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AFDA Johannesburg undergraduate valedictory speech – Melissa Ulrike Ommeh

March 15, 2017 1:51 pm

I echo the words of the late Steve Jobs when I say that ‘I believe life is an intelligent thing; that things aren’t random’. My fellow graduates of 2016, I will forever be grateful for the intelligence of life guiding our paths to meet at AFDA; a melting pot of innovation and creativity.

One rainy morning in 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya with my traditional instrument; Litungu in my hand, I kissed my daughter Amani goodbye and set out on a journey; to pursue my education in live performance, miles away in South Africa. “It is truly freedom to cry when the rain falls” I thought to myself as I left my loved ones behind. The feeling of sadness was however short lived for I found a family in the AFDA community.

Dumelang, Sanibonani,Ahh,Avuxheni, Habari zenu,Good afternoon,

I quote a Ghanaian proverb; ‘If a string of beads breaks in the presence of elders the beads are not lost’. On behalf of my fellow graduates, I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to AFDA’s administration, lecturers and staff. You have been a great pillar of support throughout our journey at AFDA. When our string of beads broke during moments of intense pressure; in your presence they were truly not lost.

Thank you to the head of the live performance school Sir David Dennis for your guidance and motivation. Thank you to Sir Coenraad Rall for adding a slice of soul, inspiration and passion to the music course. Thank you to Ma’am Heidi Edeling for your pearls of wisdom; empowering us to take our power back by embracing self agency. I would also like to thank the production course team for empowering us to research and engage in written and spoken academic discourse. On that note I would like to congratulate my fellow graduates; we did it guys, after lots of coffee, energy drinks and sleepless nights, we managed to hand in all our group documents from first year!

‘Kumpa rafiki sio kupoteza, ila ni kuweka akiba’ is a Kiswahili proverb which means; to give your friend isn’t to cast away, it is to store for the future. My fellow graduates throughout our years at AFDA we have formed valuable connections amongst ourselves and have invested in each other thus expanding our intellect and strengthening our confidence in our various fields of study. As we delve into our diverse industries as creative entrepreneurs, employable visionaries or as we pursue further education, let us continue to nature our bond as AFDA’s 2016 alumni. I echo the words of the late Steve Jobs when I say ‘Great things in business are never done by one person; they are done by a team of people’.

Most importantly; Asante sana Mwenyezi Mungu Baba. Thank you Lord God Almighty.


Congratulations graduates of 2016, arise and conquer this is our time and thank you very much.

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