The best graduating student of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, Mr Chiesolo Peter Azolibe, has given hints on how to achieve success in whatever one does in life.
In a valedictory speech he delivered on behalf of the 2017 and 2018 graduands on the occasion of the 9th Convocation ceremony of the university last Saturday, Chiesolo, who made first class in Geology, said the success they celebrated last Saturday was conditioned by the amount of risk they were willing to take, and also by the values they placed on friendship and the cultural exchanges they shared.
He added, “We should remember the love, the good time and the beautiful personalities we met here. At the end of day, it is this love for us, our friends, our university and humanity that will make the difference in our lives. Let us be good Ambassadors of our great alma mater anywhere we find ourselves. We must continue to nurture a love for our world today, with all its challenges. Journey into the world is neither an easy one nor the same for everyone, but it is up to each one of us to make our dreams work; it is up to each one of us to push and push harder.
“To my younger ones, no feat is unachievable. If you think and believe you can, you can. It takes grace and hard work to attain any feat. Also note, we are lucky to be alive, but it is our responsibility to make the world know. Believe in your dreams and ideas. Always find yourself. Understand the principles of your aim and work smartly. Never allow people’s negative opinion about your potentials, capabilities and dreams discourage you. Your dreams are feasible. Go for it. Make the world believe you can. We the graduands were once like you, with dreams to graduate one day probably as one of the best.
“I personally always read awesome portrayal of some best graduating students. Amazingly they had similar character in common which are, setting their goals and working tirelessly to achieve it. Being here today is more of an attainment than luck. I always dreamt of being here. I worked to actualize my dream and by God’s grace, today I am here. Anyone of you can do it. All you need is determination, hard work and perseverance. And remember, never give up.”
Chiesolo said in preparing his speech, many thoughts raced through his mind. He then asked, “what is the significance of my status in delivering the speech? Did mother luck smile at me? Is there any particular thing that I did differently? Will this early progress propel me to greater height or will it be the first and last of my being honored? Where am I supposed to be, maybe in the next five years given this uncommon feat today? How will my family, community, generations yet unborn judge me?”
According to him, while pondering on these questions in his mind, he had a flash back to his upbringing and family background, which impacted positively on him. “The summary of the whole story is being taught early that life was designed to be lived intentionally and on purpose. This first learning prepared me in line with my vision and purpose in life and I began to see potentials in me,” he said.
Chiesolo recalled that four, five, six years ago, each one of the graduands made the firm decision to pursue a degree course of various disciplines in their beloved university. In the middle of it, some of them wanted to give up; to pack and go home. Some did. Giving up would have been a painless option, but they glued through it all, thick and thin.
Noting that education is the key to success, Chiesolo added that “a transformative education is a candle that will light our paths when darkness shows its ugly face. It is the key that strengthens hope and this is the education Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University COOU provided in the beautiful cities of Uli, Awka and Igbariam.
“I can remember vividly, my path through this great school. I started lecture on January, 2015 after seeing my name on the supplementary admission list of Geology Department. At Chukwuemeka Odumgwu Ojukwu University, I met great people including lecturers, members of staff, colleagues and individuals who inspired me to greater height.
“Today, I am proud to say that we have grown and we are different from the person we were when we first got here. We have transcended into new humanity that appreciate diversity. I am pleased to say that we are certified graduates.”
Chiesolo gave special appreciation to God, Anambra State Governor, past and present vice chancellors, his parents and family members, companions and well-wishers, lecturers and mentors for the invaluable roles they played in his successes.
He noted, “To my fellow graduands, while celebrating this great victory, let’s remember that graduation is not the end goal in itself. It is instead a part of a larger journey of life. The big question now is “what next”? Some of us are married or about to get married and start a family. Some will further their education while some will go straight into the labor market. I say to you right here, whether you decide to take a walk in the park or go for that M.Sc. or your dream job, always think about yourself in the right way. See yourself as a reflection of the next person sitting next to you on a bus, or that starving kid somewhere. The homeless person that you passed by on your way to work or the youths that continues to endure suffering in the society. These will help nurture your mindset about the society and help make the world a better place.
“Lastly, I will like to recommend myself and my fellow graduands for employment within the university or any organization. The aim is to give back to the society what we have acquired here in school. Also, I am open and available to any scholarship opportunity to further my studies. I will be glad to work harder for the betterment of our society.”