Valedictory Address

Immaculate Wambugu, Diploma in Oncology Nursing, Class of 2017

​Chief Guest Professor Mwenda Ntarangwi
Members of the Board of Trustees
President Firoz Rasul
Honoured Guests
Members of the Faculty
Graduates
Our sponsors and employers
Our dear family members and guardians
Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning

On behalf of the graduating classes of 2017, I am honoured to address this great occasion, where we celebrate the graduation of Doctors, Bachelor of Science nurses, specialized oncology nurses and educationists. Guest of honour, these 80 graduates are so well prepared and are ready to make a difference, radiate their excellence and compassion to the world and register many successes in their careers. For one cannot go through Aga Khan University, an institution of distinction, and fail to be associated with its values of quality, relevance, impact and access.

I am deeply honoured to be the valedictorian in this graduation ceremony, a proud product of the pioneer higher diploma in oncology nursing class of the Aga Khan University. To all of us graduating today Hongera for coming this far! We have indeed travelled a journey of sacrifice, endless fears of failure, sleepless nights, tears, strict deadlines and highest expectations. The award we receive today indeed reflects the success, achievement, teamwork and resilience that we have shown throughout our stay at the Aga Khan University. We are grateful that we chose this university and we were offered a chance that many only continue to dream of. We are appreciative of His Highness the Aga Khan, the University Chancellor because we continue to enjoy the fruits of His Vision. We could not have been in a better University.

Our gratitude goes to many people seated here and others who were not able to be with us today. People we have learnt from, who have taken us through the challenging period of training, have supported us in numerous ways and corrected us in the most caring way. To our faculty we say thank you. You have particularly taught us how to think, think and think again. You constantly reminded us to contextualize our thoughts. You have celebrated many achievements with us.

Today you are still here with us celebrating our big achievement. In us, you have not only disseminated knowledge in the most innovative ways, but have also given us many life skills. Skills on how to manage time, lifelong learning, team work, responsibility, compassion and never compromising standards of care.

We cannot forget people who facilitated our journeying through the training for the period that seemed the longest ever. To our sponsors, employers, families, spouses, children and friends, we are grateful today. We recognize Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care association and the Oncology Nursing society who donated books to the oncology programme. The Johnsons and Johnsons who offered scholarship to the Bachelor of Science in nursing program. You all made our continued stay at the Aga Khan University bearable and we had the spirit to continue to the end. 

Thank you to the non-teaching staff who supported us in immense ways, most notably the library staff, administrative team, ICT team and Registrar’s office. The ICT staff made sure that we knew how to use the Moodle platform and had to start from the basics of the parts of a computer. The library team had to make sure we knew how to navigate the library which is so well equipped that we lacked no resource. The registrar’s office that constantly reminded us that work with no play makes Jack a dull boy, in this case a non performing student. Thanks to the Registrar’s office that several of us now know how to swim, are healthier and have in their closets certificates and medals for having won in the sporting and karaoke competitions.

Guest of honour​​, allow me to give a brief account of our experiences at the Aga Khan University.

We all joined this university with enthusiasm to improve ourselves, determined to change our practice. The moment we begun the orientation period we realized that the kind of effort we had to put in our studies was enormous. Throughout the various courses it came to our realization the skills we had to learn. Long study hours became the norm, adjusting social life was not an option and team work was an important skill one had to acquire. The learning “how to think” and asking “why” is so engrained in my mind to date such that it took several attempts just to complete writing this speech. Each one of us graduating here today holds dear special memories of skills learnt. For example, the oncology cohort can attest that now they not only know how to care for cancer patients but can write a newspaper article, a play script and even become play actors and directors.

To all the graduates, I congratulate you all. I know that each of us has learnt a great deal in our various disciplines and Aga Khan University has engraved in us great values. This university has prepared us not only to face the future but also given us the instruments to shape our future and the future of our people. Let us therefore strive to be the light for all those that look up on us and make meaningful contributions to society. For this is the Mission of the Aga Khan University.​

Thank you and may God bless you all