OTAGO BULLETIN BOARD
| University of Otago | Edited
DUNEDIN - Moses Muhwannah Tekwie yesterday graduated from the University of Otago with a Master of International Business with Distinction.
But he had gone through unimaginable heartbreak when both his father and cousin-brother died only a short time before he departed from Papua New Guinea for New Zealand.
Moses had been awarded a New Zealand Scholarship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a feat his family and community were incredibly proud of.
“My father spent 27 years of his life advocating for free trade zones in Papua New Guinea and the Oceania region both as a politician and private citizen,” Moses said.
“He was not only my dad but he was also my leader. I will not be able to fill in his shoes for sure, but I would do my best to continue his legacy.
“I was all excited looking forward to coming here for studies and then that happened.
“You start to question yourself. It puts you off your focus. But I thought about what they would do if they were still around,” he said.
“They would want me to pursue my aspirations and come to New Zealand. They would say ‘go for it, get it done’.
“My dad had always been someone who strongly encouraged higher pursuits in education. He would say ‘go get it my son!’ with his usual fist pump in the air.”
The double blow of losing two of the members of his tight-knit family was further compounded when another cousin-brother died just three months after Moses arrived in New Zealand.
He refused to let his loss stop him from achieving his goals, using his father’s emphasis on education as a motivator to complete his studies.
“There are others out there who are in worse circumstances than I am and they pull through. So I used that as my encouragement and my motivation to keep pushing on.”
But one of the happiest moments of Moses’ life happened on the university Clocktower lawn.
His girlfriend Maggie Tsora came to Otago on a scholarship the year before he did. She helped him apply for his scholarship and even organised a flat for when he arrived.
The couple have been together since meeting back home as undergraduates in 2011. On Christmas morning 2019 Moses took her to the Clocktower and much to her surprise he proposed. She said yes.
“If there’s anything I’ll take away from my journey here at the University of Otago, it is getting educated at one of the top one percent universities in the world and proposing to the girl of my dreams. I will always remember that.”
Prior to coming to New Zealand Moses completed his Bachelor in Business and Management, majoring in strategic management at the University of Papua New Guinea before working in various sectors including petroleum, mining and government for eight years in both Australia and PNG.
Moses wants to continue to contribute to the development aspirations of PNG, but most especially for his province of West Sepik using his new qualification.
“If it were not for the people of West Sepik who elected my late dad between 1992 and 2002 as their Governor, I doubt my journey would have come this far. For that, I (including my siblings) will forever be grateful to the people of West Sepik.'