NAIROBI, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The 17th "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students was held at Kenya's oldest university on Friday and featured diverse performances like speeches, dancing, martial arts and contemporary music.
The Chinese Embassy in Kenya partnered with the University of Nairobi's Confucius Institute and Kenya China Economic and Trade Association (KCETA) to host the contest that attracted 16 young participants who showcased their prowess in spoken Chinese.
Li Xuhang, the Charge D'affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, hailed Kenyan youth who participated in the mandarin proficiency contest stressing that language is key to promoting inter-cultural exchanges.
"Through this competition, I believe you have deepened your understanding of Chinese language and culture," said Li.
He noted that the teaching of Chinese language and culture has undergone rapid transformation in Kenya thanks to the establishment of four Confucius Institutes in the country's leading public universities.
"Chinese language has been listed in Kenyan primary and secondary school curriculum as an optional course. Today, thousands of people in Kenya are learning and using Chinese," Li remarked.
This year's competition also featured male and female vocalists as well as instrumentalists whose performances thrilled the audience at the University of Nairobi's main auditorium.
A panel of judges reviewed all the performances keenly and concluded they had raised the bar in terms of standards.
Mwika Mage Kiarie, a 20-year-old student at the University of Nairobi's Confucius Institute, emerged the overall winner of this year's Bridge contest after performing a famous Chinese song.
"I felt overwhelmed by the victory which was unexpected and thank my tutors for preparing me adequately for this contest," Kiarie told Xinhua.
He will join contestants from other parts of the world to participate in the finals of Bridge Competition to be held in Beijing in the middle of this year.