Posted on

UWI graduates get life advice from Shafia London

UWI graduates get life advice from Shafia London


Former Executive Director of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce Shafia London has encouraged recent graduates of The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus to be an integral part of the development of this country.{{more}}

London, now the Managing Director of Villamar, an agro processing company, and The Bridgehouse Hotel (formerly Heron Heritage Hotel) while delivering the feature address, charged the gathering at the graduation ceremony, held at the Methodist Church Hall, Kingstown, to invest in the many possibilities that are available here in St.Vincent and the Grenadines. Thirty-two students graduated at the ceremony.

“People need us. More importantly, St. Vincent and the Grenadines needs us,” said the 25-year-old national scholar.

“It is easy for you to leave here and not give another thought about what happens to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the challenges we face, but I hope you don’t walk away from that challenge. Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition,” said London.

She told the graduates that the certificates, the diplomas and degrees, which they were about to receive, have human value and go beyond material payoff.

The UWI St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago alumna warned graduates that although they ought to be proud of their accomplishments, they should not get lost in the tendency to “over-intellectualize everything” and use abstract arguments. She urged them to pay attention to what is happening in front of and inside of them.

“In my shilling lifespan, I’ve come to accept that a huge percentage of the things that we tend to automatically be certain of is wrong and deluded, such as our limitations and boundaries. I have learned this the hard way and I predict many graduates will do so too,” said London.

“Sometimes, we as educated professionals, become arrogant in our ideas and spend a lot of time thinking what we know is best and spend a lot of time discussing what we think we know is best, but that is as far as it always goes. For many of us, we fail to act, we fail to see the endless possibilities in front of us,” she noted.

She said it is time for certificate, diploma and degree holders to move away from the theoretical and conceptual to the practical.

“Let us not be bogged down in talk shops; let us be careful of our educated arrogance,” London added.

London said there needs to be unity among individuals, despite each person’s shortcomings.

She emphasized that there was strength in unity and reminded them that a unit is made up of individuals who work together for a common purpose, “even though sometimes we don’t like each other.”

“Every one of us, like [US President Barack] Obama said, is going to have to work together more, read more, think more and most importantly apply that piece of paper more,” said London.

She said that she continues to learn about the value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge and everything to do with simple awareness, of what is real and essential. These, she said, are “hidden in plain sight around us all the time.”

“Let us use our education to build St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” London encouraged.