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MEET ELIZABETH EWUDIWA THE 17TH VALEDICTORIAN

11th Dec 2018

I am Elizabeth Maame Esi Ewudiwa, a 21year old indigene of Agona Nsaba, Central Region. For the past four years, I have stood on this platform for different reasons; to lead chapel service intercessory prayers, as a spoken word poet from the Levite Generation, as an MC, as a General Secretary and Project Administrator for the 2017 Central Human Resource Student Association (CHURSA) “Project Feed a Child”. I have served in many departments and explored many places. 

In 2015, I was sponsored by the school with about 14 others on a two-day Business and Technology conference at Labadi beach hotel organized by Agile in Africa. In 2016, I became the General Secretary of the Central Human Resource Students Association. In July 2017, as part of the top 20 Ghanaian students, I represented the school in the New Business Challenge, a competition organized by the Ghana-Netherlands Business and Cultural Council. On this platform I was sponsored to the Netherlands where my team of two Dutch and two Ghanaians worked for a Dutch company “Delft Imaging Systems” on a business case. I got to meet the Ghanaian Ambassador to Netherlands, and here I got to meet the Dutch ambassador too. In the same year, I became the Vice President of the Central Human Resource Students Association and the General Secretary of the Prayer Department. In August of the same year, I won the IBC youth Got Talent contest where I applied as a spoken word poet. I supported the formation of the Ghana Association of Writers, CU chapter which former VC, Prof Kwesi Yankah was passionate about leaving with us. Pastor Prince Sarfo from Chaplaincy guided the process. Though it hasn’t been fully registered with the Dean of Students, the team is on its way with a WhatsApp group of 29 members. I therefore became a member of the GHANA ASSOCIATION OF WRITERS. In 2018 I also joined the academic and editorial committee of the Students’ Representative Council.

As a little child, I had heard so much about planting a tree and keeping a garden. My teacher successfully made it seem the only justifiable act of an earth citizen. So one day I decided to make my own garden. I’ll plant something I love! Guess what I planted?

RICE!

About 3 to 4 grains buried into the soil. I was careful not to make it excessive because I had just learnt about “thinning”, the removal of some plants, or parts of plants, to make room for the growth of others. Meticulously I planted my rice. Every morning eager to go to school, I sprinkled some water and prayed for the sun to shine its beautiful face because I LOVED RICE. I told my mum about my rice and she said ‘You better get that thing off the ground”. Hmm, my first childhood dream shattered. Mum was concerned with the process of harvest and not the product itself. 

I remember one of the Wednesday chapel services which also happened to be a matriculation day, our Chancellor, Pastor Mensah Otabil, he said ‘DON’T SKIP THE PROCESS!”. As an “ungrinded” corn is thrown out of the Kenkey ball, shortcut will always backfire, you will be thrown out when evaluation comes. Today I talk to you about the Process, my process and maybe similar to many, so our process. In the process of 4years I met CHANGE and I found GOD more real.

Sometimes the process is more important than the destination. Today is not going to last more than 24hours. But today is a result of the process of 4years or I should break it down; 1,461days, 35,064hours, 2,103,840minutes and 126,230,400seconds.

If you search for God, integrity, faith and excellence, Central University is the place. I am not the same woman I was when I was welcomed into this land at age 17. Too many things in the process transformed me. If you missed Chapel services, you should start the school from level 200 again because that is about half of your process gone badly. Every week came with its inspiration and strength from people we have with us. Our chaplain, Rev Fiifi Otabi Wilson, Dean of Students, Pastor Fred Brako, Pastor Charles Nsiah, Madam Stella Este of the Academic Directorate, she made my first career counsellor when I cried to the office the week of registration that I wanted to switch from Economics to HRM because HRM. Programmes like After School What Next? Vessels of Virtue Conference, Relationship Month, Spiritual Emphasis week, where we met people like Bishop James Saah, Ben Avle, Majid Michael, Ohemaa Mercy, Mrs Rosemond Anaba, Gifty Ante, all for free because the school brought them to us.

Four months ago, I was in Lagos. I followed my Aunty to one of the main markets –Mile 12. We met Moses. He carried our tubers of yam and packs of chicken as we shopped. In Yoruba, these men are called ALABARU. In Twi, we call them KAYAYEI, head porters. The people who help us become who we are. The people whose filthiness, stress, sacrifices, pains, tears brought us this far. 

Fellow graduates, we have a lot to be thankful for. First, to God Almighty who made all things possible and to this transformational institution we are leaving behind; the lecturers and entire administrative body. In the Central yard we received a holistic education; our body, mind, souls and spirit built to take over the world. This is the only place where you have a pastor as a lecturer, receiving both spiritual and academic knowledge. We were prepared to become entrepreneurs. Last year, companies began when Mr Philip Lartey gave us a continuous assessment to build business plans -Jetway, Oasis, Green Gold. One of the teams in the heat of the moment when the lecturer asked how they intend to raise their capital, the CEO, he said "my wife and I will contribute 20,000 Ghana cedis". This lie was too unrealistic but he took it anyway, 40marks at stake, what can we do?

Mr Noble Osei-Bonsu, Mr Michael Ofori Ntow, my mentors and counsellors. Oh no way I can forget those meetings you had with us in level 100 saying anything is possible if we work at it. Rev Chris, your logic worked. He said once that 4.0 was possible, I laughed then but now I have believed. Professor Kwesi Yankah, his time here was beautiful. Just his presence during chapel services, his messages and testimony inspired humility because I saw a man who had come a LONG WAY and is still going. The PR office, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bill Puplampu, I still remember when you met my class at the Senate Room and dared us to use education to its fullest, we are thankful.

We are thankful also for our family. Those amazing people whose prayers and sacrifices furnished our lives with resources as we travelled the years. Not all are graduates but they found a way to make us graduates. AYEKOO! May your light never faint and your broken backs be healed. To my family, late Mum, Mrs Valentina Efemore Ewudiwa, who died on the 12 of March 2017, my Dad and and brother, Mr Anthony and Mrs Hannah Few, I owe this gown to you. We may be the ones in the gowns but our beloved parents, you are the one in the glory. 

We can also be thankful for each other. The networks we made and the challenges we triumphed together. So I leave you, my dear friends and graduates with this. The 3 most important things in the world are YOU, YOUR PURPOSE and the ENVIRONMENT.

You are the centre piece. Take care of you because your environment and your purpose needs you. Exercise, smile, learn, relearn, unlearn, have faith, pray, all to mean LIVE! Before you die, LIVE. Don’t die because this is not about you. Before you die, LIVE because before death is called death, there must have been LIFE.

Purpose is your relevance on earth. Based on Revelation 12 this is the thing all elements of the heaven, universe and earth were made to help you achieve. I hope we leave no regrets because every step of the process was shaping us to this place of purpose. 

Your environment includes the person sitting next to you, plus me talking to you and the girls walking pregnant on the streets with no roof. The entire universe is yours to impact. God is the heart of the connection of you to your purpose for your environment. He brings all together.

Finally, in words borrowed from one of our lecturers I say, every year comes with different feelings but congratulations guys, you made it and you deserve this special day. A day we should never forget. We made it out of financial problems, stress, broken heart, spiritual problems. We made it irrespective of your class. God has better plans for us. I have no doubt that CU has produced change makers, policy makers, business men and women. The world of work is ours for the take, go on, win the contracts deals and become industry leaders. In you guys I have hope. 

I have decided to become a social entrepreneur, HR specialist, Business Analyst/Strategist, Writer and speaking the word of God through spoken word poetry and public speaking. I will mobilize every knowledge and spiritual development gained here to accurately walk the path of my purpose and I know this is what we have to make us stand-out –our holistic education here. Don’t look too far for the heroes, you are one in yourself. As you leave here, celebrate what you have accomplished, but look forward with an eye toward how you, too, can be the inspiration for others. 

I know you are a graduate if you know how to respond to this, class of 2018, class of 2018, class of 2018 (the world is ours to impact). It’s time to fly!

Congratulations! Once a Centralite, always a Centralite!

 


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