Star of the show

ChinAfrica - - Lifestyle -

But El­moiez was not the only Su­danese to shine on stage that evening. For many, his Su­danese com­pa­triot Ghofran Sham­seldin, who goes by the Chi­nese name Li Can, stole the show. On stage, the dainty 17-year-old Su­danese girl blind from birth told the au­di­ence, in flu­ent Chi­nese, her most cher­ished dream: to be­come a Chi­nese lan­guage in­ter­preter. “Many peo­ple told me it was not pos­si­ble or re­al­is­tic be­cause of my blind­ness; many tried to dis­cour­age me from learn­ing Chi­nese; but I did not lis­ten to them,” she told the au­di­ence.

Never let­ting her hand­i­cap slow her down, she en­rolled in Chi­nese classes at the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute of the Univer­sity of Khar­toum, where she stud­ies four hours ev­ery day. Un­able to read or write, she took to singing to per­fect her knowl­edge of the lan­guage. She blew the au­di­ence away with a fault­less per­for­mance of Angela Chang’s In­vis­i­ble Wings, a song that per­fectly em­bod­ies her de­ter­mi­na­tion. In what was the evening’s most emo­tional mo­ment, Sham­seldin was told she had passed the level-three Man­darin pro­fi­ciency test, al­low­ing her to re­al­ize her long-time dream. In tears of joy, she was pre­sented on the spot with a pro­fi­ciency cer­tifi­cate by Chi­nese star news an­chor Hai Xia.

“If you stick to your dreams, you will be able to find life’s pur­pose. Our dreams may have dif­fer­ent mean­ings for dif­fer­ent peo­ple, but I hope that ‘Chi­nese Bridge’ Chi­nese Pro­fi­ciency Com­pe­ti­tion can make our world more peace­ful and har­mo­nious,” said Xu Jialu, for­mer head of the Col­lege of Chi­nese Lan­guage and Cul­ture at Bei­jing Nor­mal Univer­sity, en­cour­ag­ing par­tic­i­pants to fol­low the young girl’s ex­am­ple.

El­moiez, who is a se­nior class­mate of Sham­seldin at the Univer­sity of Khar­toum, said he was touched and im­pressed by her per­sis­tence in the face of so many hard­ships. “I re­ally ad­mire her, be­cause she can only rely on speak­ing and lis­ten­ing to learn Chi­nese. In her shoes, I think a lot of peo­ple would have given up and stopped do­ing what they like,” he said. Com­ments to fran­cois­dube@chi­nafrica.cn

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