By Lylie Happiness
Windhoek, 27 July- The China Embassy in Windhoek hosted an award ceremony on July 26, 2023, for an art painting competition where 5 talented Namibian teenagers were selected by both the Chinese and African sides, with one of them earning the prestigious second prize.
The painting competition, held under the theme “My Dream,” was co-hosted by the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the China Manned Space Engineering Office. It aimed to provide young artists with the opportunity to express their dreams through their artwork.
The competition received an overwhelming response, with over 2000 applications, and 41 works were submitted by the Namibian teenagers who were invited to put their dreams onto canvas.
A joint panel of judges from the Chinese and African sides selected the winning entries, awarding 10 First Prizes, 15 Second Prizes, and 25 Third Prizes from among all the submissions. In addition to receiving trophies, the first-prize winners were granted approximately 550 USD, second-prize winners received about 350 USD, and third-prize winners were awarded around 300 USD. Furthermore, 10 of the awarded artworks will be taken to the Tiangong space station by the Shenzhou crewed spacecraft later this year and will be exhibited on various social media platforms to reach a wider audience.
During the award ceremony, Mr. Shein Jian, the Minister Counsellor of the China Embassy, expressed the strong interest that African youth have shown in space exploration and their dreams of one day “flying to space.” He assured the support of the Chinese Embassy in fostering these “African Dreams” of exploring the vast universe.
Among the winners, Laimi Ndapunikwa Mbangula, who secured the second prize, received a trophy and an amount of N$6000.00. Laimi, a graduate from UNAM, expressed her gratitude to her lecturer for inspiring her and making her realize the potential of her artistic talents. She acknowledged the challenges she faced due to the misconception that art could not lead to a fruitful career. However, her triumph in this competition has reinforced her belief in the significance of art as a medium of expression and storytelling.
Another talented young artist, 16-year-old Missy Namupembe, currently studying at Chairman Nao Zedong High School, also emerged as one of the competition’s winners. Missy expressed her long-standing passion for art and her desire to attend art classes, which had been hindered by financial constraints. With this opportunity, she hopes to receive the necessary financial support to pursue her art studies further. Her dream is to enroll in the College of Art and transform her passion into a successful career.
The recognition and prizes received by these young Namibian artists highlight the importance of nurturing and encouraging artistic talent among the youth. The China-Africa art competition serves as a platform to foster cultural exchange and provide opportunities for young artists to showcase their creativity and aspirations on an international stage.- Namibia Daily News