Graduating against all odds, Aimable Irihose’s story

WHEN he was in his second year at the Muhanga-based Catholic Institute of Kabgayi (ICK), Aimable Irihose fell off his chair at his workplace and damaged his spinal column.
Irihose was among the graduates despite having lost hope after he was seriously injured in 2010.  The New Times /Jean Pierre Bucyensenge
Irihose was among the graduates despite having lost hope after he was seriously injured in 2010. The New Times /Jean Pierre Bucyensenge

WHEN he was in his second year at the Muhanga-based Catholic Institute of Kabgayi (ICK), Aimable Irihose fell off his chair at his workplace and damaged his spinal column.

“I thought that was the end of my life,” Irihose, who has been using a wheel chair since the 2010 freak accident, told The New Times. “I thought that was the end of my journey towards completing my university studies.”

Irihose’s  says he visited the best hospitals in the country seeking medical treatment to correct his condition but in vain.

His health has  improved but  still moves in a wheelchair.

“My (spinal) column can be totally corrected only if I travelled outside the country for specialised treatment. But I don’t have means to cater for the cost,” he says sadly.

But amidst all the pain, Irihose wore a smile after successfully completing his studies at the Muhanga-based higher-learning institute, graduating with a Bachelors degree in management.


“I always implored God to help me complete my university studies, which I attained today,” the 29-year-old told this paper yesterday during a graduation ceremony where 472 students were conferred upon degrees in various disciplines.

“I am ecstatically happy as I have attained one of my dreams,” Irihose said from his wheelchair, expressing gratitude to “all who encouraged me and helped me in any way to pursue my studies.”

“I want to continue studying,” he said of his future plans, though he would wish to see his medicalcondition adressed first.

Putting skills to use

It is the third time that the catholic institute is holding a graduation ceremony since it was founded in 2002.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Director of Academic Quality at the Higher Education Council (HEC) Dr Abdallah Baguma, congratulated the fresh graduates for the efforts made towards the completion of their studies.

He urged them to use the acquired knowledge and skills to develop the Rwandan society.

“The Bachelor’s degree (you are awarded today) is a strong foundation to start the journey towards self-development and that of the entire country,” Dr Baguma , who represented the Minister for Education told the graduates,

“What you have learnt here enables you to adapt within the community. What we are just requesting you, is to carry on with the skills that you have acquired from this institution to develop yourselves and your country,” Dr Baguma told the graduates.

Wellars Bakina, a journalism graduate, said: “I will use the skills I got to the benefit of the entire community.”

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