Exactly 7 years and 4 days ago, I entered a classroom in the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos. It was dingy. When there was light, it was freezing. When there wasn’t, it was sweltering.
And though they said there was no dress code, I wore my cream shirt and formal black trousers because people are unpredictable.
And, 7 days and 1 day later, after a lot of sweat, tears and yes, cramming, the time came for fulfilment. That morning, as I entered the bathroom with my phone, I just felt something say to me, play Blessings by Laura Story. So I played it on repeat. I was feeling emotionally down in a hard to explain kind of way. Does anyone else get something they’ve worked toward for years and then get depressed? Or is it just me?
Anyhoo, after that I went to go pay my Bar Practicing Fees. Then I went back to my Uncle’s to await my parents and brothers.
Fast forward 3 hours and I started getting dressed. First the camisole, then the shirt, then the suit jacket, then the shoes. Then I asked my dad for help with the collarette.
At that point it was 12:40pm and my mom was like you need to go now. And I was like why now? The event starts at 3pm. The place is a 7 minute drive. Why you want to punish me like this?
I went though- 1:30pm, I got there. Before I entered the hall, one dude was like you should not be wearing a shirt and I was like, “interesting” (Law school does not have a dress code for Call to Bar. That knowledge is passed down from set to set (when asked for). Obianuju did not ask, she assumed. I was going to take off my shirt and hope they’d accept my black camisole. My dad said not to bother. No one would care. At that point, I was very warm. I’d worn the gown and it was a sunny day. I entered the venue, the International Conference Centre. And then Problem Number 2 came to the fore, my shoes. Suede shoes are not corporate. But again, NO ONE TOLD ME THEY WERE PROHIBITED!
I started praying. “Lord, I waited 7 years for this. Please don’t let me be embarrassed. Please, Lord”
In fact, a very nice young woman helped me make my shirt look like a camisole. Thank you so so very much sweetie! (I hope you happen to read this someday)
But nothing could be done about the shoes.
Fortunately, when I got to the front of the line, after some mild humiliation, I was properly adjusted and no one seemed to notice my shoes. When I got in, I just lifted my hands in thanks.
The ceremony started. There had been rumours that we were going to stand all through while the Chaiman/Life Bencher shook the hand of all 900 (nine hundred!) successful aspirants. That’s what happened the day before my Call in fact.
But the same God who had helped me get through the entry point with minimum humiliation was listening.I got to hear the call and progression of Law Students to something closer to lawyers from the somewhat comfort of my chair.
When it got to my turn, I walked gingerly to the stage (my shoes were very beautiful and very VERY painful to wear). I got to the stage praying all the while, “Lord, please do not let me trip, fall, twist my ankle or be embarrassed in any other way”. And once again, He answered.
I got to the stage, the Life Bencher helped me adjust my wig with a smile (lovely guy) and shook my hand. I collected my certificate on the way off the stage and I stepped down without tripping, falling, twisting my ankle or embarrassing myself in anyway. And the rest of the ceremony saw me on my seat.
We were NOT lawyers yet though. We had to have dinner with the Body of Benchers. Failure to do so would mean deferring our Call till next year. So I got outside, took a couple of photos and went to have dinner (bread and chicken peppersoup (I had no soup but my neighbour gave me hers because it was cold), fried rice, chicken and 3 day old plantain (I had to use a fork and knife to even cut it) and a cupcake). Then, we closed and I made the long trek gingerly again (does anyone want new shoes?) out of the venue and into my Uncle’s car. It was already past 8. On the drive back to my Uncle’s house, his driver asked my advice for one of his friends who had gotten his girlfriend pregnant, proposed to her, to which she said yes (at first) before she refused. Now she (and her parents) say no marriage, the boy will pay child support (he agreed) and damages to the tune of N250, 000(where my advice was needed).
We got home. And I met a party welllll under way. Took pics.
Hugged and was hugged.
The next day, after a grand total of 45 minutes sleep, I went to the Supreme Court wearing a black shirt, black trousers and black shoes. In case I was sent out though, I had another outfit in my bag. The Registration of my name on the Roll took place in under 20 minutes. I’d thought it would take 2 hours at least.
🙌”THIS GOD IS TOO MUCH OH” 🙌
And that’s how I became a lawyer.
Some more pictures-
P.s- someone told me a new trick for natural hair: cut okro, boil it, sieve it, then pour over hair. Anyone tried it yet?
P.S 2- I’M COLLECTING PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS. SO PLEASE DECLARE SOME BLESSINGS ON MY LIFE AND WHATEVER YOU SAY TO ME WILL BE REFLECTED IN YOUR LIFE AS WELL.