32 year old billionaire Darshan Chandaria recently received an honorary degree but from what may seem to be a non-existent institution.
Darshan is the son of Manu Chandaria, an 89 year old businessman whose business acumen has seen his interest in steel, plastic and aluminium extend across eleven African countries.
One of Kenya’s youngest CEO is however said to have recently received a Doctorate in Humanities from United Graduate College and Seminary.
Honorary degrees are given for the sake of honour for achievements determined by university management, and exempt the recipients from residence, study, research and examinations.
The graduation according to an invite seen by Kahawa Tungu was allegedly held at Lions Sight First Eye Hospital, Loresho on January 12, 2019.
The college, we have learnt was under investigation by the Tennessee Department of Education through its education commission. This was in 2010.
It is during this time that prominent Ugandan personalities and businessmen received honorary degrees and admitted to have never heard of the institution. They also had no clue as to why they were awarded the degrees.
In July 2010, officials from the college led by Chief Chancellor Prof Clyde Rivers were in Kenya dishing out these degrees to persons of interest.
On the list was Chief Executive, Computers for Kenya Tom Musili. He received an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities at his office along Mombasa Road.
In March the same year, the college honoured some 25 people with these “professorships” at a function held in Charter Hall, Nairobi.
Key notable personalities included Kalonzo Musyoka, Manu Chandaria, Joe Aketch, Nathan Kahara and then National Assembly speaker Kenneth Marende.
Also receiving a doctorate degree then was Neno Evangelism Centre’s Bishop James Maina Ng’ang’a and former Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairperson Zipporah Kittony.
Asked why the number of beneficiaries was so high, Prof Clyde said: “There are so many great Kenyans who have waited to be recognized for so long,” adding that this was supposed to motivate others to work just as hard.
It is said that key government officials who received these degrees parted with at least $3,000.
Also feted then was Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janet, and his Burundi counterpart Pierre Nkurunziza.