A City Law School student graduates and fulfils the dying wish of her ‘inspirational best friend’

By Matthew Little (Communications Officer), Published

Oriola Biba (LLB Law) 21, is graduating with Upper Second Class Honours in Law after promising her late father, Ndue Biba, that she would graduate for him.

Originally from Lezhe, Albania, Oriola’s parents both worked 16-hours a day in an electronics store and clothing shop to fund her and her siblings’ education.

Preparing for university at what was supposed to be one of the most exciting times of her life, Oriola sadly learnt that her father had been diagnosed with cancer.

“My father was diagnosed with colon cancer just when I was about to move to the UK and start my university journey,” said Oriola. “He asked my mother not to tell me because he didn’t want to disturb my focus and studies,” she continued.

Oriola-graduating-at-law-school
Oriola Biba (LLB Law) @gurpreetkaur.longani

Despite the challenges with her law degree, family commitments and work life, Oriola promised her father that she would graduate for him.

He made me promise that I will finish my degree no matter how impossible it seems. I did it for him.

– Oriola Biba (LLB Law)

Ndue, sadly passed away aged 58 on 1st September 2020. Oriola has since fulfilled her promise and has dedicated her graduation to him.

“My father was and always will be my best friend,” said Oriola. “He and I shared an incredible love for books, knowledge, and family. We also shared the same dreams and his biggest dream was to see me graduate. Today is for him.” she continued.

Oriola and Ndue Biba

“He would always say that he worked so hard so that I would never had to struggle like he and my mum did. I owe all of my successes to my parents for their hard work and sacrifices.”

Now living in Old Street and beginning her search for a graduate job, Oriola reflects on her time at City and her journey to graduation.

City has taught me that you are never alone. Through this challenging journey, I have met some of the best people in my life, friends that I can call family.

– Oriona Biba (LLB Law)

“I am so grateful to my uncle and his wife who kindly housed me for three years and supported me while I studied.

“My mentors at City have helped me throughout my course and my friends have kept me close and made me feel at home, even though I was far from my parents. Regardless of the challenging moments, I have never felt alone.”

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