Miss World Mariatu: China is my second hometown

2018-08-22 11:34 千龙网

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A work photo of Mariatu (M). [Photo provided to Qianlong]

By Ai Ting

“You are a hot flame, illuminating my eyes and warming our beautiful home; different languages, full of affection, it’s you who get me through hardships…” The song Thank you, China is a title song of African singer Mariatu Kargbo, who often sings it with true feelings on many occasions.

In 2004, Mariatu in Sierra Leone was invited to participate in the Miss Kite of the World contest at Weifang of Shandong Province in China. Since then, she has been attached to China and active on the stage of literature and art in China.

As an African singer who has long lived and developed in China, Mariatu not only can sing and dance well, but also loves and learns traditional Chinese culture, such as bianlian, or face changing, Peking Opera, allegro, Tai Chi, etc. In recent years, Mariatu has sung and released a number of popular songs highlighting traditional Chinese culture elements, including Marry a Chinese, Rapper Face and Chinese Pop.

In 2009, Mariatu participated in the Miss World contest and she displayed Chinese culture on the stage of Miss World. In the finals, she won both best talent award and best fashion award for her fabulous performances of bianlian combined with African music and dance.

“After the contest, the media from the United States and Britain among others came to ask me curiously, ‘As an African, why did you perform Chinese culture and where did you learn?’ I answered them, ‘The show came out from my belly.’” Mariatu laughed. “I love traditional Chinese culture with all my heart and I want to spread it around the world.”

As for the reasons for staying in China, Mariatu said that the moment she came to China, she felt Chinese people’s kindness, hospitality, cheerfulness and optimism, which made her determined to stay and take root in China.

“I have a Chinese ‘mother’. I often call her on the phone, ‘Mom, where are you?’” Mariatu cheerfully recalled her first acquaintance with the Chinese mother. After the Miss Kite World contest in 2004, Mariatu took the train to Shenzhen and she had a sudden illness on the train. Although barely acquainted and having language difficulties, the Chinese mother immediately took Mariatu to the hospital and spent all her money. At that moment, Mariatu was greatly moved.

Later, Mariatu was also deeply affected by the Chinese mother’s cross-border love for her, and she decided to pass on this great love in her own way. In 2008, an earthquake hit Wenchuan of Sichuan Province in China. Mariatu rushed to work as a rescue volunteer in earthquake-stricken areas the first time she read the news.

“You ask me how deeply I love you, how much I love you; your heart is Mariatu’s heart, Mariatu’s heart is Meihua’s heart; the moon represents my heart...” Meihua in the song is an orphan who lost her legs during the Wenchuan earthquake. At the hospital, Mariatu was hugging Meihua and humming this song to encourage Meihua to actively cooperate with treatment. Afterwards, Mariatu has also been concerned about Meihua’s growth and funded her studies.

Up to now, Mariatu has long funded a number of children in earthquake-stricken areas in Sichuan and adopted 780 orphans in Africa. She hopes that this love can be passed on so as to help more and more people. “I believe that these children will grow up and they will help more people in need.”

As an old Chinese saying goes, “Be good on your own when you are poor, and share with others when you are rich.” This is the character and mind that the Chinese nation has always admired, and it is also what Mariatu has experienced and felt in China. “China has changed a lot over the past decades. I have seen the Chinese government and people unite and dedicate themselves to development. As China develops, it is acting like a relative and doing everything it can to help other underdeveloped countries and achieve common development.”

This June, the music video Belt and Road, directed and sung the lead by Mariatu, was released in Beijing. Making this MV cost Mariatu nearly eight months, but she still felt it very worthwhile. “I created this song to express my approval and support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative in my own way. I hope that the initiative can connect people all over the world and everyone joins hands and hearts together to seek common development. ”

“Thank you, China; I love you, China...” Mariatu sincerely sang the song Thank you, China with cheerful music and dynamic dance after the interview, expressing her love for China and gratitude to the Chinese people. “Thanks to all teachers, friends and my Chinese mother who helped me in China. China is my second hometown, and I will stay in China forever and take root in China.”

(Beijing Union University contributes to video recording and producing.)

A work photo of Mariatu. [Photo provided to Qianlong]

Mariatu (L) learns Peking Opera. [Photo provided to Qianlong]

Mariatu and her Chinese mother (R). [Photo provided to Qianlong]

Mariatu and an orphan she adopts in Africa. [Photo provided to Qianlong]

A work photo of Mariatu (M). [Photo provided to Qianlong]

Read article in Chinese: 非常京彩|非洲世界小姐玛丽亚:中国是我的第二故乡

责任编辑:Sun Chi(QN0019)  作者:Ai Ting(QN0043)

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