ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) — An artwork by Ethiopian teenager Abigail Berhanemeskel has won second prize in the “My Dream” painting competition, which aimed to promote people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in space exploration between China and Africa.
Her colorful art piece, Titled “Her Hope,” was one of 2,000 artworks created by African teenagers who expressed their dreams through their drawings.
“I am really happy to participate in the painting competition because I love painting and space. So, it became the perfect combination for me,” Berhanemeskel told Xinhua in a recent interview.
As a 15-year-old student at Andnet International School in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, Berhanemeskel is the only winner among 100 Ethiopian young artists who submitted their artworks for the competition.
Explaining her painting, she said it portrays an Ethiopian girl who aspires to seize the opportunity, even though it is far away from her. She realized her dreams by making use of her untapped knowledge, skills, and talent.
The prestigious 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, saw the participation of 2,000 African youth from more than 40 countries. A total of 50 prizes — comprising 10 first prizes, 15 second prizes, and 25 third prizes — have been awarded in the first round of the competition.
“I’ve always wanted to know how it feels to be weightless in space, to float around, to see the stars, planets, the Earth, and view them from the perspective of astronauts,” said Berhanemeskel, who aspires to venture into space in the future.
Noting that she learned about the competition through a friend, Berhanemeskel mentioned that such competitions would help Ethiopian youth showcase their talent to the world and develop it. “This opportunity has helped me discover that I’m good at art. It’s truly significant and assists Ethiopian teenagers in showcasing their skills on an international and national level.”
Tsehay Gashaw, the mother of Berhanemeskel, expressed her pride in her daughter’s high-quality artwork and dedication. She extended her gratitude to the Chinese government for providing platforms for aspiring young African artists, stating that the competition opens a window for many African youth to showcase their talent.
“Providing this opportunity to other children will give them hope and a chance to display their talent. I believe that many children possess the knowledge and talent but lack the opportunity. If they receive such an opportunity, they could become among the best artists in the world,” Gashaw said.
The Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia awarded Berhanemeskel in recognition of her performance in the competition and to encourage her and other competitors to strive further.
“The dream portrayed by Berhanemeskel through her artwork represents not only her dream but also the dream of both the Ethiopian and Chinese nations,” said Shen Qinmin, the minister counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia.
Shen explained that through their vibrant paintings, African youth have conveyed their best wishes for China-Africa cooperation, peace, development, human progress, and a better life. He emphasized that China is ready to provide a platform for African youth to showcase their youthful vitality and talent while renewing the friendship between China and Africa.
“The Chinese government has made efforts to share its dream of outer space with our African friends. China aims to inspire young, talented students in Africa to make their dreams come true and achieve more,” Shen said.