Tens of Chinese opera artistes from Zhejiang province staged an electrifying performance in Nairobi Tuesday night, as part of a series of events lined up to celebrate cordial diplomatic relations between Nairobi and Beijing.
The event at Braeburn school saw music, dance and acrobatics showcased in what Minister Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya Zhang Zhizhong described as a significant cultural masterpiece underpinning strong bond between the two friendly nations.
“This is important cultural event for the two countries considering Kenya and China are marking the 60th anniversary of our bilateral diplomatic relations. We are keen to organize many shows, cultural exchanges for the Kenyan people,” he said
Noting that China is a country with a profound cultural heritage, the diplomat said the Chinese are eager to “share and communicate our culture even more through shows and concerts such as Chinese opera to ensure people understand more about China,”
“If we can understand each other better, of course, the two countries will have very good bilateral relations,” he said
Besides the Zhejiang Wu Opera, he said the embassy, in conjunction with other Chinese organizations was hosting the shows for the reason that the East Asian economic powerhouse cherishes bilateral historical friendship with Kenya.
He highlighted the achievements made in the last decade particularly after the launch of Belt and Road Initiative as some of the milestones of the existing cooperation.
“Kenya has had many projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway, the Expressway and Global Trade Center. The last ten years show our enhanced bilateral relations and we believe culture is something that can enhance this,” Zhang said
One of the troupe members, Lou Sheng said he was happy to have been invited to perform in celebrations to mark China-Kenya diplomatic relations. He expressed satisfaction with the reception the group was accorded in Nairobi.
“I was nervous and wasn’t sure if the kind of opera we performed will be accepted by a Kenyan audience. I now feel so confident after my first show. I see people joining us in the show and I wish I can be back here again for a performance,” he said after the show
“Our opera is very meaningful. It shows how Chinese people embrace values, kindness and beauty. Our opera teaches people how to conduct themselves well,” added Lou
Kenyan student, Hansnick Omondi, from the University of Nairobi and who was part of the audience said he was pleased to have had the chance to come face to face with the Chinese opera artistes.
“Today we watched live what we have been watching on TV and Movies. It has been fun seeing the Chinese people showcase their culture. We saw the paintings, dancing and martial arts, they were really interesting. I would like to see more of such activities because right now China and Kenya are working together,” he said
Omondi argued that Kenya’s cooperation with China is good given that “people are able to see the developments that they (Chinese) have done in our country.”
Amid the celebrations, Minister Counsellor Zhang said the People’s Republic of China will continue to play the role of a genuine development partner to Kenya.
“I can assure you that China cherishes our friendship with the Kenyan people. We want Kenyan people to live a better life and I believe with cooperation with China we can achieve great things going into the future,” he said