UNAM confers honorary doctorate on 89-year-old Atiogbe

16 May 2018 17:30pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 16 MAY (NAMPA) – Sister Elizabeth Atiogbe, 89, an Oblate Sister of St. Francis de Sales was conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Education from the University of Namibia (UNAM) here on Tuesday.
An Oblate Sister identifies with the spirituality and educational teachings of St. Francis de Sales.
Atiogbe was born on 20 February 1929 in Lüderitz, where she started her primary school education in 1935 at the Roman Catholic Primary School at the age of six.
The nun then completed her Standard 10 at St Joseph’s Aliwal North in Aliwal North, South Africa (SA) in 1945, after which she enrolled for a teaching diploma at St. Augustine College at Parow in Cape Town, SA and graduated in 1947.
Atiogbe was an educator for over 40 years, retiring in 1991.
After that, she travelled to Lumko, Benoni to train as a Catechist and afterwards served the Keetmanshoop Diocese in this role until 2003.
When she retired for the second time, Atiogbe focused on correspondences with benefactors in the United States of America, Germany and Austria, in order to ensure the sorrow and grief of the poor and the old is minimised.
At her advanced age today, Atiogbe still visits the poor and elderly every Wednesday to teach them about the bible, share messages of Pope Francis and sometimes distribute food and clothes to them.
In her acceptance speech, Atiogbe said with humility, she vowed to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience.
The elder explained that Oblate Sisters are called to offer their lives to God daily, in service to the church and society and ultimately to bear fruit that God has destined them to bear.
UNAM’s Pro Vice Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Development, Professor Kenneth Matengu said the decision to confer the honorary degree to Sister Atiogbe was made after a thorough investigation of her life.
“This inquiry demanded that I follow the path of her life from her hometown of Lüderitz through to her lengthy and meandering route, first between Namibia and SA, then within Namibia, and between Namibia and Europe.
“It involved examining her experiences from her birth, to her time at college, as a teacher, as a novice, as a school principal, as a Catholic nun and her service to the field of education and to the poor until today in retirement,” said Matengu.
UNAM Chancellor, Nangolo Mbumba conferred the honorary degree on Atiogbe during the first graduation ceremony of the UNAM Southern Campus.