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China-bound Kenyan students vow to be goodwill ambassadors

29 August 2014, 12:09

Nairobi - Peter Mutua thought he had woken up to a dream when news broke that he had won a Chinese government funded scholarship to study medicine in Fujian University.

Having grown up in a rural setting where access to information about the outside world was negligible, the 21-year-old student had faint knowledge about the Asian giant.

When he joined a local university to study engineering two years ago, Mutua's appreciation of Chinese history, culture and technology went a notch higher after healthy interaction with nationals from the Asian giant.

The mercurial young Kenyan is among the 48 students who qualified for Chinese government scholarships to study various disciplines in Chinese universities.

Speaking to Xinhua during the farewell ceremony presided over by the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Liu Xianfa, Mutua emphasized that his six-year sojourn in China will not be in vain.

"It is a happy coincidence to join my brother at Fujian university from next week. I look forward to a rigorous intellectual culture in a University famed for producing world class professionals of all cadres," said Mutua.

He learnt about scholarships to study in China through an advertisement in a local daily. Mutua was studying engineering at a local university when he applied for a scholarship that has altered his life's path.

"Little did I know that good tidings were looming in the horizon when I applied for the scholarship in March. The Chinese embassy contacted me two weeks after the application," he recalled.

"Short-listed candidates were interviewed and in early June, I learnt that I had won a scholarship to study medicine in Fujian University," Mutua told Xinhua in Nairobi.

Asked whether the diversion to a new course would jeopardize his career dreams, Mutua stated that he had cherished the dream of becoming a doctor since childhood.

During his six-year stay in China, Mutua said he will endeavor to promote Kenya and its many natural wonders to new friends in China.

"At least now I have an opportunity to tell an authentic story to our Chinese friends about the many natural wonders Kenya is endowed with. Likewise, I expect to learnt more about China, its ancient literature and philosophy," said Mutua.

Kenyan youth have benefitted immensely from the blossoming ties with China.

Since 1982, the government of China has offered dozens of scholarships to Kenyan students to enable them to pursue cream courses like engineering, medicine and information technology.

The 2014 students will depart from the country on Sept. 2 to join various Chinese universities.

Beaming with joy and optimism, Lucy Kiute, a young female student vowed to go the distance to accomplish her career dreams and make an impact in the society.

Kiute won a scholarship to study a post graduate course in international trade at Dongbei University.

She had earlier obtained a master's degree in finance and economics from the same university through a Chinese government scholarship. The energetic young woman obtained her first degree in foreign relations at a local private university.

"My earlier stint in China has exposed me to a multicultural environment," Kiute told Xinhua.

An ardent believer in a multipolar universe, Kiute said that a rising China has opened a floodgate of opportunities to citizens in the global south. She revealed her admiration to Chinese language, cuisine and arts.

Kiute aspires to work for Kenyan missions abroad or international organizations when she finishes her course. Kenyan officials challenged students to become goodwill ambassadors during their stay in China.

Kenya's Principal Secretary for Education, Professor Colletta Suda noted China offers limitless opportunities for young Kenyans.

"You will have the rare opportunity to study in a beautiful country that is not only an ancient civilization but has unparalleled success in economic growth," Suda told students.

She urged them to promote Kenya as a tourist destination while in China.

The Kenyan youth were receptive of the urging by senior officials to become goodwill ambassadors while in China.

Mohammed Idris, a 22-year-old scholarship beneficiary was ecstatic about his next week's trip to Dalian Medical University where he will study medicine for six years.

Idris told Xinhua that he was curious about learning new things about China.

"I am aware there are so many historical monuments in China and its current modernization is an inspiration to African people. I look forward to an enriching stay in China," said Idris.

- Xinhua

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