Greetings to every one!
I am Kofo Anjorin and I am a Senior Bio Medical Scientist currently working in a London hospital. Most importantly I am a Sakerette, maybe an old one, but as they say - once a Sakerette always a Sakerette and I am extremely proud of my old school SBC.
In case you are trying to work out my age, I started at Saker in 1963 which makes me feel very old as I know some of you were not even born when I was in my first year.
Firstly, I wish to express my gratitude to Mrs Dialle Mofa-Takang for inviting me to speak before you and for organizing this wonderful occasion with her team.
I would also want to pay tribute to those who cannot be with us today, especially those who are no longer with us. (pause for a minute silence)
Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge all the past tutors for the impact they have made on all of our lives be they large or small. My tickets to success, my passport to a good education were what I took away when I left Saker in the late sixties on my journey into adult life.
When the Baptist missionaries came to Victoria, I wonder if they really could foresee the amazing impact they would make on so many young lives.
To be standing here before you now, 50 years on, is truly a privilege and testimony of their passion, belief and vision for the future. As I look around the sea of faces I see both young and not so young gathered at this momentous occasion, further embodying the Saker beliefs of love, unity and sisterhood.
As you know, the theme this year is Appreciate, Embrace and Inspire and I shall endeavour to illustrate and elaborate on these three points.
In spite of all the pitfalls that we encounter, there is always much to APPRECIATE in our lives.
I appreciate being here, being able to speak to you, able to be reunited with so many old friends. Friendship plays an important part in our lives and is what keeps us together in one piece, come what may.
I appreciate the fact that we live in the twenty first century, in a high tech world and I finally seem to have mastered the Internet. This leads me to our young sister Egbe who with her amazing web site Saker Pride has opened many doors. Through her painstaking research, she has enabled us to wander down memory lane and above all, to rekindle new friendships. Egbe, on behalf of all those who religiously visit your site I thank you and God bless you for all your hard work.
Through her, I have finally made contact again with our dear Miss KERN who is now in her 80s and living in Canada.
In life, there are so many things to appreciate – the gift of health, education; a loving family.
Saker enabled me to focus on my studies, eventually come to England and become a Senior Bio Medical Scientist.
Education was everything to me when I arrived. It was the only way that those of us who came from backgrounds where we had very little could achieve bigger and better things, to create a life- opportunity and fulfillment. That journey was to dedicate every ounce of strength to achieving that dream and those aspirations. The beauty about the United Kingdom is that it offers the opportunity to aspire in all that you want to do and that is why so many of us are still here.
My life has had its twists and turns. Every day I thank God for all He has enabled me to do. Indeed, the theme for my 50th birthday was “Count your blessings,” based on that well-known Saker hymn.
The second part of the theme is EMBRACE. Embrace all those around you, not only in this hall but those around you in your daily life, in your home, in your place of work and in your daily worship.
Life is very precious and not to be abused. Take every opportunity without abusing others. Give of yourself and you will be repaid many times over. I have been blessed to have been surrounded by friends who have helped me in times of crisis. I will never forget their acts of kindness, but as they point out, I easily forget the number of times I have had the good fortune to help others myself and as you know, what goes around comes around. Yes, embrace those moments, whether you are at the giving end or the receiving end, as they all contribute to the richness in our lives.
Which leads me to a strange coincidence:
As I looked on the ex Saker UK e-mail I came across the picture announcing that I would be speaking to you, and to my amazement the photo was that of me and Miss Binder at my graduation. Miss Binder was my sponsor in my last year at Saker, the year that my father sadly died at a young age of 48.
At that time, I didn’t know where my fees were going to come from. Miss Binder was calling the names of students who had not yet paid their fees. This was done in alphabetical order but she had omitted my name. At the end of this, she asked to see me in private and told me that she would be paying my fees as she knew I had just lost my father. The irony of this all is that the shock of my father’s untimely death had left me mute – totally unable to communicate yet the moment Miss Binder told me she would pay my fees my first words uttered were “Thank you Miss Binder.” And I’ve never stopped talking since! But without Miss Binder’s great act of kindness who knows where I would be now and for that I sincerely thank her.
And finally, we come to INSPIRE.
Saker has inspired us to move on to greater things. It has inspired us not to be complacent but to strive for the best in all that we do. It has inspired us to do things well, with love but with humility. The Baptists were inspired to erect a school that aimed to produce successful God-fearing women, women who in turn were inspired by their faith and who were confident in all that they did. We were inspired by the strong sense of sisterhood, by the support and phenomenal singing mainly brought about by those great Hymn writers Moody and Sankey. As St. Augustine said: when you sing, you pray twice and that is why singing has become such an important part of church in general, life at Saker and worship in particular. It cannot be denied that singing is good for the soul and is good for the community
Our sister Egbe…… states in her web site that she was inspired by Saker’s Golden Jubilee, in her own words “to keep the legacy of these tutors going strong.” At the Golden Jubilee, the Education Secretary of the Cameroon Baptist Convention, Paul Haddison Luma, said the creation of Saker Baptist College in 1962 was the first independent venture by the CBC into secondary education and was intended to train a modern Cameroonian woman as a social force influencing future generations in the progressive development of Cameroon among others. I am sure you will agree that this ethos has been maintained.
Furthermore, the President of the Cameroon Baptist Convention, also praised the Sakerettes for the contribution that they had made towards the spiritual, academic and economic development of Cameroon. Such inspiration is commendable and is what has led us here today.
Perhaps you can also take a look at our present paralympic games and take inspirations from those heroic athletes competing with huge smiles for their country. For me people like these give me inspiration.
And so now, I want to leave you with two short Irish blessings that have always inspired me.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
May God’s blessing surround you each day
As you trust Him and walk in His ways
May his presence within
Guide and keep you from sin.
Go in peace, go in joy, go in love