2015 – 2016 UNIMA Graduation
It was Wednesday morning on the 24th February 2016 when i stepped down my foot on the soil and premises of the famous UNIMA constituent College; the Chancellor College. My eyes could see the happy atmosphere depicting the happy faces of the graduating students and their relatives, feeling proud of their academic success they were about to attain. My eye did not let me alone, but pushed me to look around to appreciate the happiness of parents of the graduating young Malawian girls and boys in various academic fields such as Engineering, Public Administration, Business Administration, and Nursing, just to mention a few. As my conscious demanded, it was interesting to spot Muslims in an Islamic attire especially women to be among the graduating boys and girls.
After getting into that magnificent Great Hall, I started feeling good because I realized that Muslims were represented. I was so privileged to sit on the stage close to those responsible to confer these academic awards to the successful graduating students. Here, I could see each and every graduate shaking hand with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Malawi and other eminent academicians of this country.
Before the ceremony stated, I was served with the pamphlet of the program which also contained all names of the 735 graduating students. Quickly, I said, this is my time now to go through it so that I mark the names of Muslim students.
Though religion was not indicated against the names of students but still I could figure it out using the experience that we have which is common in our societies. It is a fact that Muslims many times are known by their names or by names of their parents.
Now after this self given task, I then embarked upon looking at every graduating face and attire in case of girls with the core aim to see any sister in Islamic dressing (Hijab). Again, I it was interesting to notice girls in this respectful dressing.
Soon after the ceremony was declared dissolved by the Vice Chancellor professor Saka in his words “By virtue of the authority vested in my office, I now declare the Congregation of the University of Malawi dissolved” graduates and their relatives started airing out their voices of happiness.
Very quickly I rushed down from the stage to mingle with them with my aim to find out the Muslim representation in this great academic occasion. I had a conversation with some Muslim graduates’ brothers and sisters. I asked them to tell me the figure of Muslims who graduated on this day. it was encouraging to learn that the total number of Muslim graduates was more than 30 from the total number of graduates indicated above.
It was a convincing response looking at the total no of Muslims who get admission every year and also realizing from the fact that this was a single congregation out of many. When I took off to move around, I eventually found myself outside the Hall where I met brothers such as Sheikh Ntenje and few others. Our topic of discussion was the same. We arrived at same conclusion that the representation of graduating Muslim boys and girls was so encouraging; however, Muslim parents have to do more in order to increase the no of Muslim Boys and girls admitted to UNIMA.
This is the real world we are living here in Malawi. Thus, my humble request to my fellow Muslims of this country is that we are Malawians equally like those people who belong to other faith groupings. Things will not come on our table unless and until we work hard in whatever we are doing.