By Gom Mirian, Abuja
Organisers of Wu Li Feng , WLF, the biggest martial arts competition has signed a landmark agreement with Nigeria’s cultural and creativity hub, Heritage Africa to host WLF Continental first Kung Fu Mega Fight come February, 2020.
WLF is the biggest martial arts competition televised by China’s Henan Television. It is the longest running martial arts program in China.
Since 2007, the competition has become more international in nature, bringing in more challengers from many countries and filming bouts abroad. Some of the countries includes Germany, New Zealand and the United States.
In 2013, it was ranked among the top 100 most viewed satellite and cable television programs in China.
With Nigeria leading the way as the biggest market on the African continent, WLF and its partner, Heritage Africa are exploring the possibilities of tapping the huge opportunities for the brand in the areas of combat sports, cultural exchange, movie production and job creation.
Much of the preparatory stage involves designing programmes, which would engage the Nigerian combat sports and entertainment market.
Already, Nigeria has won the exclusive right to host the continental headquarters of the WLF, just as an imposing edifice in the highbrow Cadastral zone in Kado District has been picked to host the secretariat.
Speaking on the plans to storm the Nigerian market with its fiesta of combat sports and entertainment, Head of the WLF Delegation to Africa, said the intervention would be taken a cue from the massive exchange, which is already taking place between Nigeria and the Chinese.
Kung Fu, the unique and exciting martial arts sport, which used to be popular in Nigeria in the early 1980s is projected to make a comeback through the programmes being planned by WLF in Nigeria.
The benefits of Kung Fu, according to the WLF Africa delegation head is that it could be used for self defense, and to motivate people to work on themselves for good bodies and better health.
“Kung Fu can help you protect yourself and your family, and you will get confidence when you are strong enough. So this programme WLF is bringing to Nigeria is for the young people and for children.
“We are working to make the first fighting happen next year, may be in February or March.”
According to him, it was important for these cultural exchanges to happen so as to get Nigerians and Chinese to know one another better, and explore the possibilities of their commonalities.
“In when you talk about Africa, the first image is very dangerous; people think about problems and disease. That is why it is very important for us to work through cultural exchange to show the real Africa to China.
“I want these two peoples to know each other better; may be the challenge is the language because most of the Chinese don’t speak English, and most of the people in Africa do not speak Chinese.
Yet, most people can understand Kung Fu because the fighting is not as a result of hate; it is a fight that promotes friendship.
The beauty of Kung Fu is that it gives a better body and health, and you can use the skill to protect your family.”
The relationship is very warm between the two countries and Nigeria is a good friend of China. A lot of people think Chinese people only come to Nigeria for business,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman of Heritage Africa, Moses Ayom enthused that with the WLF partnership coming on stream, Nigeria would reap massive benefits in the areas of job creation, as well as boosting the local economy.
Ayom, who recently bagged the prestigious recognition from the Chinese government due to his commitment to the promotion of Nigeria-China cultural interface, has continued to advocate that beyond the traditional areas of trade, Nigeria should leverage culture and creativity in its relationship with China.
“Creativity is something we have as black people, and we must tap it; if we can tap just 5 percent of the creative wealth, which is around us, we will not need oil money,” said Ayom.
This is what this partnership is about; it comes from the fact that we have a huge population of young people who can take up Kung Fu, and reap the many benefits, not just economically, but in terms of good health and well being.”