The story of Onyinye Mercy Agu
UNICAF UNIVERSITY IN ZAMBIA GRADUATION CEREMONY 2022
SPEECH OF MASTER’S GRADUATES REPRESENTATIVE
ONYINYE MERCY AGU FROM NIGERIA
Good morning distinguished guests, all protocols observed, and special greetings to the Unicaf University of Zambia Graduating Class of 2022. My name is Onyinye Mercy Agu and I come from Nigeria. It is a great honour and privilege for me to speak here today on behalf of the Unicaf University in Zambia Master’s degree graduates of 2022.
Two years ago, most of us graduating today might have been concerned about how we would manage to successfully complete our degree programmes and receive our award certificates. Several uncertainties confronted us. The Covid 19 pandemic, work-related stress, family obligations, and the time and energy we knew we had to put into our academic work. We accessed our degree programmes online from our various countries and we each had an individualised educational experience, while working together on the same digital platform. We put a lot of effort into overcoming the challenges that appeared on our path. And today we graduate! This is proof that we have all succeeded in our goals. And with that, please allow me to say: Congratulations my fellow graduates for a job well done!
When I think back on the experiences we have shared over the past two years, I remember the classes we took online, while juggling our hectic work and family schedules, the sheer frustration at disruptions in Internet provision, the long searches for the books and journals we wanted from the Unicaf digital library, the times when we, or family members, were sick and we could not do our coursework, the financial difficulties some of us faced when we had to pay the next fee instalment. And then I remember with gratitude the sense of accomplishment every time we completed a module, every time we received a good grade, every time our Professors, tutors and fellow students encouraged us to keep trying harder, every time a considerate student adviser found a way to help us pay the fee instalments, every time we felt excited about all the knowledge we could access with just one click in the vast Unicaf digital library, every time we reignited our dedication in earning our Master’s to build the career and life we want for us and our families.
The Unicaf online digital platform served us in many different ways; we accessed coursework, submitted assignments and received grades and comments from our tutors, we had interactive sessions to help us better understand the material we were studying, we were able to conduct research and study in the digital library, and to use the platform for social interaction. We voluntarily assisted one another through our constant communication with fellow students from around the world, learning about work processes and work culture in other countries. People from related departments were able to work together, often engaging in spirited discussions, exchanging ideas and sharing opinions. We made new friends and created a solid professional network through these exchanges.
As we recall these fond memories, let us not forget those people who helped us along the way. We are thankful to the Unicaf University in Zambia academics and , management team for sorting out our numerous academic and financial challenges. We appreciate our professors for sharing their expertise in their respective fields. To my supervisor, Professor Kinga Lowrie – I am super grateful to you. And to the supervisors of my fellow graduates, I thank you all on their behalf.
Last but not least, I’m sure all my fellow graduates wish to thank our families and friends, who always supported us and never hesitated to lend a hand when needed. Personally I am also grateful to all my colleagues and to our coordinators, who were incredibly helpful and kept us on our toes.
As we are embarking on this new chapter of our lives, let’s celebrate for what we have accomplished! But let’s also look forward to becoming an inspiration for others. Let’s all remember with gratitude our individual Unicaf University journey, which has made us more knowledgeable, more disciplined, braver, and stronger than ever before.
I would like to end with a quote from George Elliot, “it’s never too late to be what you might have been.” Amidst all the uncertainties of life, let’s stick to our dreams and aspirations, even those yet unborn, and aim to achieve all that we aspire and hope for, knowing that nothing is impossible, when you have Unicaf by your side.
Once again, Class of 2022, well done!!!.