Stormzy has received an honorary degree from the University of Exeter
The 28-year-old rapper - whose real name is Michael Owuo Jr - attended the institution in South Devon on Tuesday (21.06.22), where he was photographed in a cap and gown to accept the special honour for his contributions to society
23 June 2022
The 'Vossi Bop' hitmaker achieved six A*s, three A's and three B's at GCSE, but dropped out of college and pursued a career in music.
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Stormzy didn't want to take all of the limelight away from the graduates in the room and congratulated them on having the "guts, the grit and the dedication" to stick it out and complete their courses, as he reflected on his own non-traditional academic journey.
As reported by DevonLive, the Grime artist said to students at the
ceremony: "I feel truly blessed and grateful to be up here receiving this honorary degree. I'd like to say a big thank you to University of Exeter and you guys as well for allowing me to share this moment with you.
"The journey I took to get to this moment has been considerably different to you. You guys have the guts, the grit and the dedication it takes to study for years and to finish a degree, whereas I got my AS results in my first year in college and said 'see ya later'.
"I didn't have the minerals that you guys have. A year later I took another swing at my A-levels at a different college until I sat down for my first English exam in January and walked out after 10-minutes. It took a hell of a lot for you guys to get here today [...].
"The road you took was not easy and this is coming from someone who tried to walk the exact same road and failed, so from the bottom of my heart I say congratulations, well done and you should all be so proud of yourselves. What you have achieved is incredible, don't let anybody down play it, don't let anybody undermine it if you are sat in this room today you are worthy and brilliant.
"My journey to this moment hasn't been through the traditional academic route, although undoubtedly education has played an integral role in helping me become the man I am today [...] "I'm not here to do a big speech about myself or things that I have done, or the things I haven't done, but I strongly believe there is something that God has instilled in all of us and I just thank him for giving us the courage to act on it."
As well as his chart-topping success, the Ivor Novello-winning star launched his own scholarship at the University of Cambridge for British black students.
The programme was launched in 2018 to encourage people of all backgrounds to strive for the best education possible.
The students selected had their fees to attend the prestigious university covered by the fund.