The Consul General of South Africa in Lagos, Prof. Bobby Moroe, has said Nigeria and South Africa have good stories to tell.
He charged citizens of both countries, especially higher institution students to “be a generation of knowledge advocates and vanguards who protect and cherish the African story and sustain its legacy.”
Moroe spoke in Lagos during the Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony in honour of graduands of Masters of Public and International Affairs (MPIA) of the University of Lagos.
He appealed to the graduands to make use of their education and knowledge acquired to “tell your own stories the best you can.”
“If you allow others to tell your stories, essentially, you will be allowing them to distort your narrative… South African stories must be preserved. Nigerian stories must be preserved. Together we can tell our own tales, for South Africa and Nigeria have a good story to tell.”
He further challenged the students to deploy their knowledge to provide solutions to the present day challenges of the African continent.
“If your qualifications are not going to change the quality of lives and provide solutions to our present day challenges, we will need to repair your soul (without asking for a refund from the Vice-Chancellor because it is all in your hands).
“Now, clearly it is in your hands to choose the path that best suits your passion. But one thing for sure, let the knowledge you have acquired be of benefit to society especially for posterity.”
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Folashade Ogunsola, said the university system in Nigeria is facing a serious financial crisis and urged the past graduands to do everything within their power to support the universities.
Represented by the Dean of Faculty of Social Science (FSS), Prof. Laja Odukoya, the VC said the MPIA is a flagship programme of the university domiciled in FSS which had produced graduands who are assets to the African continent in terms of the quality of knowledge acquired.
“In UNILAG, we don’t just dash degrees, you must do your work diligently. I want to appreciate what you (students) have been able to do. Seeing your organisation, it shows you have a purpose. You are the hope of the university, you are leaders and keep up being leaders,” the VC said.
Also in attendance was the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, Ms. Yan Yuqing, who stressed the readiness of China to strengthen her relationship with Nigeria on all fronts.