AKA Mombasa 2017 Graduation Ceremony | Aga Khan Academies

AKA Mombasa 2017 Graduation Ceremony

24 May 2017

The Class of 2017 with Francis Kariuki, Ray Zinsli and Dr. Azim Lakhani 20 May 2017 saw 83 International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme students conclude their journey at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa. The event was attended by Academy senior management, faculty and staff as well as parents, extended families, fellow grade 11 senior school students and invited guests.The Academy was honoured to receive Dr, Azim Lakhani, Resident Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network to Kenya as its Guest Speaker. 

Hugs and smiles at the Pinning Ceremony. PC: Farosat AlamshoevaThe event began with an intimate Pinning Ceremony at the Guest House where the fresh graduates receive their alumni pins. This was followed by a processional of the mentors and the Class of 2017. Welcome remarks were delivered by Head of Academy, Ray Zinsli, who assured the parents and the new alumni that the school community would always welcome them. He advised the graduands to "believe in yourself. Follow your passion and be true to yourselves and your values". He described the Class of 2017 as being a group of young people who 'walk the talk' and embodied the "spirit of giving": they contributed a substantial amount to the "AKA Mombasa Annual Giving Fund" which provides need-based scholarships. They are the first alumni group to do so. 

Dr. Azim Lakhani, Guest SpeakerOur sister institution, the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad, celebrated their graduation ceremony simultaneously, bringing the total number of graduands to 152. Director of Academies, Mr. Salim Bhatia's address was live streamed from Hyderabad to Mombasa, as well as to graduating student families in Tajikistan. His inspiring words centered on the importance of hope in today’s context, and how the Academy education provides each graduate with essential knowledge and tools to effectively contribute to our global society through trying new solutions and finding new answers to the big issues faced by our world today. Mr. Bhatia’s speech underlined the difference of Academy alumni, who must continuously try to effect positive change, whether through their professional pursuits, personal circles or as a volunteer. Read Mr. Bhatia’s full speech here. 

Guest Speaker, Dr. Azim Lakhani, shared his experiences as a doctor and years of experience working in public health and with social initiatives. One of the most important lessons he learned through his experiences was about the value of education in countering the negative effects of poverty, one of the worst being the loss of human dignity. 

The Senior School Choir performs, led by the Choral Director, Philip MbinjiThe 83 fresh graduates are a testament to the growing recognition of the value of an Academy education. This is confirmed by the numerous acceptances the graduates received to prestigious institutions of higher education around the world, including Cornell University, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), University College London and McGill University. Furthermore, the class was collectively offered almost 5.1 million USD in grants, financial aid and scholarships. The cohort will be pursuing their tertiary education in a range of different countries including USA, England, Canada, Australia, UAE, Qatar, Kenya and Mauritius.

It's a bittersweet moment as the Choir says 'Farewell' to the Class of 2017Brian Kimawatan, the Class Speaker and former male President of the Student Representative Council, gave a rousing speech. He talked about the ways in which the cohort came together despite differences in experience, nationality, ethnicity and socio-economic background to support and bring out the best in each other. He received a resounding standing ovation with his closing remarks:

"The world doesn’t need another Usain Bolt or Michelle Obama. It needs a Yasmyn Ntege, in the fight for gender equality. A Sadiq Issa, to challenge those who view the Muslim society in a negative light. A Mir Vyas, to push the boundaries of human fitness. A Zoya Mohsin, to redefine and reignite the spark for environmental conversation. An Erica Nondi, to lead the charge in the ever evolving music industry. A Jishaan Minsariya, in the field of Chemical engineering. It needs each and every one of us to persevere and see our ambitions through. In the past couple days, many people have come up to us and said, ‘I hope you’re ready for the world.’ But the truth is, ‘we hope the world is ready for us.’ I mean look at us, we’re pretty awesome. But more so, we have the world at our feet and the tools to conquer it". 

Watch the ceremony here.

Photo Credit: MaiaFreia Photography