Edinburgh: Edinburg University has appointed Congo-born Debora Kayembe as its 54th Rector thus making Kayembe the first black rector of the hallowed university.
Kayembe never reached the podium of success overnight, rather it took over 16 years of hardship and ups and downs, reported news agency AFP.
Sixteen summers ago, Kayembe fled her home in the Democratic Republic of Congo on learning that a gun-running militia group that she had helped to expose was determined to kill her.
Soon Kayembe sought asylum in Britain, had a family and settled in Edinburgh. She worked as a human rights lawyer and political activist there.
However, nothing could have made her happier than the message she received on February 1 afternoon. The message reached her that she had been confirmed for the role of rector — 162 years after William Gladstone was made the first rector.
Forty-five-year-old Kayembe was speechless. “It is something in my life I never imagined would happen to me,” Kayembe was quoted as saying by AFP.
“I never went looking for it. It came onto my plate and I welcomed it.
“So… (on) February 1 at 12:30 pm when I was officially notified that I am the only valid candidate… I thought ‘oh my God. This is it. It has happened’,” Edinburg University’s 54th rector said.