Journey To Da Bar #4 – Most Important Year

“This was the year where the major aspiration was to try and get into the Ghana School of Law and advance the dream of becoming a lawyer. So everything was set. Do the Intellectual Property top-up course at Mountcrest University. Do the course GSL provides. Finish the University of London course. Then get ready for the ultimate: the entrance exam to the Ghana School of Law and hope to God that I’d get in.

“The year got off to a really bad start, though. Right in the month of January, my very close friend, Paul Folivi, suddenly passed away, and I was an absolute mess for that period. It was devastating, to say the least.”

“Awww, that’s horrible to hear,” Serwaah sympathized.

“Hmmm, chale. If there’s any other person who would’ve been at the call ceremony, definitely him. It really messed all of us up. It really did. But, life had to go on. We did the funeral within a month, and life went on, as crushing as it was.

“So within that period, I actually ended up going back to the insurance company I was at…”

I stopped, smiling as I noted the looks of confusion on their faces.

“Yeah, I know. I didn’t like the place. But at that point, chale, I was tired of not earning money. I wasn’t getting anything at my previous place, despite plenty promises, and at least, if I could get something to put in my pocket while I prepared for the entrance exam, it would be helpful. So I spoke to the MD, and she was understanding, so I went ahead with it.

“So now diɛɛ, you were okay with the schooling and working together?” Serwaah questioned, her eyebrows raised.

I shrugged. “I needed the money at that point. And of course, it was temporary, so that also kept me a little satisfied.”

“well… I guess the money is essential. Extremely essential, I might add,” Oscar agreed. “So you managed to stay on till the time for the exams?”

“Ummm, nope. Things didn’t go as I had planned. So here’s what happened: as I started, I registered for the Mountcrest course. That was every Wednesday after work, so it was cool. And Mr. Anyimadu-Antwi was a pretty good lecturer. I still dunno why he saw me as a potential ‘playboy’, but chale, we locomote…”

I paused for a moment as my audience burst into laughter. “But why? Were you chasing one of your colleagues or something?” Diamond laughed.

“As if I’d even try! All of them were married women. I was pretty much the only single person in that class. But anyways, that’s just by the way. So that was going well. Then I started preparing for the GSL course. And it was around April that we went for our interview. We got through alright, but then the timetable came, and basically, we’d be attending class 4 times a week. I informed the company about this, and they didn’t like it. So I had to give up the job, unfortunately.”

“Oh chale! Just when some small money was coming in,” Toby sighed.

“Yeah, it really sucked. But well, the job was already a short-term thing, and I might as well focus on the main aim. So I just let it go and concentrated on this course. It was a great experience, I must say. And I have no doubt about it, our current Chief Justice is an excellent lecturer. He helped a lot with Ghana Legal Systems. And Mr. Agyeman too was very helpful with Constitutional Law. So even though I lost the job, the preparation was well underway. Although, there was something wrong…”

“What was that?” Anasah asked.

“I was barely studying for my Commercial Law paper, and I had a dumbass reasoning behind it. Since on my first attempt, I had scored about 36, I was lazily assuming no matter what happened, I’d still get my compensated pass.

“Then one day, I truly believe it was God who moved me to look at the school regulations. When I checked, I was shocked. Apparently, that compensated pass applied to only one subject.”

“Oh wow. So technically, since you had already spent that on the land law, it wouldn’t apply to this one?” he further enquired.

I nodded. “Yep. It was at this time I really felt God telling me that I had not pulled my weight enough over the past few years, and that if I was gonna make it to Makola, I’d have to get really serious. It was definitely the ‘electric shock’ I needed. So from then onwards, man became extra serious, returning to the midnight studies and all.”

“Burning the midnight candle. Hehe, nobody here does it better than Toby and Maa,” Diamond commented. “Ei, Counsel! The two of them can study throughout the night, eh. It’s serious.”

“Ei, saa? Then chale, I need you and Her Ladyship to give me tips ooo! Coz the way I’ve been sleeping of late,” I laughed as Toby shot his older sister a dirty look.

“But you know, in the midst of all the late studies, one sweet memory I have is one night as I was watching this Denzel Prempeh video. The one that starts with Becky Bonney and Uncle Ato. It was this song Uncle Ato raised that really gave me vim. ‘My God who began it, He will accomplish it’. I just remember feeling so encouraged and confident that chale, God started this journey, and once I did what was necessary, He’d definitely see me through.”

“So, July was the main month. The month of exams. In time, the entrance exam forms came out, and even though I was yet to complete the course, there was still an opportunity to apply, provided you completed by the time the results arrived. I bought them, completed them and did the necessary, finished the IP course, went and wrote the Commercial Law exam and the GSL exam, and battled with this small voice causing me some crazy torment.”

“Why? What was it?” Oscar asked.

“This voice kept telling me NOT to go ahead with writing the exam, and that I should wait till the next year. Believe me, it was torment. Absolute torment. Every move I made towards preparation left me feeling whether I was being disobedient to God. Yet, chale, this is what I had prepared for, so wassup?”

“Hmmmm, the devil can be so sneaky,” Oscar murmured.

“Extremely. But I held my ground and continued to press on. Preparing for the main deal. Chale, vigorous preparations nkwaaa. The week of the exam, my study group spent the evenings on Zenith campus, just going hard. Me, Ebenezer, Crystal, Faustina and Stephen. It wasn’t easy kraaaa.

“Then the day came. 27th July 2018. After all the group studies, sleepless nights, solving of past questions, hard work… the day finally arrived. I remember as we got seated for the paper. We had to wait for some time before the papers got to some of us. I remember looking around my hall. The number of people who had dozed off while we waited, eh… it was crazy. Man taya!!”

“So after a while, things finally kicked off. The objective questions were pretty good. The second part, though? Chale, the least said about it, the better. The first question I answered was like a social studies question. The other one really messed me up. So when it was time to stop work, I was already quite crestfallen. As far as I knew, I had already failed the exam. Straight. Maybe the voice had been right after all.”

“But it wasn’t, was it?” Serwaah asked.

“Nope! By the next day, it was revealed that the question I struggled with had been leaked. So there was a whole uproar, and everyone was wondering what was next. In a couple of days, IEC came out to announce that that question had been cancelled, and we were all to come and write a supplementary exam on the 17th of August.”

“Oh wow! Awesome! That must have been great news for you!” she excitedly said.

I snickered. “Actually, I was slightly pissed.”

“Ah! But how can you be pissed when you’ve got a second chance?” Anasah asked, looking stunned.

“It wasn’t about the second chance per se, but the fact that we had to go through all those 10 subjects just for one bloody question. So chale, the learning kraaa wasn’t as intense as before, but man had to do something. Within that period, the results for the IP course came, and it was a pass. The GSL one too came, and it was a pass. It was the week of the exam that the most important result came. The Commercial Law one.

“That must have been a nerve-wrecking moment,” Anasah said.

“Chale! Before then, I literally had moments of panic where I’d have to go outside, walk around and calm myself down. I dunno if they were panic attacks, but they were deep. I didn’t say much about the exam earlier, but… it was actually a lot better than the last ones, so I kept telling myself that I had done enough. Yet that fear, chale…

The day the results dropped… tension overload! I remember how terrified I was as I put in my details. I literally covered the top of my phone so I wouldn’t see the score. Then as the results screen loaded, I saw it at the bottom. I had finally gained my LLB!”

“Whoooooo!” My audience clapped.

“Wow, thank God! After all those little setbacks, you finally bagged the degree!” Toby enthusiastically cheered.

“Finally ooo! I was now done with University of London. And I also had the vim needed to go and write that supplementary paper.”

“Great! So I guess that one went much better for you,” Diamond said. 

“Oh yeah! So the 17th came, and much to my pleasant surprise, it was a question based on Ghana legal systems. Had to do with fundamental human rights and which court has jurisdiction to hear such cases. It was pretty straightforward for me. Within an hour, we were done, and it was time for the painful part… waiting.”

“Ughhhhh, waiting for results is the worst!” Toby moaned.

“It bites, chale. It really does. Small small whispers from somewhere will have you in panic mode. It’s always a little nice to just forget about it to an extent. And truthfully, that was the case on the 28th September. I was busy on my laptop, when the pics came on one of the WhatsApp groups. Chale, the heartburn!

“I was almost too scared to check it out, but then I said to myself that no matter what, man should just check. If I made it, wonderful. If not, chale, too bad. So I went through it. Started from the first page, looking to see if IEC/EE/18/0101 will be there. First page completed. So I went to the second one…

“Then I saw the number. 0101. Herh!”

“You couldn’t believe it, could you?” Oscar smirked.

“Chale! You know, the school sent us our index numbers for the exam via text. When I saw my index number there, I grabbed my phone to check if I was seeing right. Like, ‘is this really my index number?’. I looked at the text message, then at the laptop screen. Text message. Laptop screen. Text message. Laptop screen. Herhh! Chale!”

“It was no dream! You made it into the Ghana School of Law!”

“Oh yes. It was no dream at all. The dream was to get there that year, and as I sat there, overwhelmed with joy and disbelief, it had come to pass. What many had worked hard for and failed to achieve for years, God helped me to get there on my first attempt.”

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