African Excellence Series: Abba scoops $10,000

-Sihle Isipho Nontshokweni 

This post will be the first in a series dedicated to recognizing young, talented Africans living in China. We aim to celebrate the triumphs of these individuals who are actively contributing to the promotion and strengthening of socio-cultural links between Africa and China.

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Recently I sat down for an interview on the grounds of Peking University, Beijing with Abba Garba, a fellow African student at the University reading towards his PhD in Computer Software and Theory. The ever humble Abba hails from Gumel in Jigawa State, Nigeria, where he grew up in a large family with many siblings who served as great role models to him. More recently, Abba held the flag of his university, his country and continent high as he emerged as one of the winners of the Shanghai Hackathon 2016 where he bagged a neat $10,000!

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Counting Stares

Wadeisor Rukato

I started to write this post on the sixth day after my arrival in Beijing in August 2015. I finished it almost six months later on the 30th of January 2016. I am happy to finally be able to share it.

Today is my 6th day in Beijing, China. I feel as though I have been here for considerably longer. Since my arrival, my days have been filled with everything from trying new food, doing on campus admin, looking for parts for my laptop, getting medicals done for a residence permit, drinking Chinese beer and learning Chinese. The sun has shone relentlessly at a high of least 32 degrees Celsius since my arrival and the days have been divided into those with clear blue skies, and those with a smog induced milky white sky.

Before I left South Africa I received all manner of preparatory and survival advice, tips, secrets and information from friends, family and acquaintances. While some of this advice was considerably insightful, some of it I listened to and dismissed quickly because it seemed loaded with generalisations that I didn’t feel comfortable adopting in the absence of personal experience.

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But why move to China?

– Sihle Isipho Nontshokweni © A couple of weeks before I moved to China, I bumped into my old boss on my way back from work. He displayed great pride at the thought of my prompt ‘career’ growth. His pride filled face beamed as he mused over the potential climb that I could make up this career ladder. Without much hesitance, I excitedly told him the good new; “I’m moving to China soon,” I said. He couldn’t hide his disappointment. He looked at me as a parent would when their child makes a key decision, thoughtlessly. With question. He then … Continue reading But why move to China?