President George Manneh Weah has challenged Cutting University (CU) graduates to take risks that are necessary to bring about positive change, after CU awarded him a doctorate degree at its 57th commencement convocation, the second of such awards in a month by two private universities here.
“Take risk, and do not be afraid to fail because failure is part of the process,” Mr. Weah says and suggests further that failure is merely an opportunity to learn a personal lesson from life.
The Board and Faculty of CU on Friday, 29 June awarded President Weah a honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D. Honoris Causa) at the Suakoko Campus in Bong County in recognition of his service to humanity and achievement in his career.
Accepting the accolade, President Weah used his keynote address titled: “The Path Will Not Always Be Clear” to tell the CU graduates that they cannot expect to get extraordinary results from ordinary efforts.
“I challenge each of you that wherever you go next, to always think about ways to innovate in your chosen profession, ways to get over obstacles that have stopped others, ways to create new things, solve problems and serve others,” Weah told the graduates.
Sharing personal life experience with the graduates and often repeating the theme of his message: “The Path Will Not Always Be Clear,” Mr. Weah said many people fail not because they are not good, but only because they are not patient, resilient and committed to whatever they choose to do.
Due to the lack of patience, commitment and resilience, President Weah continues many abandon what they chose to do when they are just about to succeed.
He says life will introduce challenges and obstacles along the way, telling the graduates that whether it is lack of resources, illness, death of loved one or bad business deal, or failure of something started, they should remember that the path will not always be cleared.In this regard, he encouraged the graduates to dream, think, plan, be committed, work hard, try, fail, learn, try again and win!
He says his entire life has been a result of this process, recalling how as a young football player, he thought about the game, studied it, committed [to it], and worked hard on his skills.
President Weah says sometimes he tried different passes, made new moves, tried something different and sometimes succeeded, but sometimes failed.At the end of his professional career in sports, President Weah says when he decided some 15 years ago to enter the political arena and contest for the presidency here, the same process applied: he dreamt, thought, planned, was committed, worked hard, tried, failed and learned.
“I tried again, I failed again, I learned, I tried again, and I won!” he says amidst applause from the audience.Earlier awarding President Weah the honorary Doctorate Degree, Acting Cuttington University vice president Dr. Anthony Siakor recalled how in recognition of President Weah’s extraordinary service to mankind during his career, the AME Zion University recently conferred upon him the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities (Honoris Causa).
Dr. Siakor outlined Mr. Weah’s achievements in soccer, including the first and only African player to win the FIFA World Player of the Year, only African to win European Player of the Year, among so many other awards.
He says Mr. Weah stood unsuccessfully as candidate in the 2005 presidential election and as running mate to Cllr. Winston Tubman in 2011, losing both elections to his predecessor Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf.
He notes that Mr. Weah in 2013 accepted his appointment as Peace Ambassador by Mrs. Sirleaf and served the position for a year before being elected in 2014 as Senator for Montserrado County.
According to CU, Mr. Weah earlier enrolled at the Continental Academy in the United States and obtained a high school diploma and later obtained a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration at the Devry University in Miami and a Master Degree in Public Administration.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah