FACE-TO-FACE WITH CHANGE AGAIN by Rex Chidera

Greetings everyone, I am Obiwuru Chidera Rex, a Politics and International Relations student, Esep Le Berger University. I feel highly elated and honored to be accorded the opportunity by the management to present this speech on this august occasion that could be seen as the windup of our undergraduate studies in this land.

Before diving into the speech properly, I would love to sincerely congratulate every graduating student under this roof [myself inclusive], for we are the prime reason for this particular event; without every one of us here today, I don’t think this event would be a reality.

However, we are face-to-face with change again. Change is one thing that characterizes man’s life; the end of change is the cessation of life. In other words, as change stops, life ceases. Some years back for example, we all left secondary school for university, Esep Le Berger University precisely, and that was a change; our graduation today is also a pedestal to our change of level in life, a new phase of life entirely.

But even as we change level this day, it is pivotal for every one of us to uphold the principles of hardwork, persistence, knowledge, respect and self-discipline that the erudite lecturers of this great institution of learning have armed us with some years and months ago. Remember, real riches aren’t the ones we see people throw around, but the ones we possess within. Thus, it is paramount for us to develop and build on the knowledge, skills and virtues we acquired here as they will definitely mould us into men and women of dignity and excellence we work towards becoming.

Like I just said, it is a necessity for us to put all that we have acquired at Esep to full use because fire can never in any way be considered or called FIRE until it produces heat; water will also be useless until it quenches thirst.

Be that as it may, we have directly and indirectly made memories with each other over the years. We have also established friendships and relationships with one another, with our amazing lecturers too. I want to tell you all categorically that the relationships we’ve made, our stay in this land these past three years, and our graduation today will forever remain indelible in the annals of Esep le Berger University and on the tablets of our hearts. No doubt, we will someday look back and feel nostalgic, because our pockets are now full of memories.

For the students coming behind us, the only ladder to this present position of ours today is hardwork, nothing but hardwork. Be always prepared in order to be unassailable academically; be prepared at all times, I repeat, for it is only a fisherman who has his hook or net in the river that hopes for a fish. Don’t in any way opt frivolity over tangibility; never leave the core, the main for the minor. Know that success is the prize or reward of diligence. Maintain focus, know why you are in this foreign land and at Esep; keep yourselves busy with your studies, for Karen Willi once said, “Busy hands are happy hands”. An Africa adage, in support, reads, “By trying often, the monkey learns to jump from tree to tree without falling”.

 For our honorable lecturers, I thank you on behalf of myself and my colleagues for the knowledge impacted in us. Personally, I’m highly indebted to all of you in generally and to Dr. Charles Ijisakin – the registrar, Dr. Abayomi-Alli Mayowa – my awesome HOD, Dr. Fakanbi Ernest, Mr. Olajide Dada and every other Politics and International Relations lecturer in particular, for your candid help in making me the cynosure of all eyes. I urge you all to continue with your good work of breeding sound and positive minds that will someday engender the desired, positive transformation that our society yearns for.

On a final note, I thank everyone, our wonderful parents inclusive, for listening to this speech, and I request God Almighty to bless you all and make the future of every graduating student present in this ceremony brighter than we anticipate or envisage.

Obiwuru Chidera Rex

Department of Politics and International Relations

Esep Le Berger University

Cotonou, Republic of Benin

October 05, 2019.