Amai Mugabe hailed for teaching of Chinese

Dr Mugabe

Dr Mugabe

Lovemore Chikova in BEIJING, China
The teaching of Chinese language at First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe’s school in Mazowe will produce a generation keen to enhance relations between the Asian country and Zimbabwe, an official has said.

Beijing International Chinese College (BICC) vice president Ms Gui Fan said that they were happy to co-operate with the First Lady.

She said language was important in relations between countries and graduates from the school would be expected to make life easier for both countries through enhanced communication.

After noticing the gap in cultural exchanges between the two countries, Amai Mugabe asked the Chinese government to provide Chinese language teachers at her Amai Mugabe Junior School that was established a few years ago.

This resulted in BICC sending two educators at a time to the school, who are teaching the Chinese language to pupils from pre-school to Grade Seven.

Amai Mugabe herself enrolled for Chinese language at Renmin University of China in 2007 and earned a bachelor’s degree in Chinese in 2011.

“The teaching of Chinese language at the school is important,” said Ms Fan.

“BICC has discovered that the kids are keen to learn Chinese and they really love it. It is a generation that will bring the two countries together and increase co-operation through easy communication. So, we are happy to do this co-operation with Zimbabwe.”

Ms Fan said the visit to the school by Chinese First Lady Madame Peng Liyuan in December last year was a milestone in the co-operation between China and Zimbabwe.

She said it was important that Amai Mugabe’s school acts as the epicentre of teaching Chinese in Zimbabwe.

“In the near future, we really want to expand our services of Chinese language teaching into other regions in Zimbabwe,” said Ms Fan.

“We are going to rely on our teachers there to teach in the schools. On the other hand, we also want to help residents around the school area to learn Chinese.

“We started to send our Chinese teachers to the junior school after the approval by the Zimbabwean Government and the first batch of the teachers is back and we have since sent another batch there. We really need this cultural exchange and we want the Chinese government to continue sending Chinese teachers to teach the language and culture.”

During her visit to the school, the Chinese First Lady was enthralled by the philanthropic work being carried out by Amai Mugabe, who also runs a children’s home at the centre which caters for orphans.

“It is simply great that we have two Chinese teachers here and from the song they (children) sang when we came here, I can tell they are doing well,” she said.

“Though there is a great distance between our countries, our hearts are always together.”

During the visit, Amai Mugabe chronicled how she set up the children’s home and the Amai Mugabe Junior School with the assistance of the Chinese.

One of the former Chinese teachers at the school, Ms Gao Yuan, yesterday hailed the First Lady for considering the Chinese language.

“During my time there, the First Lady visited the school several times,” she said.

“It was my great pleasure to see her at the campus. The first impression I got was that the First Lady was tall, very elegant and beautiful. She cares for a lot of children at the place and she also donates a lot to the school to ensure that the children, who live in cluster families, have sweet lives and I do appreciate what the First Lady is doing to the kids.”

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  • Tichayana

    Fairly obvious Zimbabwe lacks a large total population that’s smaller than any one of hundred of cities in China, and is economically insignificant on the world stage. Only long term Chinese business residents will even bother to learn a relatively small minority languages such Shona or Ndbele when English is an alternative.
    It would be interesting to know if local Chinese embassy staff know even a dozen Shona or Ndbele words between them?

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    Mashoko makukutu

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    The Brutish are not teaching their kids Nambya or Shona either but we avidly learn English and very soon English shall be our mother tongue.

    • haiwawo

      Same as you will see thousands of Chinese children currently learning English too. Maybe an understanding of what the lingua franca of international business is would help you understand why.

      With respect to our children not learning Shona or any other non-English language, you cannot blame it on anyone but ourselves. And how many Zimbabweans have bothered to learn the languages of other Zimbabweans?.

      And as for the the generic reference to the Chinese language – which one? Mandarin or Cantonese?

  • Hachi1

    I thought ndivo Amai varikuteacher Chinese hatisati tambonzwa vachitaura chero nemaChina acho

  • boutros

    for someone who had not learnt any chinese language at school before to
    begin learning the language and obtain a bachelors degree in only four
    years, it’s either she must be the brightest of learners ever, or
    Chinese is the simplest of languages. For i cannot imagine a chinese
    with no prior Shona education, obtaining a Shona degree in only four
    years at the UZ or any other Zim university