her work offers the opportunity to influence people.

“My general impression about China was that they are people conscious about what they eat and they have a strong family unit which was confirmed following my stay there,” she said.

Ogutu said what she learnt from her one stay in China, she could not have possibly have learnt it if she did not get an opportunity to travel and live there.

Her new knowledge about China and the Chinese people will come in handy as relations between China and Africa are expected to further deepen.

She will use the cross-cultural knowledge from China to play part in building constructive engagement between Africa and China for mutual beneficial relations of the two peoples.

Ogutu said one of the most fascinating thing she learnt about China is their rich culture, history and how they write the Chinese characters, underlying the cultural preservation in China which should also embraced by Africans in preservation and use of their culture to drive development.

“I would like to see the two countries cooperate about development because Kenya, like China, is a developing country as much as China is way ahead on issues of development. I would also like Kenya to borrow from the way Chinese preserve their culture and history also preserve its own culture and history,” she said.

Stanlyus Mwendia has been a regular visitor to Chinese cities of Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. He is a trader in merchandise imported from China which he distributes to retail traders in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

“My first time to travel to China in 2006, I used a Chinese trade agency that arranges travel for business people. That trip was the eye opener because after four days on introductions to various opportunities available in China for traders, I immediately decided to buy my first consignment,” he said.

“What I admired most about the Chinese people is their honesty, industriousness, and efficiency in doing business. These are values we should emulate in Africa,” said Mwendia in an interview with Xinhua.

Mwendia had resigned his job as a general manager of a publishing firm in Nairobi to pursue business in early 2006. His trip to China the first time was a chancing opportunity.

“I had many business ideas and I had done my market research well, but the China merchandise marketing business won my heart immediately,” he said.

“I also realized that I face minimal risks dealing with Chinese business people especially when I am required to send money and trust them to ship the consignment,” he added.

Chinese merchandise is popular in retail shops across Africa and this is the opportunity Mwendia decided to capitalize on. “The market is there, it’s huge and it’s still growing,” he said.

In addition to business, Mwendia is planning to take his first born daughter to a university in China so to enable him expand his horizons and learn some of the values of the Chinese people.

“Relations between Africa and China are growing and in future, people with the first hand knowledge of China will be tasked with offering leadership in driving those relations. I want my son to be one of them,” he added.

 

About Communication University of China ( CUC )

Communication University of China is known as having the most standard Chinese of any media university in China, since it trained nearly all of China’s famous television announcers and anchors. All majors are related to media, and the school is perhaps China’s best in these areas. Learn more>>