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It was a joyfull moment for Ted Sams (78) and his family when he finally walked on stage to receive his high school diploma sixty years after he missed his 1962 graduation because of some teenage mischief and $4.80 (E3.40) overdue library fine he owed at his former school.
During his high school days, Ted and a friend were in a photography class when they were caught by the vice principal for photographing people without their consent and Ted was later suspended, leading to him missing the final exam and graduation. While he tried keeping up with his studies by attending summer school, Ted then found that he couldn't get his diploma because of the overdue library fine book.
“So I just walked away from it and said, 'Forget it',” he says.
In 2022, after much persuasion from his family Ted joined San Gabriel California High school in Los Angeles and got his high school diploma
Sams says he never expected to be back in high school 60 years later after he dropped out. He recounted how he would repeatedly complain to his children how a meagre $4.80 kept him from having a degree.
His daughter Sherry then suprised him by asking San Gabriel High in Los Angeles for a reprint of his diploma so he can attend graduation.
Luckily for him, the school hasn't thrown away the diploma and It was kept in a box, in senior archives.
In 27 May, Ted received an invitation from the school to be part of the graduation ceremony. The ceremony was attended by his wife and five children.
Even though it has been a long hard road, Ted says attaining his diploma has been a great achievement for him and the graduation was one of the highlights of his life.
“Actually, when he walked and got his diploma, every person on that stage hugged him and then the whole class applauded for him,” Sherry says.
Although the $4.80 fine hasn't been paid, Ted is now a graduate of San Gabriel High School's class of 2022.
MLAWULA CAMPFIRE LAUNCH: Let's Adopt a Green Lifestyle for Nature to Continue Sustaining Us- Minister
The Ministry of Tourism and Environmental affairs of Eswatini Moses Vilakati says in order for people to live sustainably and in peace with nature, they should adopt and promote a greener lifestyle.
Vilakati was speaking during the launch of the 3rd edition of the Mlawula Campfire festival on Thursday, while the real event is scheduled to take place from the 28th to 30th of October 2022 at Siphiso Campsite, which is located within the Mlawula nature reserve.
The Minister says as a ministry, it is of paramount importance to them that they monitor the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. "The Ministry has a responsibility, amongst others to oveeseer conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, which is delegated to the Eswatini National Trust Commission" he said.
The launch tabbed, 'Only One Earth' occurred during the World Environmental Month and aims to promote activities that support the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources such as water, land and minerals which also tend not only to bolsters the people's lives but also attracts tourists in a country thus it's economy.
According to Vilakati, tourism is one of the pillars in the country's economic development agenda. He says the government had a wakeup call from the COVID-19 pandemic because it forced it to expand the country's domestic tourism initiatives througn enhanced product development while introducing different adventure promotions.
Vilakati further urged companies and institutions to partner with the government in hosting the event which he described as a perfect epitome of the 'Only One Earth' theme of the environmental month.
He went on saying, "This will provide an opportunity for most companies and institutions to partner with us in hosting a successful event. It is worth mentioning that the intended objectives of such an initiative can only be achieved with your participation and support, as well as inviting others from across the spectrum to enjoy the one of a kind experience. In this way, the tourism economy will increase and enable extended sharing of benefits."
Abuse of power has led to conflicts which have divided a nation's people..Human greed has brought enmity and hatred between leaders and the grassroot people in my country. Violence now reigns supreme.
Our people have crossed the Rubicon of tolerance. Corruption has divided our people into two camps. Only wholesale changes in leadership and the ushering of democratic changes can save my country from anarchy and civil war.
Swaziland, my country, beg the world to pray for us!