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'My China' stories 'helping us understand China better'

By Joseph Kizza

Added 10th July 2018 03:25 PM

"We see the values of honesty, friendliness and openness espoused by the Chinese people," says Barbara Kaija, Vision Group's Editor-in-Chief.

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"We see the values of honesty, friendliness and openness espoused by the Chinese people," says Barbara Kaija, Vision Group's Editor-in-Chief.

PIC: Vision Group Editor-in-Chief Barbara Kaija, Chinese deputy ambassador to Uganda Chu Maoming and Vision Group managing editor of English papers Ben Opolot are flanked by the winners of the weekly prizes of the 'My China' essay competition on Tuesday. (Credit: Maria Wamala)


KAMPALA - The hundreds of essays written by ordinary Ugandans about their interactions with the Chinese people are "helping us understand China, the Chinese people and their culture better", Vision Group Editor-in-Chief, Barbara Kaija has said.

"These articles help us, as Ugandans, seek to improve and make life better," she said of the stories submitted in the ongoing 'My China' Essay Competition.

"We see the values of honesty, friendliness and openness espoused by the Chinese people.

"We see their love for innovation and the advanced interaction with technology," Kaija said on Tuesday at Vision Group head office.

This was during a prize-giving ceremony for the latest group of weekly winners of the contest. For their winning stories, each of the eight received a high-end Huawei GR5 Mini phone.

By the end of the contest, as many as Huawei GR5 Mini 40 phones will have been won.

The latest winners - David Baziwane, Yassin Asiimwe, Priscillar Sharon Mugyenyi, Julian Auma, Jessica Nakintu Kibuye, Raymond Kakama Shaba, Moses Byansi and Goddard Munyarukundo Muhumuza - have also automatically entered into a competition for a fully-sponsored trip to China - sponsored by the Chinese Embassy in Uganda.

The final five winners of the trip will have been drawn from the time the competition started (April 3) until it ends in mid-August.

Priscillar Sharon Mugyenyi (right) wrote one of the winning articles




China's deputy ambassador to Uganda, Chu Maoming (pictured above), said he was "very impressed" by the articles written.

"I have read each and every article."

All the over 1000 stories submitted so far - 850 to New Vision and 200 to Bukedde newspapers - have been so interesting that Ambassador Maoming admitted choosing the winners proved to be "very difficult".

"Thank you Vision Group - madam Barbara Kaija and your team," he said.

"I hope there will be more articles from readers on their interactions with the Chinese people and their businesses."

'Interesting and educative'

The essay competition started on April 3 this year - and the response, according to Kaija, has been "overwhelming".

Majority of the articles been submitted through the official email: and the rest through post and personal delivery to the Vision Group offices.

"Through the articles, our readers, most of whom have not been to China, get to interact with the Chinese people," Kaija said.

"We have since published 15 winning articles in New Vision and 11 winning articles in Bukedde and all of them are very interesting and educative," she added, thanking the Chinese embassy for the support in publishing "this very engaging media project".




David Baziwane

"I won a scholarship (to study a Masters degree in food and technology in China) through this very newspaper - New Vision in 2001. I have used that Masters to compete favourably for Ugandan markets.

"The Chinese people gave me the zeal to work for my family. While in China, they also trained my wife in kung-fu.

"I scored on the social front, on the marriage front as well as on the academic front."





Goddard Munyarukundo Muhumuza

I am a student of Chinese at Makerere University Confucius Institute. I was drawn to participate in the competition because I felt it was a good opportunity for me to express myself in writing since I was a student of literature at A'Level.

At first, I was not interested in learning Chinese, but eventually, I got interested. It is so easy to learn the language.





Priscillar Sharon Mugyenyi travelled to China in 2015 to teach English to kindergarten children.

At first, it was a challenge because I could not speak Chinese and they could not speak English. But eventually, I picked up."

Jessica Nakintu Kibuye (pictured below) experienced the Chinese culture through working with Chinese in a shop in Kampala. She is now a self-employed businesswoman based in Kibuye.







Moses Byansi works at Nanjing Restaurant & Hotel in Kampala - which he joined eight years ago. Now a senior waiter, he says the Chinese are "good people" and by working with them for several years, he can now even train people on how to work for them (cuisine department).

"I am now even a senior at using chopsticks! I can eat groundnuts using them!" he quipped.





Raymond Kakama Shaba deals in Chinese products. And it this business that has enabled him construct a house.

Before, while still renting, he used to be unsettled every time the month came to an end. Rent became a recurrent source of pressure for him.

"I even used to hide from the landlord!"

But since building his own house, "I don't have to hide anymore".

"My clients have never complained about my products too."




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