by Prince Akantogdaam
As panic increased throughout the world due to COVID-19, accounts and rumors spread about the lockdown, testing, and who to blame. We at ‘Africans on China’, want to demystify China for Africans and Africa for Chinese. Our September theme for human stories is the China Lockdown Experience.
I am Prince Akantogdaam, a student at the University of Ghana. I was privileged to go to China to study for a year (2019-2020) and I wish to share my experiences with you.
I had a lot of good and bad experiences in China, but the good outweighs the bad. As a young, enthusiastic, and resilient gentleman, I believe in institutional empowerment, diversification, and openness to all cultures as the key to heightening the prospects of Africa on the international front. Looking for ways to improve my Chinese, I engaged in so many activities during my stay in China, including activities organized by the Shangcheng District public voluntary services group, the Shangcheng Police, Myhomie group, campus voluntary group, and some others.
I was honored to receive an award as one of the best 10 international student volunteers in 2019. I was also privileged to represent my school (Zhejiang University of Technology) in the Zhejiang Provincial Speech competition. Out of the 231 contestants, with 18 contestants needed for the grand finale, I was selected to go for the Grand finale. That really opened so many doors in my life. I was interviewed by so many media houses. From then I was always the representative of my school in any program that required the presence of international students. Taking part in these activities actually made me and my country Ghana famous, to the extent that every outgoing Chinese student, both male and female on my campus, wanted to be friends with me and wanted to know more about Ghana. My early days in China, that’s before the outbreak of the pandemic, was full of fun.
Before I left for China, I received so many pieces of advice from some of my seniors, including Sylvester Demuyakor, on how to live and enjoy my stay in China. Despite the emergence of this COVID-19, I can say with all confidence that I did enjoy my stay in China and my goal of being able to speak fluent Chinese has also been achieved. I say Glory unto God for such an achievement. I am actually praying to God to once again favor me with the opportunity of going back to China to further my studies because China is a very wonderful and amazing place to be.
Talking on my bad experiences, I think I will blame it on the COVID-19. There were emotional stress, fears of being infected with the virus, and a whole lot. I did not get the opportunity to travel to other places in China. It was just like I was in prison, so boring and annoying.
My advice to anyone who will be going to China for education or business: you can only enjoy your stay in China if you are able to integrate yourself into the Chinese culture, speak the Chinese language, and associate yourself with them. It is this and only this that will make your stay in China unforgettable, just like mine.
Thank you very much for your attention!
You can follow Prince on all social media channels through by his name: Prince Akantogdaam