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Grad -min

Family and Friends,

It has been a journey. There is no doubt about it. Just like everything else I’ve done in my life, it’s been a long way from a straight line. For me, university took a back seat for a long time. I was focused on my business dreams. I had a conglomerate to build and was committed to that vision more than anything else you could offer me. The concept of sitting in a lecture hall for hours a day seemed like a waste to me, when I could be out there, creating a business that I was truly passionate about.

But I made a promise, ten years ago, that once I stabilised my business, once I got things moving, I would go back to university. I knew that my original mindset was wrong. The best investment I could make in myself was continuing my education, was becoming the most well-trained business owner I could be. Despite the time it would take, I knew, deep down, that this would make me better off in the long run.

Even so, once again, things didn’t go smoothly. I enrolled in five different universities (at different times). Victoria University (first intake the university had on opening), Mahatma Gandhi University and three others. I also travelled to and completed a degree foundation in Asia Pacific University, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Again, instead of advancing to my degree after completing my foundation, i dropped out. This was 2010 to 2011. None of these institutions could keep my interest. After a few weeks in each place I found myself losing focus. I couldn’t escape from the feeling that this wasn’t the best use of my time. The people around me were disappointed.

Of course they were. Their first thought was that I was simply giving up on the university path. But I knew what I needed. I knew that I would eventually find the place that worked for me.

And after all of that, I was right.

And that taught me a lot about myself.

If you know what you need, and know what can keep you engaged and interested, then there is no reason to settle for any less than that. That’s not only why I dropped out of the first five universities, it’s why I kept on searching. Because settling for less was never an option. It’s not an option for building my empire, and it wasn’t an option for my education.

When I found myself at the University of Plymouth, that’s when I was finally sure. Suddenly I was learning, and I was involved in an educational programme that really worked for me. The thoughts of time being wasted in those lecture halls was long gone. Now I could feel that every hour I spent was an hour being invested in myself. That business management course, with e-commerce training being provided by delivery partner GSM London, was absolutely invaluable to me.


The knowledge and information I received from these top-quality institutions could be put right back into the business I was so passionate about. All of those hours would contribute to the further growth of Tonniez Group Holdings, which, as I said before, is the most important thing, after family, and my creator.

It is then, after this long and complicated journey, a fantastic joy for me to be here celebrating my graduation. Not only have I completed my time in Plymouth University, I’m also graduating at the top of my class. This, above all else, proves the faith I had in myself. Waiting for the best option was the right choice. I found the place that suited me and within it, I excelled.

That’s not to say that I did this all alone. Now is also the time for me to thank those who’ve supported me every step of the way. People close to me were disappointed every time I dropped out of a university that wasn’t right. But that disappointment didn’t mean they lost faith. They believed in me just as much as I believed in myself. That is so important to me, and the  support hasn’t gone unnoticed. To every single person who helped me along the way, I extend to you the most genuine gratitude. Even if you gave me almost the smallest gesture of support, even if you yourself didn’t notice, I certainly did.

So let’s take today to celebrate. Not only to celebrate the achievements that I am very proud of, but also to celebrate our never ending support and help for one another. That in itself is vital for anything we all do. We know that no matter where each of us go in this life, that we’ll have the support of one another. So here’s to that. Here’s to advancing and becoming better, more educated people, together.

Delivered by;

Tonny Rutakirwa,

Surrey, London, United Kingdom,

Tuesday, 26th November, 2019

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