Maurice Gountin is always ready to share his 10-year experience in China, which he calls his “most glorious period in life.”


He was a famous comic star then and enjoyed popularity “among at least 300 million Chinese TV viewers.” He had chances to learn cross-talk (a traditional Chinese comedy art) from famous Chinese artists and perform the art together with them at various occasions. Invitations from theaters and TV stations queued at his door.
“China is and remains my second nation,” said Gountin, adding he did not expect that he would be a “star” in China, and he studied the traditional Chinese art out of pure interest.

Gountin came to China in 1998 and studied Chinese language and culture at Renmin University of China. He stayed there until getting a doctorate from the university.

During his stay, he fell in love with traditional Chinese folk arts, and cross talk and Beijing opera were among his favorites.

In 2000, Gountin and one of his classmate played cross-talk “Cuisine culture in Chinese” at an evening party held for all foreign students in Beijing. Gountin’s talent in language skill and comic arts impressed a famous Chinese cross-talk professional named Ding Guangquan, who later took him as one of Ding’s students.
“The show being successful, I was so moved that I could not sleep all night”, Maurice said, adding that very show paved for him the way for an artist, intellectual and China-Africa relations specialist.
“I have thousands of fondest memories while in China,” recalled Gountin.

As he gained more and more popularity as a cross-talk star, opportunity for a brighter future in China seemed at hand.
However, he left all these behind and came back home in Cotonou in 2008 due to “personal reasons and homesickness.”
Gountin is now a Chinese language teacher in the Chinese Cultural Center and a university in Cotonou, a job he thinks “interesting” because he is the bridge between two cultures.

“I am not very pleased with my current situation but I do not regret my decision (to came back home),” Maurice said, adding this was one of lessons he learned in China: the necessity to love one’ s own culture, patriotism and a good plan for one’s life.

“Chinese people do not expect miracle from heaven. They are forewarned persons and they make predictions for the future,” said Gountin.

He wishes to play more important role in China-Africa relations through the publications of the result of his research works and education of the younger generations in Africa-China issues.

“I am the right person for this. And sometimes I talk to myself mybe I know more about China than my home country,” said a laughing Gountin. Enditem


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