Liberian Poet Exhorts Graduates
Liberian poet Lekpele M. Nyamalon has implored graduates of the Child Development Academy (CDA) to use their light to get millions out of darkness.
Speaking at the commencement exercise for five students graduating from the CDA located in Airfield, Sinkor on Saturday, he called the graduates “the hope of the nation.”
Nyamalon used a medley of themes to give the graduates a heads up on beginning a new phase in their lives. On the theme “Where am I going,” he said “Sometimes we might start on a clueless run that leads to nowhere. Whenever you get lost, remember this question ‘Where am I going?’ And if you can’t answer that question, come back to where you started and try again.”
Nyamalon, an award-winning poet and the author of ‘Yearnings of a Traveler’ and ‘Scary Dreams,’ also cautioned the graduates to translate the word ‘SMART’ into “Strong, Meticulous, Assertive, Realistic and Trustworthy,” in their actions.
He said two weeks ago, at a program at the US Embassy in commemoration of the International Day of the African Child, he delivered a message where he discussed the questions, ‘Who am I?,’ ‘What do I have?’ and ‘How am I going to use what I have?’ He urged the students to ask themselves those questions as they set out on a new journey.
You are the hope of the nation, he told the graduates, adding “don’t kill your hope and don’t ever fail your country. Use your education to be the light that lights the way and be foot soldiers of the tomorrow that is now.”
“Seventeen years ago as a graduating senior of the Ricks Institute in Virginia, Rev. Dr. Walter D. Richards, the former principal who served as baccalaureate speaker, discussed the message ‘Do the Right thing,’ Nyamalon recalled.
“That has helped me every time I reflect on those words, as he cautioned us to take into consideration our importance in Liberia, Africa and the world at large as we embarked on a lifetime journey.
“When I ask you the question, ‘who am I?’ it’s not about your name or where you live. It’s the gift within you that makes you unique, that sets you apart. Each of you has unique skills. Be able to identify and use them,” Lekpele advised.
Seeing that there is still much work left to do, Lekpele said the graduates are the laborers and the hands needed to rescue the nation and the continent.
He read excerpts from his poem titled, “Scars of a tired nation” that reflects Liberia’s plight, and told the graduates that they should make Liberia a better place than they met it, and “be the smiles of men whose blood ran so that a nation called Liberia can live.”
“As you go along, continue to answer this question in your lifetime, ‘where am I going?’, and if some day you find your light, take my words, real success is not how bright your light shines, but how you use it to get millions out of darkness.
“Take these words of the late Theologian Melville B. Cox: ‘Though a thousand fall, let not Africa be given up.’ Do not give up your country. Do all it takes to enjoy Liberia, Africa and the world you envisage.”
Parents and guardians at the occasion lauded the principal, Ms. Matilda E.O. George, and proprietress, Mrs. Mardea E. Simmons, for sticking to their promise to educate their children and taking them to where they are today.