Favour Titus Ansumana Konneh who used to be a palm wine tapper has taken to his Facebook page to extensively narrates his story.
As I reflect on my journey to this point, I cannot help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion. Coming up as a kid, I was not serious with my academic work. This was largely due to the poor economic status of my family, which made it difficult for me to concentrate on my studies. As a result, I failed in class two twice, which was a setback for me at the time. My father, who was concerned about my academic performance, decided to send me to the village with the idea that if I did not take my studies seriously, I would end up as a palm wine tapper.
However, my aunt in the village had a different vision for me. She was determined to see me become an educated boy, despite the challenges we faced. My aunt tried in all she could, and I was enrolled in the village school, Roman Catholic Primary School, Belebu Tunkia, Kenema District. Unfortunately, my aunt could not afford to pay my fees, so she had to request that I enroll in a local scholarship program (Edukids Sierra Leone) in my village.
This scholarship proved to be a lifeline for me, helping me through from primary two to the end of my senior secondary school education.
Entering the university was not easy either. I had to pray to God for help, and to God be the glory, I was helped by God and some members of my family, especially my aunt, Aunty Massay Gbondo, who bought the form for me to enter the university. My university journey was not easy, but I persevered, and with the help of God, I graduated with second class first division honors in Political Science.
Looking back at my journey, I am reminded of the words of Nelson Mandela, who said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” My journey to this point has taught me the power of education, and how it can transform lives and change communities. My experience also taught me the value of hard work, determination, and perseverance. These virtues are essential if we are to achieve success in life.
My journey has also taught me the importance of family and community support. I am deeply grateful to my aunt and the scholarship program, which helped me to get an education. Without their support, I would not be standing here today. My story is a testament to the fact that we all need each other to achieve success in life. We must, therefore, be grateful for the people who have helped us to get to where we are today, and we must be willing to lend a helping hand to others who may be facing similar challenges.
As you celebrate my graduation today, you must remember that this is just the beginning of my journey. I have been equipped with the knowledge, skills, and values that will enable me to make a difference in the world. I must, therefore, go out there and use my education to make a positive impact on my communities and the world at large.
Fellow graduates, as we move on to the next chapter of our lives, let us remember that success is not a destination, but a journey. We must continue to work hard, persevere, and remain focused on our goals. We must also be willing to adapt to changing circumstances and be open to new opportunities.
This statement can not be completed if my father (Bockarie Konneh) and my mother (Edita Gbondo) are not appreciated, I love these two people, they have been through a lot for me, especially my mother I know the strains, all her fofo money was spent on this course and today I have made them proud.
In conclusion, I want to thank God for His grace and mercy in my life. I also want to thank my family and friends, the Edukids Sierra Leone scholarship program, I want to specially thank Dr. Anika Hillers, Aunty Jebbeh Konneh ( Sowe), Aunty Princess B. Konneh, Aunty Massay Gbondo all those who supported me in the little you can I appreciate you all. All those who jave supported me in diverse ways I say thank you.