Unam hosts virtual graduation

Celebrating real accomplishments virtually

28 July 2020 | Education

Ester Kamati

The first cohort of Namibian-trained veterinary doctors, 17 in total, became the first group to graduate virtually from the University of Namibia last Friday.

“I have faith that you will all utilise your education, talents and skills to the betterment of humanity. Be bold, yet humble enough to learn from your engagements with others,” said the university’s chancellor, Nangolo Mbumba. Mbumba added that being the pioneer group of students is not easy and appreciated the group for their contribution.

Hard work and sacrifices

Anna Marais, the associate dean of the school of veterinary medicine, advised the graduates that their hard work and sacrifices can and will not end now as they are required to deliver their unique gifts and talents to the country.

“Today, you are ready to be veterinary doctors and make your contribution. Please remember that every accomplishment is a result of taking action.”

Marais expressed pride in the accomplishments of the first graduates from the young school.

Real people, real accomplishments

“Although this ceremony is virtual, we celebrate real people, and real accomplishments,” said the vice chancellor of the university, Kenneth Matengu, in his welcoming remarks.

He added that the Covid-19 pandemic has, among other things, impacted the job security of many during these times, but encouraged students to remain steadfast in their education, adding that graduates should not feel that this is the worst time to graduate as “education is the best weapon”.

He further urged Namibians to “demonstrate competence, resilient character and a high degree of creativity.”

Create employment

Graduates were encouraged not to focus on finding employment, but rather to become employment creators.

“This is the time to rather think of teaming up with the best classmates you have while you still have their contact details,” he said, encouraging students to partner and establish their own ventures such as an online newspaper for media graduates.

“It will cost you something, but not much, except time.”

Matengu emphasised that being a graduate does not mean keeping skills to oneself, but rather using these to impact the economy and society.

Impacting the world

During the virtual graduation, Unam alumnae who graduated in previous years shared their stories of how they are impacting the world through the work they do in their various fields of expertise.

Mbumba said this year’s graduation is no small occasion, sharing that from a total of 4 452 graduates, 3 012 are women.

Only about 200 graduates are from the science fraternity, which Mbumba said is a cause for concern.

This year, from the main campus, a total of 2 030 students graduated, of which 66% are women.

Rundu campus graduated 460 graduates, of which 56% are women, while 64 graduated at the Ogongo campus, 158 at the southern campus, 12 at Sam Nujoma campus, 363 at Katima Mulilo campus, 305 at Khomasdal campus, 224 at Oshakati campus, 37 at Jose Eduardo Dos Santos campus, 53 at Neudamm campus, 476 at Hifikepunye Pohamba campus and 100 at Hage Geingob campus.