Speaking to this medium immediately after his victory, Margai disclosed that he was very happy to win what he described as highly competitive-competition, owing to the fact that competition was a skirmish among equals as his fellow competitors are also conversant with the Chinese language. He further explained that since he started the Chinese lesson, he has developed an extraordinary love and passion to understand every aspect of the language as well as mastering the language of 1.3 billion people.
“This win has given me renewed vigour to study hard so that when I represent Sierra Leone I will do well and make my Chinese teachers very proud at the Confucius Institute. The language is not easy, but commitment and determination will make you understand it and speak it well. It is an interesting language and I am happy that I can understand and speak the basics.”
He thanked the Chinese Embassy for their continued support for this competition and hopes that others will study hard to win it next year. Margai was given a brand new Lenovo laptop and bag, a ledger, flash drive and a Chinese decoration. Gifts were given to the other finalists and other participants.
The Director of Confucius Institute in Sierra Leone, Professor He Mingqing, said since the institute started operations, they have been doing well by producing brilliant students who have gone to China to further their studies.
He said this year is not different as Nathaniel Margai will represent Sierra Leone in the world competition and hope that he will win it for Sierra Leone and make them proud.
“Nathaniel Margai has already gained admission to the Beijing Language University through the Confucius programme and will study there for four years. I am proud of him and all the others who reached the final today.”
Professor He said eight of them made it to the final and all of them are winners and hopes they will double their effort to do more. He called on all the students in the Institute to take the language very seriously as it will help them in the future.
Before handing over the gift to Nathaniel, the Chinese Deputy Ambassador, Wang Xingming, said he was proud that the Embassy has been supporting this competition over the years and hope that it will continue to being out the best Chinese students in the country.
“I want to emphasize to all of you studying Chinese. Today, we are the second largest economy in the world and it is not slowing down but moving forward at a faster pace. This means that with your ability to speak Chinese, you will have enormous advantages on the world stage. So I want to urge all of you in this institute to study and get the scholarships to go to China and master the language.
Wang averred that all the eight contestants were very impressive because Chinese language is difficult to learn and he was very impressed with them. He commended the teachers for their commitment and dedication and urged them to do more.
The eight contestants were Nathaniel Margai, Hindolo Metzger, Ambrose Kamara, Abdulai Paul Kamara, Sheik Osman Sesay, Alpha Sankoh and Mohamed Ngandi. All of them scored over 70 percent and two were absent as it was 10 of them that reached the final. Abu Bakarr Kamara is already in China on a short training and Dalanda Jalloh did not show up.