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General News of Saturday, 14 April 2018

Source: Classfmonline.com

Be focused - Brig. Gen. Edjeani-Afenu urges Perez Uni. matriculants

Matriculants of Perez Univeristy College (Perez-UC) have been urged to remain focused in pursuing their life’s dreams and career paths.

Speaking at the matriculation ceremony of the university on Saturday, 14 April, Guest Speaker Brigadier General Mrs Constance Edjeani-Afenu, Ghana's first female to be promoted to that rank and an Elder of Perez Chapel International at the Perez Dome, advised the fresh students thus: “Ladies and gentlemen, you are attending the school for yourself. Please help yourself. Don’t wait for mummy and daddy to call you by phone to wake you up to attend lectures and remind you to do your assignments. Let’s leave that for the Junior High School students. Lack of direction and time will not help.

“Have a sense of duty. Eschew laziness and study. Don’t seek favours by using the currency of money and sex. Read your notes and when you have some more time, read other books to broaden your knowledge and sharpen your brains. Extend your horizon of friends too, don’t be complacent with your few friends. You may need the network in future. At the Ghana Armed Forces Staff College, in the student officer’s room, it is written somewhere that, “if you have idle time, then remember, you have forgotten to do something”. Friends engage your mind on positive things,” the first female Deputy Military Adviser to the Permanent Mission of Ghana to the UN, New York, counseled.

Commissioned in the Ghana Armed Forces in 1978 as 2nd Lieutenant, Brigadier General Mrs Constance Edjeani-Afenu, who is also the first Female Commanding Officer, Forces Pay Regiment, continued: “Ladies and gentlemen, school may not always be smooth, and that’s how life is. I will not pretend that there will be no distractions and low times. There will be. Peer pressure, social media addictions, opposite sex attraction and what it goes with, entertainment and fun, inability to meet the deadline to pay fees, sickness etc. But in all these, stay focused on your path. No matter what contrary winds may blow, you have no excuse to give up. Remember there is always that story behind the story of a successful person. Keep the focus to be focused”.

Read Brigadier General Mrs Constance Edjeani-Afenu’s full speech below:

BE FOCUSED

The Chancellor…………………..

Good morning.

Congratulations to all matriculants

I’m glad to be called upon as the Guest Speaker and the Guest of Honour for this august occasion. How special!

I thank the Chancellor, who is my beloved Episkupus, friend, and confidant and a good man, and that’s why Perez University will be a good school. I thank the Lecturers and Staff for the honor done me and thanking you too ladies and gentlemen for accepting me.

At a time that change is taking place so fast and the private sector is the wheel driving the nation and the economy, the topic Entrepreneurial Ethos couldn’t have been any better. The mention of ethos sent my mind back to 2006, when on a military study in the US, we had to discus Warrior Ethos. So, you see, ladies and gentlemen, whichever way, we need to be taught and be reminded of the principles that bring success.

I have chosen to encourage the matriculants by speaking briefly on a topic I have dubbed BE FOCUSED.

Dear friends, we need to be focused on whatever we set out to do. As you have come to the University, I believe some of the reasons will be to gain knowledge, acquire skills and build networks among others and advance. There is the need to keep the focus to succeed.

Your lecturers will play their part. Your parents and guardians will make many sacrifices. They may not always meet all your needs, but they are there for you. Friends and relations who can support will play their part. The pastors will preach the word of God. But it behooves on you the individual, to be purposeful and keep moving towards your goals.

A student once said he was attending school for his mother. His mother said, “son, this is ridiculous. I already have my master’s. What will I do with your first degree?” Ladies and gentlemen, you are attending the school for yourself. Please help yourself. Don’t wait for mummy and daddy to call you by phone to wake you up to attend lectures and remind you to do your assignments. Let’s leave that for the Junior High School students. Lack of direction and time will not help.

Have a sense of duty. Eschew laziness and study. Don’t seek favours by using the currency of money and sex. Read your notes and when you have some more time, read other books to broaden your knowledge and sharpen your brains. Extend your horizon of friends too, don’t be complacent with your few friends. You may need the network in future. At the Ghana Armed Forces Staff College, in the student officer’s room, it is written somewhere that, “if you have idle time, then remember, you have forgotten to do something”. Friends engage your mind on positive things.

Ladies and gentlemen, school may not always be smooth, and that’s how life is. I will not pretend that there will be no distractions and low times. There will be. Peer pressure, social media addictions, opposite sex attraction and what it goes with, entertainment and fun, inability to meet the deadline to pay fees, sickness etc. But in all these, stay focused on your path. No matter what contrary winds may blow, you have no excuse to give up. Remember there is always that story behind the story of a successful person. Keep the focus to be focused.

Have you seen a train derail before? Chaotic! That’s how chaotic an unfocused life can be. The good news is that, that shall not be your portion. From now in the University even up to when you complete school, in whatever endeavour you find yourself, stay focused. Bible says looking up to Jesus the author and finisher of your faith. Stay steadfast in the Lord. There is something about looking that brings a better illumination.

Once upon a time, I decided like you have done, but mine was not to go to the university but to join the Ghana Military Academy. When classmates after 6th form were saying MEDICO or I die, Admin or I die, I and two others said Military or I die!

At the time of enlistment, the two others were at large but I did not back track. We started the Academy, Regular Intake 21, in 1978, as two females and 39 males. In the first week, the other lady left on medical grounds. I was even more determined to press on.

My first day welcome at the Military Academy was a shock. Exercises or punishments? I could not decipher. Nothing close to an Academy you would think off, but of course it was a Military Academy. That was not my expectation, but I was there already. I could have run away home to my mama, after all I was only 18, but I didn’t.

The training was tough and exacting, but as the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. (Like Paul in the bible said, keeping an eye on the crown..), I fixed my eye on the officer that I would become at the end and kept pressing on. I got appointed as a Cadet Sgt and won the award for Determination and Perseverance. At the end of 18-month successful training, I gladly graduated as a Second Lieutenant.

The real leadership now began. Being an officer in a male dominated institution is not easy, but I pressed on regardless of all odds.

Today, if I’m the first female Brigadier General, then it’s first by God’s grace and secondly by maintaining the focus. That’s why I’m bold to say if you remain focused and go after your dreams, from Perez University, we shall have renowned men and women of the land.

I hope that in future, I can brag that, I was at the matriculation of one of you who has become the President of the Nation, the successful business man or woman, the Chancellor, Lecturer, Military General, one who has created a new product or service we have not seen before, and what have you.

Matriculants, Congratulations! The future is bright, promising, and exciting. Stay focused.

Thank you, Chancellor. Thank you all. God bless Perez University. God bless you. Thank you