By Sacrée Kabeya
Prof Zhang has been the head of Chinese Studies for five years, and his term has ended. On behalf of Rhodes University, Dr Clayton appreciated very much the “hard work done by the outgoing Chinese staff members”, and in particular Prof Zhang whom he described as “a wonderful worker and an excellent colleague”. Asked how he felt about the evening, Prof Mwepu said, “every Chinese staff member worked at Rhodes University with dedication and passion, despite cultural differences; Prof Zhang Jun, in particular, has left his footprint in our School of Languages & Literatures, and everyone who will be visiting the Chinese Section and the Confucius Institute at Rhodes University in future will definitely see it, with admiration”.
In conversation with Prof Zhang, he mentioned that there were quite a few things which he would miss when he leaves. He is not just leaving Rhodes, but also South Africa. He said, “I will miss the people that I have met, the friends I have made, the students and the braais which I have been to.” He has seen many transitions and changes being made; during his term, there has been growth in Chinese 1 students and more students entering the Honours programme. “Rhodes University has been very good to me, and I have enjoyed the experience which I have had here. Not only this but Jinan University in China has also had a wonderful experience with Rhodes as Rhodes University sends lecturers and students to China and Jinan University sends teachers and lecturers to Rhodes, so it has been a partnership.”
Prof Mwepu receiving a Merit Certificate sent by the Chinese Embassador (Photo taken by Zang Li)
Wu Pingping, the Chinese 2 lecturer, will also be leaving after being here since February 2019; she is going back to China to complete her Master’s degree. She has been teaching her students on how to use the Chinese language effectively. “I really like how peaceful Grahamstown is, and I will miss my Chinese 2 class very much,” she said. Ms Wang Shuang, who was the Chinese 3 lecturer, who will also be leaving at the end of the year, said that she came to South Africa with an open heart and was open to learn from others. “I have really enjoyed teaching the students and at the same time I learnt a lot from my students,” Wang added. The one thing which she will always remember about the people that she has met is the energy which they had, which was something different.
Ms Wu Pingping receiving a gift from Dr Peter Clayton (Photo taken by Zang Li)
Ms Wang Shuang receiving a gift from Dr Peter Clayton (Photo taken by Zang Li)
The evening was also to recognise the key players in the Chinese Section as well as the contributions they have made. These individuals were Zang Li, the Chinese 1 lecturer, Prof Patrice Mwepu, the Confucius Institute local Director, Mrs Fu Shuying a DSG Chinese teacher and Prof Zhang Jun. They each received a certificate of appreciation from the Chinese Ambassador in South Africa.
Source: By Sacrée Kabeya
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