Valedictory Speech By Maltima Alhassan, Best Graduating Student [UDS 2019]


Your excellency, Nana Addo-Danquah Akuffo Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, Distinguished Invited Guests, the University Management, Staff, Parents, Students, the media, ladies and gentlemen and most of all, the class of 2019; undoubtedly, there’s power in finishing! This is the day that God has chosen and we are the chosen ones; Alhamdulillah – and CONGRATULATIONS! I’m overjoyed and honored to have had the singular privilege to address this 20th congregation on behalf of my beloved class; as valedictorian for the 2019 exercises.

Ladies and gentlemen; since it’s been said of old that a thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all virtues, I’ll like to begin with the thank “yous” . In this light, ladies and gentlemen, kindly join me with a roof-ripping round of applause as we register our gratitude for the sacrifices of our parents, guardians, and relatives, which made our being part of this 20th congregation possible. If we were in a physiology class, I would’ve said that you’re the SA nodes that beat the hearts of our careers and dreams into rhythm.
To the university management and staff, thank you for never relenting on your efforts towards making us think critically like developers even on days we did not want to drop our attitude of asking google about everything.
To life-long friendships that have been made; thank you for teaching us the need to be the ease in another’s difficulty. Special mention must herein be made of the nursing class of this batch. You all are amazing people and your calling of me prof., gave me so much pressure to be more. I am grateful.

Ladies and gentlemen, at this moment, it dawns on me that we should remember those who have already joined the silent majority. May they rest in perfect peace. I wish Fatiah was here today likewise will Rashid wish daddy Ahmed was here. I know many of us have similar wishes. To you all, I say: I am confident that they are looking down on us; proud that we made it for us and for them.

Class of 2019, let’s now travel down the memory to 17th October, 2015, the day many of us here were inducted into the UDS community. It’s been 4years but seems like just yesterday; when we took our very first pictures in the academic gown and flooded them on social media to announce to the world that we had arrived. A lot has gone down between then and now. Was it when our TTFPP communities thought that we were dusted with money because we dressed well spoke English? Or even our thousand and one replays of the movie: the three idiots?

Indeed, there are countless number of situations we can remember and laugh about. The curricular and extracurriculars were all great. But what left an indelible mark on my heart, a mark to be remembered forever, was not the GPAs, not the hardships nor the fun nor even my surprising loss of the NSA elections; but it was those special and invaluable moments of human interactions and relationships. It did not matter who it was that I interacted with. Even though, we were all different, there were lessons in all.

Picture of Maltima Alhassan

Mr. Alhassan Abdul Mumin Maltima, best graduating student with a GPA of 4.87 [BSc Nursing]

The reality was and has always been that: we are all human made up of over 60% H2O. In other words, our commonalities far outweigh our differences. To those of us who traded those special moments away: better late than never – start a conversation. I’ll always remember that the H2O needed for a thirsty world of diversity lies in the 2Hs of ‘honest hearts’ and the O of ‘open-minds’. Ladies and gentlemen, the need to be able to deal with diversity has become increasingly important in our world of xenophobia, and racism. What it takes is an honest heart to love for others what you love for yourself, and an open-mind to deal with divergent views.

Class of 2019, in the midst of the memories, lessons learnt and today’s excitements of having attained our degrees and diplomas, let me remind myself and you that this world is a place of continual becoming. Outside these doors lie a new set of challenges in wait for us. To tackle the real world of challenges as we walk out through these doors, we should first of all not allow our past or CGPAs consume us – big or small. Those challenges don’t care about your name, where you’re from or your CGPA. What we make of ourselves outside here, will ultimately determine who we would become and what impact we would make on the world. M. A. Nandu once said, “success is an endless journey during which one must marry hard work, dedication, sacrifice, prayers and above all, positive mindset; for what limits or uplifts man is his mindset”.

Let us be the generation of change makers and dream chasers. Let us also be the generation (and with your indulgence, your excellency) of citizens, not spectators who among other things, would uproot corruption from our society.

All protocol duly observed, ladies and gentlemen; a time will come when most of the memories of these four years and today will blur off; forget not even then that, we owe a duty not just to ourselves but to God and humanity at large and that it takes just the 2Hs of ‘honest hearts’ and the O of open-minds, to get H2O for a thirsty world of diversity.

Finally, class of 2019, our motherland and the world have been waiting for us. Our message to them is that: THE WAIT IS OVER; ‘COS WE HAVE ARRIVED. UDS has adequately equipped us with the needed kind of knowledge, skills and experiences which I believe that no other university on the planet can provide. What’s left is to go out there and use the training to change the world no matter in what scale. Dr Martin Luther King Jr advised that if you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run walk and if can’t walk, crawl – but by all means, keep moving. Thank you!

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