Mandarin Champion: Little Mahi wins first place in Chinese Bridge Competition

Mahi Roopchund

Mahi Roopchund

Published Jun 13, 2024


LITTLE Mahi Roopchund emerged victorious at the Chinese Bridge Competition last Friday at the Pearls Mall Conference Centre.

The Grade 2 pupil of Glenashley Junior Primary School was the youngest contestant and the only one who did not learn Mandarin as a subject in school but in a personal capacity.

“Mahi only started learning Mandarin in January from our neighbour Vivian Zeng, who works at the Durban University of Technology," said her mom, Cheena Roopchund, who works in marketing.

"Vivian teaches Mahi Mandarin and thought she would be a perfect candidate for the competition when she saw her progress in the language."

She said there were two parts to the competition.

"The first was a speech round in which Mahi had byhearted her speech and had clear pronunciation. The second part was a talent round in which Mahi sang a traditional Chinese song and did an additional speech. The judges were impressed by her performance and she won first prize.”

Mahi, 7, was awarded a cash prize of R3 000 by Li Zhigong, the Consul General of the People's Republic of China, as well as a fully-funded trip with her mum to China in mid-October where she will represent South Africa in another competition.

“I am so proud of my daughter. I am not putting any pressure on her as she has already achieved such a great accomplishment. I want her to do her best and represent South Africa as best as she can."

Mahi said she enjoyed learning Mandarin and looked forward to going to China.

“Learning Mandarin is fun. I was so happy to win. I want to go to China and eat all the food. I mostly want to have Tanghulu (a traditional Chinese snack consisting of several rock sugar-coated fruits on a skewer). I also want to see and buy toys,” said Mahi.

Her dad, Niren, owns a finance company, and she has twin brothers, Luv and Kush, aged three.

Mahi starts her training for the competition next week.


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