Convocation - or graduation - comes round once a year, I've previously posted pictures of me and others wearing Aga Khan green robes as we celebrate the achievements of the group who has finished, and welcome the latest group of graduates of our Master of Education programme to their status as professional development tutors.
Well, this year was somewhat special - His Highness the Aga Khan himself came! The University has been operating in East Africa for 15 years now, and this was to celebrate that milestone. Lots of preparations, associated press coverage, security precautions - so, wearing bright green robes was not enough to get us into the hall, we also needed an invitation in its original envelope and photo identification.
But, curiously, this is the year that I don't have any photos to show you. This is because they tend to come from freelancers who take pictures and then have some way of printing them very quickly, having them for sale before we leave the building. These freelancers were strictly banned this year - and we weren't allowed to have cell phones or cameras with us.
However, you can see the video of the whole event here. Think the first few minutes are worth a quick watch as we process in and then sing the National Anthem - at least, I sang it, as is clearly visible in the video I'm pleased to say! 'Mungu Ibariki Afrika!'
Of course, all jobs will have their ups and downs, but there are times when I'm really proud to be part of the Aga Khan University and indeed the Aga Khan Development Network, the overarching organisation that covers the commercial, cultural and development arms. His Highness has given a huge amount of his time and money personally to ensure the success of his ventures in promoting development in Africa and Asia, showing a depth of vision and generosity of spirit which is quite extraordinary really. And, I take great pleasure in the fact that the title 'His Highness' which is the one he uses - he is entitled to call himself 'His Royal Highness' from the Iranian royal family - was conferred on him by Her Majesty the Queen of England.
Also to say, further to my post a couple of weeks ago wishing my blog happy birthday, that I've passed the 100 000 page view mark. Of course, many blogs get that in a day or two but I'm very proud of this! Thank you to all readers, most grateful to you for your support. Look forward to being back soon.