Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli and Mezuo Nwuneli on “Disasters Sift out the Resilient”

Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli and Mezuo Nwuneli have become the first couple to deliver the keynote address on Harvard Business School (HBS) class day.

Speaking together, they encouraged graduates to hold onto their courage and tenacity, to find their life’s purpose (“Consider what brings you joy, what makes you angry, and what you are willing to do for free”), and follow their morals: “Your success early in life can be destructive if you have not clearly defined your values—rooted in integrity and humility,” Mezuo Nwuneli said. Finally, they advised graduates to “Live your life with open hands”—both giving and receiving help. “Use your talents, time, and treasure to improve the lives of other people. And when you are in a position to make decisions, always think of the people who are not in the room, and make sure you speak up with boldness.”

Nodding once more at the crises created by the pandemic, Ndidi Nwuneli closed with an exhortation: “An Igbo proverb states, ‘Mbelede ka eji ama Dike,’” she said, “which loosely translates: ‘Disasters help to sift out the resilient, the resourceful, and the brave.’”

Read more: Harvard Magazine, The Cable

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