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Zimbabwean art students transform dreams into artistry in Chinese competition

By Xinhua

HARARE, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) — An art submission by Zimbabwean art student Hope Mafiko for the “My Dream” painting competition is among the artworks by African youth sent to China’s Tiangong Space Station by the Shenzhou-16 mission. The competition, co-hosted by the secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the China Manned Space Engineering Office, and the Chinese missions in Africa, received more than 2,000 entries from African youth from over 40 countries expressing their dreams through drawings. Mafiko, 17 and an advanced-level student at Chisipite Senior School in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, who is one of the first prize winners, was elated to have her dreams flown into space. “It’s a significant privilege for me because it’s not something that everyone else will get to experience, and I am just very happy and honored that I was chosen among them,” Mafiko said. The teenage artist’s abstract painting, titled “One of the Best Interior Architects in Africa,” showcases her dream of what interior architecture should be like. “The art piece that I made is basically a good representation of what I would want interior architecture to be like in Africa and how I would envision it as futuristic and modern, in public spaces here in my own country of Zimbabwe,” she explained. Mafiko said that participating in the competition allowed her to share her perspective with the world. “It’s not every day that I get the opportunity to collaborate with people outside of Africa, let alone a country as large as China. So, I was very grateful and surprised when I found out that I had won,” Mafiko said. On Wednesday, the Chinese astronauts aboard the Tiangong space station will showcase 10 first-prize paintings by African youth. Another participant whose work received recognition is 24-year-old Asa King Zvihari, a fine art student at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe School of Visual Arts and Design. His colorful artwork, titled “All Africans are united and working together,” is among the third-prize winning entries and advocates for the unity of Africans from different countries. “It portrays the African continent as united, with people working together as one nation. The continent will use the same currency, people will collaborate like a family, and there will be more equality among the people of Africa,” he explained. Additionally, Zvihari noted that having his artwork recognized brings his dream closer to reality. The “My Dream” painting competition is part of a series of programs designed to promote people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in space exploration between China and Africa. In September last year, the “Tiangong Dialogue-Talk with Taikonauts” was held in eight African countries, providing African teenagers with the opportunity to engage in video conversations with Chinese astronauts aboard the Tiangong space station. Enditem

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