The Chancellor, Dr Abbas Gullet. Chairman, Board of Trustees Prof.Abdullah Naji Said. Chairman of the Council, Dr. Abdul Rahman Saleh. Vice Chancellor, Dr. Halima Saado Abdillahi. Hon. Justice Mohamed Ibrahim Judge of the Supreme Court Your Excellency Hon. Martin Moshisho Martine, Deputy Governor Kajiado County Invited Guests, Representative of Direct AID Distinguished Graduands, Parents and Guidance
Ladies and Gentlemen Good Morning!

Asalaam Aleikuum, brothers and sisters!

Thank you very much Chancellor, the Board of Trustees and of the Council and your infatigable Vice Chancellor for the kind invitation to attend the 6th Graduation Ceremony at Umma University.

Today is special, any 6th anniversary celebration is special. You have passed the critical five-year period and looking forward to the next many years. These 6 years have truly been a journey of sheer grit, commitment, determination, passion and excellence. I am personally very proud and at the same time awed by the Umma story and experience. Umma was established on the basis that education is a divine command for both men and women – that both are obligated to increase their knowledge and pursue it. In Islamic regions, Institutions of higher learning began appearing in the 11th and 12th centuries. These institutions offered Islamic law, medicine, mathematics and philosophy referred to as ‘the resources of ancients or rational resources.’ Ladies and gentlemen, it is not by accident that the 1st university was established by a Muslim woman, the Tunisian born Fatima al-Fihri in 859 CE in Fez, Morocco, for Islam obligated both genders to pursue learning. Indeed knowledge was commanded by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who urged that knowledge should be sought as far as one could reach and at all times. Laying the foundation for continuous learning.

Dear Graduands, today you begin an incredible journey of show casing to the world the values that you acquired at Umma University; an institution anchored on Values of leadership, integrity, and excellence, these are some of values that has distinguished many of those who established this institution, including the Chancellor Dr. Abbas Gullet. We believe that these values are the foundation for a thriving society, where individuals are equipped with the skills and knowledge to create positive impact in their communities and countries.

As the South African leader, the late Nelson Mandela, once said, “A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the nimblest go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” Go out there and become such Leaders.

Leadership is not just about holding a position of power but about inspiring and guiding others towards a common goal that encompass all that is good, morally correct and improves their welfare. It is about taking responsibility and making difficult decisions, even in the face of adversity. Leaders have a profound impact on the people they lead and the communities they serve, and it is our mission to help empower leaders with the tools they need to make a positive impact and that’s exactly what Umma University does best.

Integrity is a key component of leadership, and it is the foundation upon which trust is built.
The Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, once said, “The world is a better place when we act from the authenticity of who we are.” How profoundly insightful. Remain true and authentic to your identity and purpose.

In fact, when leaders act with integrity, they build trust not only with their followers but also with the public they serve. Today as we all know trust is in short supply globally, it is therefore, more important than ever to cultivate integrity and build trust in our leaders and communities.

Excellence plays a vital role in shaping our society, and it is the responsibility of every one of you to act with a strong moral compass keeping in mind you are not serving an individual but building your capacity and society. One of my Favorite quotes from Martin Luther King Jr is “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” As you graduate today, please focus on being Men and Women of Excellence.

Distinguished graduands,

Leaders must always act in accordance with their values and principles and choose to make decisions that align with the greater good. When leaders act with ethics and integrity, they set an example for others to follow, and inspire a culture of respect and trust. They became in their own right role models.

In whatever you do, please don’t forget to be Ambassadors of the philosophy of Umma University which is based on Islamic principles, tenets and values with emphasis on wholesome total development of the individual, their talent, moral rectitude, hard work and competitiveness to encourage excellence in all spheres of life, while promoting peace, progress and unity of purpose among people of different faiths, races, ethnicities and gender.

I would like to congratulate the management, parents, teaching and non-teaching staff and everyone who has supported Umma university and its mission.

I encourage you to embrace this opportunity and make the most of it. The late Wangari Maathai, once said, “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

I believe that by working together, we can make a positive impact in our communities and create a better world for everyone. Let us take our responsibility seriously to make our own individual and collective contributions. In the last four years, the world of work has witnessed significant transformations that have reshaped the way people work and interact. One of the most noticeable changes has been the widespread adoption of remote work. With technological advancements and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have embraced flexible work models, allowing employees to work from hom

As you leave behind your amazing campus the world as we knew, it is changing. The last four years have witnessed a transformation in the world of work, driven by technological advancements, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and changing social dynamics. Remote work becoming mainstream, automation and AI shaping job roles, and a growing focus on diversity and inclusion are some of the most dramatic changes that have occurred during this period. These changes have not only altered the way work is done but have also provided both opportunities and challenges for individuals and organizations to adapt and thrive in the evolving world of work.

Let me congratulate you again and offer the following for your consideration and as a takeaway:

  1. Embrace change: Graduation marks the beginning of a new exciting phase full of opportunities and a few challenges. A chance for personal fulfillment, growth, and learning.
  2. Your next chapter is truly about your passion: Pursue a path that you are passionate about. Passion motivates and excites one to be the best that they can be.
  3. Learning never ends. Remember to seek knowledge everywhere and all the time. Graduation is a comma not a full stop. Seek opportunities for continuous learning, whether it’s through formal education, self-study, or experiential learning. Stay curious and never stop expanding your knowledge.
  4. Your network matters make it strong and interesting: The connections you made in your college years and after are and will be invaluable. Cultivate them and make them meaningful. They will provide support, guidance, and potential opportunities when you need them
  5. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks and step outside of your comfort zone. Trying new things and pushing your boundaries will lead to personal and professional growth.
  6. Prioritize work-life balance: While striving for success, make sure to prioritize your well-being and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Take care of your physical and mental health, spend time with loved ones, and pursue hobbies and activities that bring you joy.
  7. Be adaptable: The world is constantly evolving, and so should you. Be adaptable to changing circumstances, technology, and trends. Embrace innovation and be open to new ideas.
  8. Failures are opportunities: Don’t be discouraged by failures or setbacks. Instead, see them as learning experiences that can lead to future success. Stay focused, resilient, learn from your mistakes and they will be many and keep pushing forward. There is a reason we say “experience is the best teacher”
  9. Make a positive impact: Use your skills and knowledge to make a positive difference in the world. Contribute to your community, support causes you care about, and strive to leave a lasting impact wherever you go.
  10. Finally, please remember to enjoy the journey. Embrace the ups and downs, cherish the relationships you build, and celebrate your achievements along the way. Life is a series of moments, so make the most of each one.

Well done, your hard work has paid off and good luck on your future endeavors!

Thank you for your presence and attention and may the Almighty bless this institution of higher learning built on enduring values of admirable leadership, integrity, and excellence.

Asanteni sana.

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