issoufou yassine, chinese name 伊守福, comes from niger. he has been in china for three and half years, and is currently studying at shaanxi university of science and technology in xi' an.
when talking about the preliminary goals set up at the beginning of 2021, issoufou told us that he is not obsessed with setting goals. he usually comes up with a high-level objective first, then breaks it into many specified little goals, which well reflects an old chinese saying: you can't get fat on one mouthful.
the no.1 priority of issoufou has to be his graduation. if possible, he would like to keep pursuing a doctor's degree.
the gifted humor and stand-up comedy
issoufou was pretty occupied through the entire 2021, either writing his thesis, helping friends out, or volunteering at the international exchange department at the university, he was everywhere in the university haha. within such a tight schedule, he still managed to extract some time participating in school competitions, thus getting to know more friends, especially from a speech contest. he was therefore more determined to improve his chinese.
issoufou truly has a talent for languages, and his friends even used to encourage him to perform stand-up comedy. well, he turned it down haha, for he resisted reciting that many words. however, he was pretty resonated with what li dan (famous stand-up comedian in china) said:" everybody can be a stand-up comedian for 5 minutes." he knows that the 5 minutes on stage means a large amount of practices off stage, which usually take one week or much longer. therefore, he chose to unleash his humor in daily life, such as making his friends laugh all the time.
while his schoolmates performed the stand-up comedy at the bell tower, he would help promote. "you might become the future talk king in the future!" —— that's his encouragement for his friends.
getting connected, no matter where
university is the best place to make new friends. each year, as the freshmen arrive, there will be always some of them reaching out to issoufou, some are a little bit reserved while some are pretty outgoing. as a senior, issoufou is always the active one, offering help for the freshman to quickly adapt to the environment.
an internship can also be the opportunity of making new friends. this summer, issoufou went to a decent company working as an inspector. the job itself can be a little bit dull, but he took each task seriously. most importantly, he enjoyed the time working with chinese fellows, they had a lot of fun. it was during this summer that he developed a friendship with people outside the university.
for issoufou, friends are his family without blood. he shared that, whenever he feels homesick and his family can not be reached at this moment, friends are the family to rely on and to talk to.
2021 is such a special year, farewell!
issoufou recalled: "people's travel can be more or less affected due to the epidemic this year, yet there were also good memories."
in spring, he went to see the stand-up comedy; during summer, he gave a tour of his friends enjoying the charm of xi'an at the bell tower; this autumn, he checked out the "four rare animals in qinling mountain"; in the early winter, he went for his first skiing this year (before the latest covid-19 outbreak in xi'an).
though he considers himself a "local" already, issoufou is still getting asked by people where he comes from. some of them might take a picture of him and then say "hi", and will always be shocked by issoufou's proficient chinese. "ha, his chinese is really good!" this kind of situation can be pretty funny, which also bring him back to the time when he just arrived china.
this year, issoufou has been in close touch with his family, as usual. whenever he has time, he would text his family, for he hasn't been home for many years, and the growing homesickness can be tough. therefore, issoufou is always eager to video chat with his family, even now there is a 7-hour time difference between them. through the little cell phone screen, he gets to see those warm faces.
2022 just arrived, and issoufou is about to graduate. so what's his biggest goal? "to graduate successfully!", this is his definite answer, for sure. we just want to send our sincere wishes to him: may you graduate successfully and everything goes well!