Go Ye Out and Conquer the World

by NDABA SIBANDA

If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counsellor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.—Joseph Addson

Today, we celebrate, salute and ululate for our sons and daughters who have refused mediocrity and forged ahead to define and refine the glory of success. You have followed your vision, with a measure of unwavering determination. The fact that you are graduating today, serves as a clear demonstration and testimony of concerted time and effort exerted at your studies. Graduand, celebrate, people ululate with pride and joy.

Lest we lose our bearings in the in the euphoria of this event, let us remind ourselves that a journey of several kilometres begins with just one step. It means that the mission has only begun, the march to conquer the world is on. Graduands, march on because the journey has only begun in grand style! Maintain your vision, and look out for potholes and pitfalls, for the Good God tells us in Proverbs that without vision, people perish. This country needs your input, your wisdom and vision.

You have done us proud. In my introductory lines l mentioned the word-success, but what is it? The achievement of your goals and objectives is success. We all know that not everyone in life succeeds in their endeavours. It is no wonder that Aristotle Onassis concludes that the secret of success is to know something nobody else knows. And education is about seeking and accumulating knowledge, changing behaviours and acquiring skills. Education cannot be an end itself, it is a learning curve, a process which calls for conscious and critical evaluation and perseverance. One writer, Mdaxie, says in science there is a drop, in ignorance a sea. Learn more... The above African author believes that education illuminates the mind, broadens the horizon and elevates one`s character. It should be able to free people from the yokes of insecurity, violence and ignorance.

Tertiary Education

It generally culminates in the receipt of certificates, diplomas or academic degrees. It is high education. Paper qualifications on their own do not perform wonders, neither do they build bridges or employ people. Therefore apply the knowledge and advanced skills you have acquired for the betterment and development of yourself, your family, community, your country, and your continent. The country is facing a multiplicity of socio-economic challenges that call for your creative responses and solutions. It is counting on you, our graduating sons and daughters to stand up and be counted. Try, don`t cry in the face of adversity. Tell yourself there is a way, and in that way, guess what!—you turn seemingly social confusion to comfort, crime to creativity, adversity to prosperity, and hopelessness to victory.

Education has a role to reduce crime in this country. We owe it to everyone to be on the alert. This country has many opportunities and avenues, you only have to act like a good general who sees the way to victory by turning the seemingly impossible into something possible. Call to mind, with God everything, l mean EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE! God works with and through you. Don`t sit in your rooms with dangerous complacence and expect that miracles will come down through the roof from heaven and provide you with answers to your situation. God helps those who help themselves. People, our society needs resourceful thinkers and doers.

For me, tertiary education should equip you with skills that are critical determinants of our country`s economic growth and standard of living. What a beautiful and refined society we would have if learning outcomes were transformed into valuable goods and services, greater institutional capacity, a more effective public sector, a stronger civil society, and a better investment climate.

Motivation

Discipline and motivation are two sides of the same sword. A motivated student is not a discipline problem, and discipline problems are caused by a lack of motivation. A student who is INTRINSICALLY motivated undertakes an activity "for its own sake, for the enjoyment it provides, the learning it permits, or the feelings of accomplishment it evokes" (Mark Lepper 1988). I therefore take this time to thank all the stakeholders in education, with the hope that you will receive these glowing remarks with humility rather than vanity. Author J.M. Barrie says, “The praise that comes from love does not make us vain, but humble.” I love to motivate our future leaders.

Passionate Interests

Within each of us is a passion, some item of interest that holds our fascination. When this desire is validated, whether it is singing or speaking in public like my calling, we eagerly spend time and money to learn whatever skills may be necessary. Every young person has one interest that dominates all others, follow it, live your dream! And the community, nation will not forget you. This country needs economic heroes and heroines, moral leaders, crime-busters, job-creators. Play your part with passion. Be a master of your plans, learn, lead and even create opportunities for others!

Thank you Teachers

You have been viewed as central to both the problems of education and their solutions. The role that you play in building and educating the nation is crucial. Yours has always been a mammoth task. We all agree that to do great things is difficult, but to command great things is more difficult because people unlike electrons, will not behave the same way under the same conditions. That is a fact of life! Teachers you are great. You are faced with a challenge of dealing with different students, each with different abilities, different rates of learning, individual strengths and weaknesses, yet despite this, you balance the equation! This is because teaching is a calling and a profession! Hallelujah! Have a wonderful day!

NDABA SIBANDA is a passionate Zimbabwean-born writer who has contributed to several international publications. A former National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) nominee, Ndaba’s poems, essays and short stories have been published across the globe. His latest anthology, The Dead Must Be Sobbing was published in March 2013. Ndaba’s forthcoming novel is titled Timebomb.