A Fife couple had two reasons to celebrate on Wednesday – as they marked 14 years of marriage by graduating on the same day.
Elsie and Bulabari Francis, of Kirkcaldy, graduated from Edinburgh Napier University at a ceremony in the capital.
Elsie, 40, collected her MSc in business information while Bulabari was awarded an MBA in leadership practice.
Bulabari had initially been due to graduate last year but it was unable to go ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The couple – who are originally from Nigeria – decided to turn Elsie’s graduation at the Usher Hall on Wednesday into a joint celebration on a day that they also marks 14 years of married life.
‘A special date in our diaries’
The university’s autumn graduation ceremony was the first to take place at the Usher Hall since the pandemic struck last year.
Elsie said: “What a wonderful day this is. It was disappointing for Bulabari and other 2020 graduates not to be able to walk across the stage at the Usher Hall to get their degrees last year.
“But the way things have turned out we can now celebrate both of us becoming graduates on what was already a special date in our diaries.”
The couple first met in Port Harcourt in Nigeria in October 2006 and married there exactly one year later.
October is a truly significant month for me, and for us as a couple… this makes our story complete
Elsie said: “October is a truly significant month for me, and for us as a couple.
“I was born in October. Bulabari and I first met in October. We got married in October. Now I am graduating in October with my husband and fellow Edinburgh Napier graduates at my side, which really makes our story complete.”
Bulabari, 48, was the first of the pair to move to Scotland, to study for his MBA at Napier, in January 2018.
Elsie stayed in Nigeria to juggle her post-graduate studies with working as an executive assistant and looking after their three children – Glenn, 13, Collins, 11, and Valerie, seven.
‘We look forward to growing old together here’
The following December the family spent Christmas together in Scotland and decided it was where their future lay.
At first Elsie stayed in Rosyth to look after the children whilst Bulabari continued his studies.
He now works as a project planning specialist at English-based gas distribution company Cadent Gas Ltd.
Elsie is now looking to pursue a career in business analysis after finishing university.
And the couple say they are in no hurry to leave Scotland.
Bulabari said: “We have moved from Rosyth to Kirkcaldy but we really love it in Scotland and are looking forward to growing old together here.”