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KonkNaija Media | May 3, 2016

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Colors of China: Nigerian girl learning acrobatics in China

Colors of China: Nigerian girl learning acrobatics in China

| On 07, Oct 2014

Full coverage: Chinese National Day

We continue to our series called Colors of China. Today we focus on a Nigerian girl who is studying acrobatics in China. Let’s have a look at her unique experience in China.

“It’s a rare opportunity. And I grabbed it, and I am going to use it well. I am Tammy Aiya, I am 16-year-old. I am from Nigeria. I am here in China right now, studying acrobatics. It’s a good opportunity to learn something different, to learn different culture and to learn a different language. When I see the Chinese children, especially little one. Oh, my God. They do it. You can do it. Just need to do it. If they can do it, I can do it. When I just see them performing. It’s the performing what they are doing now. It’s beautiful. It tells a lot. It tells a story. It likes a different world. Acrobatics is just different from anything else. You can do things with your body. Things like bend. It’s really reactive. That’s the thing about it. No one can take it ever from me. Something I have struggled to learn for one year. Time, patient, and hard work. I’ll get their,” Tammy Aiya said.

Statistics show over 356,000 foreigners from 200 countries and regions came to China to study in 2013. The number represented an increase of over 8.5% year-on-year. The increases have primarily come from Africa, Europe and Oceania. University World News predicts that 500 thousand foreign students will come to China to study in 2020, as the passion for learning about Chinese culture grows.

“It is difficult. It is stressful. It’s fun. It can be fun…like when you know how to do some certain things, it becomes very fun to do,” 16-year-old Tammy Aiya explains. Back home, she’s a former Miss Teen Nigeria. But here in China, she’s a student, learning a foreign and ancient art.

Tammy trains seven to eight hours a day, juggling… twirling… spinning… and then doing it all over, again and again. Chinese acrobatics is a tremendous show of skill and coordination. As much as it requires individual strength, trust and teamwork are crucial for a successful routine. Audiences are wowed by the performances, which have become world-renowned.

Chinese acrobatics originated 3,000 years ago in the northern Chinese city of Wuqiao. Even now, thousands come every year to train. Tammy and seven other Nigerian teenagers are here at the Wuqiao Acrobatics Art School on a scholarship arranged by the Nigerian and Chinese governments. It takes years of training to perfect the skills and pull off the impressive performances. But these students have only one year to learn as much as they can.

According to statistics from the China Association for International Education, 356,499 foreigners from 200 countries and regions came to China to study in 2013, an increase of 8.58% year-on-year. Increases primarily came from Africa, Europe and Oceania.

In the meantime, there are more than 100 million foreign speakers and learners
of the Chinese language worldwide,with 350,000 foreigners studying it in 746 Chinese universities last year, according to Xinhuanet.

Back at the Wuqiao Acrobatics Art School, Tammy has just finished her first test. This final performance goes well.“If anyone should see me doing this,they would be like ‘wow oh my God, I’m really scared! I have never seen someone doing that before!’ and I am happy with that, because I spent a year learning how to do it. It’s part of my life, no regrets!”