D.E.F Gives Speech at CIDA Graduation 2012
Diamond Empowerment Fund was honored to participate in CIDA’s 2012 graduation, Friday July 6. Students were awarded their diplomas after a riveting address by guest speaker, entrepreneur Andile Sangqu, Executive Director of Xstrata South Africa.
Diamond Empowerment Fund Marketing Associate and Botswana native, Lesego Mathware, hailed the graduates as “responsible, productive, and educated citizens of the world“ who will go on to be leaders in their communities inspiring others to follow their lead.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund gave signed copies of Russell Simmons’ two most recent books, “Do You!: 12 Laws to Access Power in You to achieve Happiness and Success” and “Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All” to the top 5 students in the graduating class. Mr. Simmons co-founded the Diamond Empowerment Fund in 2007. CIDA City Campus was the first beneficiary of the organization.
CIDA CITY CAMPUS GRADUATION SPEECH
July 6, 2012
Diamond Empowerment Fund
To all dignitaries, all CIDA staff members and the people we are all here for, the students. Good afternoon.
On behalf of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, I come here today to congratulate you and share a special message to all the graduating students in this room. It is with great pleasure and honor that I am able to share a few important things on this important day that I hope you will carry throughout your careers.
It is through your hard work, dedication and commitment that you are sitting here today proud of all the hard work you invested throughout your college experience. As you graduate, you now become a responsible, productive, educated citizen of the world. It is through this simple idea of empowering the next generation of African leaders that Diamond Empowerment Fund was founded a few years ago with encouragement from Nelson Mandela who has said “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. As the first beneficiary of Diamond Empowerment Fund, CIDA showed us how this important message was being put to action right here by all the young faces I see before me today.
Today marks the day that you become the leader of your respective communities, today you will be able to look at yourself and say. “I am a graduate of CIDA, I am educated, and I am EMPOWERED”. It is not through luck or coincidence that you find yourselves here, it is through hard work, and some of you might think you were there chosen ones. I beg to differ; you are the one that put yourself in this position. The reality of things is, most of you will enter the job place, a very different place compared to college, but it is without a doubt that I am confident that you will do well, you will continue to be leaders in your own right and inspire others to follow your lead!
The topic of empowerment is a very fascinating one, especially when you look at the history of Africa and what the future holds for the continent. As an African and a fellow brother to all of you, there is a lot of opportunity that the continent offers for its youth, while at the same time there are many challenges we are faced with everyday. I guarantee you; education is the key to everything, education not just in the classroom, but education in all aspects of your life. I encourage you all to always be positive and open to learning new things, be it at your workplace or anywhere you might be. Africa has had a long history of being a rich natural resource continent, but, the biggest challenge Africa had in the past was lack of human resources, there was no talent to manage all the wealth that was around. For that gap to be closed, we are looking at individuals like you who have acquired the skills and knowledge and will apply it to overcome this challenge. I am proud to say that, Diamond Empowerment Fund sees you as Africa’s future leaders, leaders that will go to work from the first day with one mission, to empower and give back to their communities.
I personally believe that, a mans life is divided in 3 simple ways, you acquire the knowledge, you put it work and earn as much as you can whilst empowering others, and lastly, you give it back before you pass on. In these current times, I see you all as acquiring and empowering others with all your blessings. It is important to know that, you are well equipped with the fishing rods now, you no longer just have the fish, you have the equipment to know how to fish, GO FISHING and feed a whole community. Life is going to throw all different types of challenges to you, always remember, the harder you work and focus on doing good, the closer you get to your goals.
Lastly, I urge all of you to follow your heart, do what you love and pass on this love and opportunity to others. As the American Poet and Philosopher, Henry David Thoreau said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined”.
Have a great day and on behalf of Diamond Empowerment Fund, we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.