“So, 2019 came about. It was time for man to start preparing, because June wasn’t too far away, and with the way the system is, the last thing I wanted was to become a victim. Six subjects for Part 1, and if you fail more than two, you have to begin the entire course all over again.”
They shook their heads. “That thing is just so unreasonable, chale,” Diamond said. “Maa doesn’t like it one bit.”
“Yeah, she’s complained about it a few times. She’s like, why make the students do an entire course all over again when you can simply make them rewrite the subjects they failed? It makes way more sense,” Anasah added.
“It’s crazy, chale. But well, I’m just hoping the change comes, coz it’s just too much of an unnecessary punishment. So anyways, as we prepared, we had some interesting times. The countless breakfasts and lunches, which wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing Auntie Aisha. We visited the courts twice, one for Criminal Assizes and another was just to observe proceedings at the Court of Appeal. Then there was the SRC elections, with different campaigns and all. Ultimately, the presidency was won by Jonathan Alua…”
“Mmmmm, Mr. Jonathan Alua. He’s so cute, with that dimple and all,” Diamond sighed, a dreamy but mischievous smirk on her face.
“I’m telling Edem!”
We laughed as Diamond threw a pillow at Toby for that statement.
“Yeah, he is. And his girl is cute too. Cute lawyer recognize cute lawyer, chale. So yeah, the months went by, and it was studies, church, studies, church… that same old combo. Then May arrived, the Tech students wrote their exams, vacated and went home, and campus became mad empty. We were still preparing. Then the main month arrived, and within that period too, I went to apply for membership of SRC Congress. I got it, along with four others in the class, and at some point, we went to Accra for the handing over, and returned to Kumasi the next day. A brief interruption during the revision period, but we went on with it.
“Exam time arrived, and good Lord, what a stressful period it was. Two weeks, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Chale! Senyo and I barely had time for sleep during the night; learning hard throughout the night. It was only after a paper that we’ll sleep, then we’re back to work in the evening. It wasn’t easy kraaaa.
“So the first paper was Civil Procedure. Honestly, that paper rocked me. When I left the exam hall, I knew that chale, it would be a miracle if I passed it. A major miracle. Wednesday was Criminal Procedure. As for that one, with the kind of effort His Lordship Justice Osei-Hwere put into teaching us, there was no way I was failing that paper. As smooth as could be, chale. Then ADR was on Friday. That one was another cool breeze. So by Friday evening, I knew that at least, two papers have been defeated.
“The next week came, and Monday was Accounting and Legal Practice Management. Chale, the way the Accounting was a thorn in my flesh throughout the academic year, eh! I remember lying down for a bit from about 3:30 to 4, then I got up and told Senyo, “Senyo, I don’t think I’m ready for this paper.” He felt the same way. The tension as we went to write that paper diɛɛ, something else. But eventually, it turned out to be fine. I had done some classes with an Accounting tutor we called Wofa Atta, and the first thing he taught me that I understood was what came in the exam.”
“Alaaa, that thing is sweet ooo!” Toby gushed, rubbing his hands together. “When you target a particular topic and it comes. Chale, you want to dance in the exam hall mpo!”
“No be small! So that one went okay. For Accounting, I was cool. For LPM, I was just hoping I had done enough. Then Wednesday came. Company & Commercial Procedure. That went very well for me too. Thanks to one of my seniors, Ernest, I had a very good idea of what to prepare for, and true to form, my preparations were on point. The last day was for Evidence, and honestly, I think if I had read Mensah and others v The Republic beforehand, I would have been fully prepared. But I was taken off guard, to an extent. I did my best, regardless.”
“So that was it for the year?” Serwaah asked.
“Yeah, so the next day norrr, I was back in Accra. Rested for about two weeks, then I started my internship. At the Amasaman District Court.”
“Ei! But don’t you live at Spintex?” Oscar asked.
“Yeah. From Spintex to Amasaman every day. Chale, without a car, I would have suffered papa. But it was a great experience. That’s where I saw a lot. Plenty of action in the court. My major memories are that of the Family Tribunal. Especially the first one I attended. Herh! After that Friday, relationships suddenly looked very scary to me, I won’t lie.”
“Hehehe, Maa says in her younger years, those matrimonial cases actually used to make her wonder if she and Daddy would be able to last. She said it used to scare her,” Anasah commented.
“Sherlock, it’s not a joke ooo! You hear some cases, and you start wondering if doing this marriage thing is worth it. You’ll find couples at each other’s throats. Two people who were once always sitting together doing lovi-lovi now sitting at opposite sides of the court room. And some of the comments made in chambers… chale, if you don’t fortify yourself, you’ll end up deciding never to get married. It’s something else.
“So anyways, the internship was great. I learned a lot from the two magistrates I was under for that period of time. I appreciated the experience I got. And the best part was how I closed early. Sometimes, by 12 mpo, we’re done for the day. Gave me a lot of time to go home, do my needed assignments and watch ‘The Wire’ afterwards.”
“Oh yes, The Wire. Best series ever!” Oscar said in approval, nodding his head.
“Imagine if Kwame was here. He’d immediately come and start arguing with you that The Sopranos is better!” Toby laughed.
“Hoh, na are you minding him? Unless he doesn’t see that I’ve taken right. He’ll take left and be ready to die on that hill,” Oscar scoffed in amusement. “Imagine him telling me the end of How I Met Your Mother is a brilliant ending.”
“Ah, are you serious?” Diamond gasped, looking at her brother. “That rubbish ending where they killed Tracy off and got Ted and Robin back together is brilliant?”
“Dee, it’s because it is me ooo. If it is you that asks him, no be small dissing he go diss the writers.”
“Ahhh, better. Like the way I’ll give it to him. The way they spoilt the whole show for me. I still bore sef. Ah, after making me root for Ted and Tracy like that, only to kill her off at the end. Mtcheww… oh, Counsel, sorry for that little diversion. Back to your story, please.”
I laughed at her clear disdain for the writers of that show.”Oh, no problem. So, we did it up until October, and our results came out not too long after. As you can imagine, ayɛmshishiɛ and tins. As the thing was posted, I checked the pass list. A list I knew I wouldn’t find myself on. I didn’t. I moved to the referred list. I took my time and went down aaaaaaa…
“Then I saw my index number, with Civil Procedure and Evidence as the referred papers. I literally jumped and punched the air. Jurgen Klopp style!”
“I can imagine what a relief it was! So Part 2 it was?” Anasah asked.
“Yep. While I prepared to resit those two papers, I got myself ready for the new academic year. Now we had four subjects to do, so a little more time for us to study and all. Mondays to Wednesdays were our lecture days, so I made Thursdays the day I’d go to the library and prepare for the referred papers.
“So the academic year started, and chale, man had enough time to himself. Wednesdays were the busy days. From morning to evening. But no biggie. After all, we had a loooong weekend ahead. So it was normal stuff. Studies. For church, I was asked to help with the drama team, so Leslie and I worked on some plays for the church. The first one didn’t go very well. Second one was a hit. Third one was good. So everything was cool.
“For the new academic year, we had mock exams put in place to prepare us for the main exam. So we wrote our first one in December. For me, I left quite a lot of gaping holes in my answer sheets, to be honest, but I wasn’t too moved coz it was a non-scoring exam. Adonkerism things, chale. Right afterwards, we went on our Christmas break.
“And with that, rolled in the year 2020. For this year, the aim was one. To finish this course and get to the Bar. So serious work had to be done, but first, those resits needed to be done.
“So at the end of January, we got to work. For about a week or so, I didn’t go to class; I just focused on Civil Procedure and Evidence. The days of reckoning came eventually. Senyo was also referred in it, so we were studying together, and we wrote it on a Friday. That paper could have gone a lot better for me, but I felt like I had done just about enough. Evidence was on a Tuesday, I think. That one too, quite a number of swerves, but I knew just about enough to write something good. So then, it was back to the regular thing.
“One of my favourite experiences soon followed: SRC Week. Lit times, chale. It was at the end of February. I wasn’t around for the first few days, but Thursday was my target. The excursion to Lake Bosomtwe was just awesome! And the cocktail that followed in the evening? Even better. Asayy, we enjoyed ourselves well well! It was a great evening. And then the dinner followed, where I was given the award for Gentleman of the Year for Kumasi campus.”
“Eiiissshhhhh! You’re not a small man ooo!” Diamond cheered.
“Not at all. Another sweet evening, chale. So of course, back to the grind. But then, something came up. And I’m sure you know what it is.”
“Ahh, yes. That bloody little thing called coronavirus. Chale, that thing worried us ooo,” Toby sighed.
“It really did. So about a week or two passed. Then when the first two or so cases were discovered in Ghana, the President immediately gave the order for the schools to be closed down. For some reason, I thought it wouldn’t be any long thing. Maybe a maximum of two weeks. But as the campus started to get empty, I started thinking twice about staying. Senyo too decided he had to return to Ho, so by Friday, he was on his way. So I hung around for the weekend. Went to visit a friend…”
“Is it the friend I’m thinking of?” Toby slyly butted in, a mischievous smirk on his face.
I put my finger over my lips. “Please. Not in the open.”
“… and by Monday, I was back in Accra. Not long after is when the lockdown was announced, and we were to be stuck in our houses for a long time. So the journey was still on course, but thanks to COVID-19, I’d have to wait a few more months for it to be completed.”