The China Cultural Center in Abuja echoed with the vibrant fusion of Nigerian drumbeats and the melodious strains of Chinese instruments during the 2023 China-Nigeria Cultural Fiesta. Organized by the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria and the Secondary Education Board of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, the event brought together students from 12 public schools in Abuja to compete in Chinese and Nigerian dance categories. Dressed in captivating Chinese and Nigerian costumes, the participants showcased their talents, creating a cultural symphony.
Gift Paul, a student from the Government Day Secondary School in Dutse, expressed her joy at the unique experience, having been part of the winning team in the previous year. Her school emerged as the overall winner this year, excelling in both dance categories after a month of dedicated preparation. The young performers seamlessly transitioned between Chinese fan dances and Nigerian traditional dance forms, receiving applause not only for their captivating display but for fostering cultural understanding.
Yakubu Ibrahim, a member of the China-Nigeria Alumni, highlighted the challenge of a shortage of Chinese language teachers but emphasized the participants’ deep appreciation for Chinese culture. Martha Fortune, part of the winning team, found the Chinese song’s lyrics intriguing despite not fully understanding them. Fortune, expressing interest in learning the Chinese language, currently enjoys Chinese movies and dances.
Bright Abovi, a teacher from the winning school, shared his pride in leading his students to victory, envisioning himself thinking like a Chinese man during such cultural programs. Li Xuda, the cultural counselor of the Chinese Embassy, commended the event’s role in promoting cultural exchange between the two nations, turning the China-Nigeria Cultural Fiesta into a well-known cultural brand. He underscored the significance of culture in the historical processes of national independence and revitalization for China and Nigeria.