10 November 2012

Uganda: Overjoyed Scribe Faints Twice At Own Graduation

Rubaga — A Bachelor of Mass Communication graduand from St. Lawrence University collapsed twice at a graduation ceremony due to excitement.

Meble Nassejje, a freelance writer with Bukedde newspaper, a Vision Group product, cheered along with other graduands soon after their names were conferred by the university Chancellor, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya.

But when she stepped forward with glee, she collapsed, prompting her mother - Jane Ssebandi - who was approaching with other relatives to join her, to rush to her rescue.

They lifted her off the ground as she cried and screamed, then led her away from the arena. She immediately collapsed shortly afterwards when she was left to walk on her own.

"I cannot believe it! This is a miracle! I didn't know I would reach this day," she screamed as her mother and other relatives wiped tears from her face and readjusted her gown and hood.

Blame her excitement on what she had to go through to reach that milestone in her education.

The 27-year-old later spoke of how she "suffered to attain her education", many times walking on foot from her workplace in Lugogo Industrial Area to school, and going without lunch every day.

"Many things have happened to me and I can't stand the memories," she sobbed.

Nassejje stays in Kayunga district, about 25km from the city center but said she would many times wait for the cheap lorry trucks to take her home at midnight.

She graduated with some 472 students who received degrees, diplomas and certificates at the 3rd graduation ceremony. Some 225 of these were from neighboring countries - Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Somalia.

A group of vendors from Busega Market also received certificates in business and entrepreneurship skills after undergoing a sponsored training.

Waiwai Balash Lino, a South Sudanese Information Technology student received an award of sh1m for emerging the best student with a CGPA of 4.81. Ugandan Evelyn Ajok (4.65 CGPA) followed him and also received a similar cash prize.

Former vice president Prof. Bukenya appealed to the university management to address the issue of collaborative research with other university researchers in Uganda. And that with that, issues that affect social and economic implications can be readily addressed.

He appealed to the graduates to continue pursuing their education to be able to compete favorably in the job market.

The chairman board of trustees and founder, Prof. Lawrence Mukiibi said championing of the entrepreneurship skills program had paid dividends to many students.

He explained that many had been able to initiate projects and business enterprises even before leaving the university, which had enabled them to create their own employment.

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