“Apply Your Degrees to Serve Liberia and Humanity”: Shyne Implores Graduates

“Apply Your Degrees to Serve Liberia and Humanity”: Shyne Implores Graduates

The University of Liberia 102nd Joint Commencement Convocation Speaker, Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Moses Shyne Barrow, MP Loo, has charged graduates to use their education to serve the Liberian people and humanity.

The Belizean politician and lawmaker pleaded with the honorees to apply the knowledge and skills they acquired in their respective disciplines to improve the livelihood of the Liberian people. “…It is up to you to find the divinity within you so that you can be guided on your purpose in life and your purpose should be humanity and the people of Liberia,” said Hon. Barrow.

He stressed the importance of his visit to travel from as far as Belize to speak to UL graduates on their achievements. “But it was important for me to come here today to talk to those graduates that will now go forward shouldering the responsibility of not just Liberia, but of humanity. All of you that are graduating today, build with you the hope of tomorrow the responsibility of not just Liberia, but humanity because the world is watching,” Hon. Barrow emphasized.

“It is not the degree you hold today, but the key that unlocks the possibilities and the opportunities for humanity. Not just for yourself,” said Barrow.

Hon. Barrow, Leader of the opposition in Belize explained that he was scheduled to debate his country’s budget on Thursday, March 24, 2022, as part of his responsibilities to hold the government accountable so that they spend the taxpayers’ money responsibly and in ways that benefit the people.

He believes, however, that his visit to Liberia and the UL was very important and memorable, noting, “This is my first-time setting foot in Africa and most importantly Liberia.”

Hon. Barrow used the moment to reflect on his early life growing up as a teen to further challenge UL graduates to explore all opportunities and change the livelihood of their family, friends, and country.

“And so, it was important for me to come and give you some inspiration because I have lived the life that many will say that it will take many lifetimes to endure the things that I have endured and to accomplish the things I have accomplished,” Hon. Barrow.

“I have been through devastation the likes that you can hardly imagine. But what has got me through the shortfalls, the devastation is purpose. If I can give you one gift it would be the gift to identify the purpose in life…And whatever that purpose is, whether it is to be a technician, whether it is to be a medical doctor, whether it is to be a lawyer, whatever it is, that purpose must be guided by the ambition to serve humanity and to serve the people of Liberia,” Hon. Barrow admonished.

Hon. Barrow cited the unique historical relevance of the Liberian state to his quest for equal opportunity for humanity.

He said Liberia represents the name Liberty and those free human beings who fled the [clutches] of inhumane slavery and returned to their motherland to create a nation of free human beings which everyone should all be.

“We all have the inalienable right to freedom and liberty and pursuit of happiness and Liberia represents that,” Hon. Barrow reminded the audience.

He described the unfair treatment meted out against Africans, including Liberians during the period of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in the 1800s and the scars it left behind.

Despite those conditions, he reckoned, Liberians did not give up on their purpose to return to their homeland as freed people.

 “Against all odds, you were stolen from your homeland and trafficked to the world of inhumanity and perversion and returned to your homeland by the Grace of God and created a nation of freedom.”

“So, you my friends should celebrate because you are a beacon of light to the nation”, Hon. Barrow reminded the graduates with thunderous applause from the audience.

Hon. Barrow concluded his address with a donation of USD$50,000 (fifty thousand United States Dollars) to the University of Liberia for the construction of a convocation hall.

Prior to him mounting the podium, the UL Board of Trustees, upon recommendation from the President of the University of Liberia, conferred upon Hon. Moses Shyne Barrow, MP Loo, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) Honoris Causa.

Last lines of the citation state: “Therefore, in recognition of your remarkable contributions and relentless efforts of advocacy and to improve the lives and education of young people in your country as well as advocating for good public policy and legislation, coupled with transparency and accountability in Belize and other parts of the world, the Board of Trustees, upon recommendation of the President of the University of Liberia, has herewith approved the conferral upon you, Honorable Moses Shyne Barrow MP LOO, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) Honoris Causa.”

Barrow is credited for being a Grammy Award-Winning Writer, Publisher of Solomon’s, Belize/Brooklyn, and Grammy Award-Winning Performer of Omni Records, Brooklyn/Belize. He was an influential member of Bad Boyz Records in the late 90’s and early 2000’s who was affectionately known by his stage-name “Shyne” and popular for a rap style (and voice) that directly mimic the mesmerising tone of the label’s fallen star Christopher Wallace (Notorious B.I.G).   

Barrow is now a politician, entrepreneur, an advocate for social justice and an inspirational figure in his native land, Belize.

Belize is a Caribbean country on the north-eastern coast of Central America. It borders Mexico to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and Guatemala to the west and south. It has an area of 22,970 square kilometers (8,867 sq mi) and a population of 419,199 (2020). 

Its mainland is about 290 km (180 mi) long and 110 km wide. It has the lowest population and population density in Central America. Its population growth rate of 1.87% per year (2018 estimate) is the second-highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere. Its capital is Belmopan, and its largest city is Belize City.




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