Xinhua (26 July 2016). Twenty African apprentices are learning Kung Fu, Zen meditation and other traditional Chinese culture at the Shaolin Temple in central China’s Henan Province. The learners from the Republic of Congo, Mauritius and other countries will stay at Shaolin for three months. They are the fourth batch of African learners since China’s Ministry of Culture initiated the program for Kung Fu fans on the continent in 2012.
The Shaolin Temple, with a history of more than 1,500 years, is home to Zen and Kung Fu.
Ngalle Emmanuel Leolein from Cameroon, also known as Yandan among Buddhist peers, is a coach for the apprentices. He graduated from the first Shaolin Kung Fu training class for Africans, and has spent the following five years in the temple. “Not only have I learnt how to fight with swords, sticks and hands, but I have also been immersed by China and Shaolin Temple’s unfathomable cultural heritage.”
He Yaofei, a 20-year-old Malagasy recruit in the class, used to be Bruce Lee’s movie fan. Three years ago, he started learning Changquan, a genre of Chinese hand fighting. “This is the first time I have come to Shaolin,” he said, “and it is a dream come true.” He said he is determined to keep practicing and perform Kung Fu for his countrymen when he returns. “I want more friends to go to China and realize their Kung Fu dream,” he said.
Kung Fu master Zhuangyan of the Shaolin Temple believes the 3-month study will help the African apprentices transcend themselves physically and spiritually, and that they will thus grow to be future culture ambassadors between China and Africa.
“Kung Fu is not something you learn in just a few years; rather, it is a cause worth lifelong commitments,” said Emmanuel. “If possible, I would like to spend the rest of my life at Shaolin.”