Trustee Yusuf Keshavji
Our Chief Guest Professor Collette Akoth Suda, Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education, Ministry of Education, Republic of Kenya
President Firoz Rasul
AKU faculty, staff and alumni present
Esteemed family members and friends
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am humbled, and honoured, to have been asked to speak on behalf of my cohort today because seated here are people I look up to, have walked with, learned from, come to care for and who I deeply respect: it is difficult not to feel unworthy. We thank God, the author and finisher of our faith, for His grace and favour over our lives. My husband and daughter; my father, mother and aunt who are in attendance, our parents, spouses, children, family and friends scattered across the globe: thank you for sharing the weight of our struggles and celebrating our victories!
These positions for training from which we graduate were distributed on merit. We all worked extremely hard to get here. And still I am certain I speak for everyone in saying that we all feel blessed to have had the opportunity that tens of others craved.
Aga Khan University sports so many successes and her sterling reputation precedes her! The PGME run Masters of Medicine programmes have produced a further 23 specialists (22 from this campus and 1 from Dar es Salaam campus) who will go on to soar in their respective fields. The School of Nursing and Midwifery through it's rigorous work-study programme has equipped 31 more nurses with degrees to give them the professional standing to help turn around Kenya's healthcare conduit. The Institute for Educational Development has churned out 58 more educators, 30 and 21 of whom have already attended the Dar es Salaam and Kampala campus ceremonies respectively and 5 of whom are present here today. They will empower our populace in the field of education.
I came to the Aga Khan University Hospital determined to engrave myself in her legacy: I was going to change the world through best practice! Instead I noticed many things about me changing. My colleagues withered away. Losing weight by the day. I lost my neck and waist. In countless instances I was far from the altruistic physician. I became a perpetual recipient of other's kindness, wisdom in conflict resolution, long-suffering in instruction and favour in hands-on training. Our seniors, peers, support units and the patients we served kept us from losing our humanity in our race for academic and professional perfection. I dare say we all changed. It is hard to join a movement set in such honourable values and not be changed.
On behalf of this graduating class I thank His Highness The Aga Khan. We are proud beneficiaries of His vision and fortitude. And we thank our faculty; indeed we have acquired knowledge and skills from the cream of our continent. We have faced challenges that have moulded and grown us, secured fast friends and forged lifelong professional relationships. We have learnt to serve the wealthy, the wanting and everyone in between with the best of ourselves. We have interacted with others in our fields and remembered that we are indeed world-class from our training, and able to not only fit in but lead in any environment! We are eternally grateful for the opportunity to pursue our passion while practising our trade among people we have come to consider our family.
My prayer is that we stock up on the heart to use our skills and talents to serve. The wisdom to get results efficiently. The drive to rock the status quo when it needs it. That in the backdrop of a most tumultuous healthcare profile and the now settling education sector, we may stand as beacons of hope in our workstations, demonstrating a spirit of unwavering advocacy, the resolve to defend what is right, the courage to stand alone if needed. That we remain warriors for our causes as we push the Kenyan patient's and student’s experience to the next level! That the highest of standards becomes our bare minimum. Today does not merely mark the culmination of intensive training. As AKU alumni we start a journey of ambassadorship. May we consistently sow into the AKU family and may this spirit that we bear carry excellence on her wings and touch lives beyond our shores!
May God bless you all!
And congratulations to the graduating class of 2016!