It started as a journey, a journey to discovery self. Immediately after completing my undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Education (English and Literature) and having fallen in the deep pit of searching for one job after the other coupled by frustration left, right and centre. A friend of my parents appeared to me as an angel appears (for those who believe in them) and led me through the path of Discovering a language that at that time had not been explored by many; The Chinese language!
Just like many parents, my parents wondered what on earth this kind of alien language would be helpful to their maiden daughter! My mind was blowing out, at that time had acquired a permanent and pensionable job, Wondering parents and an unsure future, this however led me in to the story of my life till today, a story of having gone to China, learnt the language and culture of the Chinese people and having come back home in Kenya. The year 2010, September I started out in a journey of teaching Chinese language and culture at Kenyatta University, Confucius institute which I still do till today. It was difficult trying to introduce this language; to a hungry society of students who like me had foreseen the aftermath of a Chinese society taking over the world.
Many unanswered questions in these minds that I had to do my best and answer, and there the journey of understanding and helping others understand the Chinese continued. As a beginner in the language we start by helping our students understand the Pinyin (alphabets and phonetics) of the language. Common beginner words are like wǒ, which means i/me; nǐ which means you; tā which means he/she/it. After we have taught them pinyin we slowly introduce them to Chinese characters which mark the handwriting of the Chinese people. The Pinyin words are then allocated their characters such as: wǒ-我 nǐ- 你 tā- 她.
Over the years the story of Chinese language has become easy and many people are willing to venture in the language. From Business men, Construction workers, tour guides, translators, lawyers, telecommunication engineers and teachers. They have finally immersed themselves in to this amazing gem! My journey in the language continues to grow, having been exposed to a large clientele that needs Chinese language and culture services.
I am no longer at the discovery shores but rather fully immersed in this language, the journey hasn’t been easy as no journey is easy either. I compare it to climbing “Mt. Everest” a journey that I haven’t climbed alone and will continue to require help; from my other colleagues, teachers, students and others in order to become victorious. It’s no longer a discovery, it’s been a God-given passion, a purpose fully discovered and a journey that I would encourage anyone in love with languages and anyone in love with the Chinese people and their culture to boldly and majestically soldier in. In there, no regrets whatsoever rather a light at the end of the tunnel!
China as a country has grown to influence Africa including Kenya in a very large and magnificent way, from assistance in infrastructure, Medicine, Education, Tourism and other fields, it has scored a niche in the global market. At Discovery Chinese Cultural Centre we understand this fact and we are ready to help Kenyans and the world at large to understand what this journey entails. A journey worth exploring, a gift worth to quickly unwrap and a passion worth following!