Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Mastery of Chinese language changes fortunes of Kenyan youth

26 October 2015, 21:30

Nairobi - When Methody Owaki was growing in Busia County in northwest Kenya, he never imagined he would interact with people of diverse background.

He lived with his grandmother, who was a subsistence farmer, after his parents moved to Mombasa in search for greener pastures.

"I often had to drop out of school because of lack of school fees due to the meager earnings of my grandmother," Owaki said.

The 28-year-old Kenyan's fortunes began to change when in 2008 after passing the secondary examinations, he joined the University of Nairobi on government scholarship to study Bachelor of Education in Linguistics and Literature.

Having being his first time in Nairobi and without any close relatives, he decided to join the University of Nairobi Choir in order to sharpen his musical skills.

His big break came in 2010, when the choir was invited to perform at the Confucius Conference in China.

"I was really looking forward to visit China as a I heard a lot about Chinese prowess in manufacturing products," he said.

Also read: Aladwa to appear in court Tuesday

"That is when my admiration for Chinese culture began and it has grown ever since," Owaki told Xinhua.

After he came back from China, he enrolled for a Chinese language course at the university of Nairobi Confucius Institute.

"I found it difficult at first but I persevered until I was enabled to communicate proficiently in Chinese," Owaki said.

Owaki went on to complete his undergraduate studies in 2012, when he devoted most of his energies studying and learning Chinese.

"I was convinced that the mastery of Chinese language will enable me to access opportunities that I only dreamt of as a child," he added.

Due to his mastery of the Chinese language, in 2013 he earned a scholarship to study a Master's Degree in Chinese Language at the Tianjin Normal University.

He is currently doing his internship at the University of Kabianga in Kericho County which is 300 kilometers north of Nairobi where he is a Chinese language tutor.

He will go back to China in 2016 in order to complete his master degrees before the end of 2016.

Early this month, he emerged as the winner of a China-Africa friendship knowledge competition where he beat 15 other contestants on Chinese culture and language.

Owaki will represent Kenya in the finals of the Sino-Africa Friendship Knowledge Competition slated to take place in China next month.

He vowed to continue teaching Chinese to Kenyans after completing his studies.

"The Chinese are very warm people especially how they treat foreign visitors and so I hope to disseminate the rich Chinese Culture to Kenyans," he added.

"I did not come from a well off background but because of the Chinese language, I am able to stand on my own," he said.

With his earnings, Owaki supports his two younger siblings.

His younger brother Brian Owaki is currently a third year student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

"I look up to my older brother who helps to pay for my living expenses while in school," he said.

"Without his assistance I would probably not enrolled in university," he added.

The younger Owaki told Xinhua that he draws inspiration from his older brother.

"I am also hoping to have a chance to study in China where I will have a chance to learn the dynamic Chinese culture," he said.


- Xinhua


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Man who attacked US Embassy a 24 ...

A man who attacked the US Embassy in Nairobi was a 24 year old from Wajir County. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
US Embassy to remain closed Frida...

The US Embassy in Nairobi will remain closed Friday following a terror attack on it Thursday. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...