Valedictory Address

Kemigisha Misk, BScN Class of 2016​

Trustee Yusuf  Keshavjee, Chief Guest Dr Benedict Mtasiwa, Mr Firoz Rasul, Honoured Guests, Members of the Faculty, employers, parents, spouses, fellow graduates Ladies and Gentlemen: Good morning!
My name is Kemigisha Misk. I am greatly humbled to stand before you, representing all my fellow graduates, to delivers this valedictory speech.

On behalf of my fellow graduates I welcome you to this historical function. Your presence has made this day color full. 

With me are a group of nurses and teachers who have successfully completed courses leading to award of Master’s degree for teachers and bachelor’s degree & diploma for Nurses. We are all serving in various institutions within the country.

Dear Guest of Honor, allow me briefly share our learning experience and pass a vote of thanks.

When an idea of going for further education came into our minds, many of us were terrified due to various responsibilities that were a head of us. Advice was sought from several people. The prayers were intensified with the hope that heavenly powers would illuminate the journey we were about to start. Bravo to my fellow colleagues. We took the bull by its horns and overcame all the fears and here we are today. However, many of our colleagues are up to now still bargaining whether to start now or wait.

As a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, we slowly but surely caught up with the speed. The first day of our interaction with Aga Khan University was during interviews. Hundreds of nurses and midwives were interviewed but a few of us were selected.  In July 2013 we embarked on this academic journey, getting baptized with the title “2013 batch”. We have been at this honorable university for 4-6 semesters.

At first we were tensed up by the numerous tasks we had to perform at school, home and work places. However, we found a treasure at this University. Every office you entered, you would find a smiling face ready to help you. If you did not look for them for help, they would search for you to find out how you were progressing. Faculty and support staff  were our best friends.

At AKU, the student experience is defined by quality. Learning was delivered by a team of well qualified and committed faculty. The facilities were excellent.  While at AKU you would just swim in information and failing was not an option. For example we were able to enroll on Moodle which introduced us to online learning. We got opportunity to share our knowledge and experiences with students from Toronto, Karachi, Dar es Salaam and many other learning centers. Some of these we would never have interacted with in our lives.

We were required to engage in portfolios, academic write-ups, researches, quizzes, video conferences, workshops, newsletters, making podcasts, helping mothers give life, community outreaches, the list is endless. All this demanded the meticulous standard of Aga Khan University. All this made us be in over drive mode.

We have acquired new scientific knowledge and skills in areas of health care provision, education, leadership & management, research and many other fields. We are ready to give back and give our best. 

As success is a journey not a destination, there is a group of people who have journeyed with us throughout. 

Dear parents and guardians, had it not been your efforts in nurturing us, we wouldn’t be what we are today. Our career is being built on a solid foundation that you laid for us. You sacrificed your hard earned coins so that we may lead a better life. You are our heroes. May the Lord reward you abundantly!

In a very special way, we appreciate our families, siblings, spouses, our young children, who willingly, patiently and silently endured our absence. Sometimes we were physically present but mentally absent, deeply engrossed in assignments. Oftentimes, because of the intensity of this study programme your simple innocent requests were met with irrational responses, but you still offered your total support. And because your contribution, we dedicate our diplomas and degrees to you.

I will be biased if I do not acknowledge our sponsors, Rotary Foundation, Johnson and Johnson, Belgium Technical Cooperation, some of our employers and all people of good will whose generosity has enabled us to complete our programs successfully and without financial stress. From your sweats we are enjoying the fruits. You have made us proud and taught us the spirit of giving. We pledge to emulate your example and do the same to others.

Special heart felt appreciation goes to the faculty and staff of AKU under the competent leadership of the Academic Head, Mr. Mwizerwa Joseph. The first time we landed at this University, you received us with open hands. Through your hands, we have been nurtured. Like a porter, you have molded us. Your support kept us going even when the going got tougher. We called you in wee hours of the night trying to inquire how to get to the wiki and discussion forum and none of you rejected our phone calls. You understood our weakness and made efforts to lift us. You left no stone unturned. We have shared a lot with you during our stay at this university. We believe our bond is going to grow stronger even though we are away since absence makes the heart grow fonder (Richard, 2006). You will forever be remembered in our lives. 

We thank all the institutions, hospitals and communities that kept their gates open for our clinical / practical placements. We are grateful to the administrators, the clinical preceptors, mentors and the clients/ patients who willingly allowed us to work on them despite our being students. 

We are eternally indebted to the administration of AKU for the quality services and financial assistance provided to us without which we would not have been able to achieve our dreams.  You have been patient with us in terms of tuition payments. We have seen in the media when often some students are unable to complete their studies mainly because of financial issues. However, at AKU None of our students were discontinued as a result of tuition. We are grateful for your parental consideration. 

We are grateful for your unfailing efforts to start Post RN BSc degree in Midwifery Program which has opened doors for the Midwives of this country who have for quite long searched for opportunities for furthering their studies. We are eagerly looking forward to that day when Aga Khan University Uganda will start a Masters’ programme for Nurses and Midwives. We are sure that with you, that the dawning for this programme is nearer than we have ever imagined.

To my fellow graduates, a lot of love and support has been shown to us by the Aga Khan family. We have been empowered in various fields. From the famous inspiration of J.F Kennedy and the bible, "For of those to whom much is given, much is required". Fellow graduates, society has a lot of expectations from us now that we are more enlightened. We must deliver quality services to our clients and lead by example. 

We must aim higher. Let the sky be the limit.

For God and my country​