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Journey To Da Bar

Journey To Da Bar #7 – 17th December 2020

“Chale, that was not an easy time. The way Smooth Wrapz suffered, eh, if it wasn’t for having a support system in Daddy and Maa, things would’ve gone bad for us,” Diamond recounted as she shook her head.

“Yeah, it was tough. March, April and May really went by fast. Coz chale, you wake up, and there’s no work or school. It was a challenge. And for me, the worst part was that it totally drained my ‘student battery’…”

“Oh, Lawyer Kwamina, you’ve said it ooo! Ei! Me that I’m always learning between 8 to 10. During that period, I didn’t even remember where my books where. No motivation to study,” Toby added.

“None whatsoever oo, Toby! I’ll pick a book and say I’m going to learn. Hoh, notin! If I wasn’t watching HITC Sport and letting the Irish Guy entertain me or playing Bitcoin games, forgetti! Nothing academic whatsoever, chale. And at a point, it was annoying mpo. One half of me just wanted this to continue for as long as possible coz the lazy life dey bee. But I also wanted us to go back and just finish this course and go our way.

“So the school started some Zoom classes. They secured some student Vodafone SIM cards for us, and we got a little active. It was okay aaaa, but there was still some tints of laziness. My study group gave each person questions to work on and stuff, so that also pushed me to get into the books. And in the midst of waiting, the results from the resit arrived.

“And they went well, right?” Serwaah asked.

“Ummmm… not as I had hoped. I saw the Civil Procedure results and realized I had failed it again.”

“Oh!”

“Yeah, I was not happy at all. But at least Evidence went well. The little I did managed to get me over the line for that one. But now I had to get serious about studying once again. Thankfully, I had someone to study with, so that kept me motivated. It wasn’t too long before it was announced that we were returning to campus. In June.”

“Oh finally!” Oscar breathed.

“Yeah, finally. I felt relieved that we could finally complete the thing, because at that point, we should have written the exams. But the thing I wasn’t so happy about was how the final years for Tech were not coming back, since they were doing theirs online. So basically, Senyo and I would be returning to a virtually empty hostel.

“Yeah, I can imagine. It’s not always the nicest to be all alone in your hostel, chale. Sometimes the knowledge that people are present is nice,” Today said. Then with a sly grin, he added, “plus, catching word of the naughty things going on in the hostel…”

I laughed out loud. “There was a lot of that, chale. And even when we went back, there were some distins here and there. Anyways, lemme not go there, na this is PG-18 stuff. Eventually, we returned to Kumasi, and of course, all the COVID protocols were in place. Social distancing, wearing of masks… all that stuff. We went for a few lectures, Senyo and I, but ultimately, once July began, we did our own thing. Studying on our own and going for group studies.

“The whole of July was solely for getting ready to climb that final mountain ahead of us. Eventually, it passed, and August was upon us. We started the exams in the middle of the month.

“First paper was Conveyancing. Chale, I had been drafting the entire 2 days before the paper. I went in, and everything was set for me. That paper was as smooth as could be. Two days later, Advocacy and Legal Ethics. It was a little bit of a shaker for me, but not so much. I had total control over what I was doing.

“Then my next paper was on the next Friday. Civil Procedure. Very nice timing, especially considering how they initially put it in between the first two papers.”

“AH! So like, you would have written Conveyancing, Civil Procedure and Advocacy within three days?” Anasah exclaimed. “That’s torture!”

“Absolute torture. But they changed it, so chale, I was glad. That week too was my birthday week. Definitely one of my best birthdays ever.”

“Awwwwww!” they all cooed, a hint of mischief tinged in their unanimous reaction.

“Herh, behave yourselves! So yeah, I took a break on Wednesday, and went straight back to work on Thursday. Friday came, and I went to write it, and my goodness, was it a smooth ride! That one was duly dealt with.

“Nice!”

“So the final weekend came, and we started packing small small. Chale, we were tired of the place ooo. When we went back, there were a few people around. By the time August began, it was proper empty. Aside the guy opposite us, nobody else was around. So we were in a serious hurry to finish and get out of there. So the last week started, and Tuesday brought Interpretation. I definitely had enough to make it through there, even though I was often wondering if it was enough.

“And then Friday! Family law was written, which I had little problems with, and we immediately met in one of the exam halls and thanked God for taking us through the exam period.

“Saturday! By 5 am, Senyo had packed everything, and was on his way back to Ho. Around 1:30, my people came for me, and I was out.

“The end of your time in Kumasi,” Diamond remarked.

“Yep. So after that, I spent about a week resting. Then internship called. I did it where I currently am, and it was okay. Coz of how COVID messed up our regular timetables, we were doing it for 6 weeks, coz the call was scheduled for the end of November. So as we went on with it, we got our logbooks and stuff ready for the upcoming interview. After the internship, I went and got my senior and my magistrate to sign my stuff, and by the last day of submission, I was done.

“Friday was the day of the interview, and even though we moved at a ridiculously slow pace, it was eventually done, and for my batch, the panel was pretty nice. There was no tension. I remember the judge pointing out to me how crucial it is to be diligent as a lawyer, since it’s the difference between a client being in trouble and being free.”

“True, true. That’s one thing Daddy always says about Maa. That she was one helluva diligent lawyer before she got called to the Bench,” Serwaah commented.

“Yeah, so chale, I’m gonna make that a prime feature of my work. So yeah, around this time, early November, we thought that the results would be out by then. But nope, we kept waiting. Mid-November came, and we were still waiting. Last week of November came, and the Call was officially postponed. So 17th December was the new date.

“Ughh, the torment!” Oscar grimaced.

“Nasty torment, chale. Man just wanted to know wossop, so we can work towards our how far. And of course, the rumour mill was always working. They say this, they say that… hmmm. It wasn’t easy.

“So December arrived, and during that period too, elections was the major thing on the mind of the nation. Some of us weren’t that bothered about it, chale. What we wanted was to know what IEC had done.

“4th December was the date of release, according to our Co-ordinator. I remember that day, we were just anxiously waiting to see what would come up. Herh, stresssssss! I didn’t go out the whole day; I was just too tense, waiting to see what the results were. Somewhere around 5 or so, then we got a message: it wasn’t gonna be released that day.”

“Ahh! But these people paaa! What kind of hypertension were they trying to inflict upon y’all?” Diamond questioned. “Or they thought waiting for results is a sweet experience?”

“I wonder mpo. Once that came out, I just switched my mind off the results coming any time soon. I went to do some gaming on my laptop, na chale, this life, I can’t kill myself. So I was doing that naaa, then on our class page, a message was sent. The Registrar said our results were in, and she was sending them.”

“Kaaishhh! Somebody’s stomach!” Toby remarked.

“Chale, I couldn’t play the game anymore. I just started watching my phone screen, waiting for the goods to drop. Like 10 or 15 minutes passed, man is still waiting. Then one of my colleagues sent pictures of the results on the notice board, and chale, heartbeat increase. Intense ayɛmshishiɛ. But of course, this is what I had been waiting for, so chale, I opened it.

“And right there on the first page of the pass list, I saw my index number. Bold and clear.”

“Awwww, the battle was finally over!” Diamond gushed as she and the others clapped their hands.

“Yes, the battle was over, and I was victorious. I still remember how happy the atmosphere was when my dad came home. We celebrated ankasa. Even before that, I was just so excited, I ran around the house for like 30 minutes, just high on excitement. It was such a grand feeling. After my multiple resits in University of London, the stress of my first few months in GSL… I had finally made it. Damn, it was a great feeling!”

“Of course, there were some casualties who will have to wait a bit before joining us at the Bar, and that dampened the excitement a bit. I know without a doubt that those who were referred were pretty devastated by it, and I feel for them. But chale, they will soon join us, and in the long run, at the Bar, nobody really cares if you were called at the main call or mini call. What matters is that you’re at the Bar. So they’ll join us soon, no doubt.

“As for the days that followed, a whole lot of excitement and stuff. As well as doing all the necessary stuff to complete our transition from the school. So we had forms to fill and get sponsors to fill. We had to buy our attire. Prepare for the dinner. All that. And we did it all, chale. After all the hard work, it’s not some forms that will cause us to be eliminated.

“And the days finally arrived! Wednesday evening, I had a few of my mates join me as we made our way to the Conference Center for the Call Dinner. A couple of speeches, mainly words of advice to us on how we should comport ourselves as members of the Bar. Plenty toasts. And even more pictures. Of course, we were never gonna spare the pictures. Especially when some of us were just killing it. Like yours truly!”

“I know right!” Oscar agreed. “Your pics in the blue suit were just all kinds of fire. It was lit! Ogya nkwaa!”

“Thanks! So we had a good time, and then I went to drop my people off, and went home. And chale, I couldn’t sleep the entire night. All the excitement just wouldn’t let me. Chale, after saying I want to become a lawyer somewhere in 2013, and starting the journey in 2014, it was just hitting me that yo, Kwamina, in a couple of hours, you are going to become a lawyer for real!”

“I can only imagine, Lawyer,” Serwaah responded. “All the years of hard work and determination coming up to that glorious day. It was definitely gonna be exciting.”

“Oh, it was. The day of reckoning finally arrived. 17th December 2020.

“So by 4 am, I was ironing my stuff and getting ready to dress up. By 5:30, I was ready and dressed up. By 6 thereabout, I was out of the house to go pick up my colleagues. I got to Legon and they were all ready and waiting. We went to the fountain and took some plenty pics, then made our way to the Conference Center. Seeing my mates all robed up, putting out their pictures… such a surreal experience.

“But you know when it really hit me? When I got my brochure and looked at the section for us new lawyers. Seeing my picture in there. Seeing the pictures of all the people I sat in class with. It really struck me at that point. I had made it. My colleagues had made it. We were now lawyers! I honestly felt like tears should’ve been streaming down my cheek. They weren’t, though.

“As a whole, the ceremony was as its supposed to be. Solemn, and straightforward. It felt good to hear the Judicial Secretary call my name as I went to get my certificate. It didn’t take long, and we were through, and we were done. So yeah, some other things went on, but ultimately, by the end of 17th December 2020, I officially became Mr. Sean Isaac Kwamina Addo-Mensah, Esq. Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana!”

Before I finished that, the Dolphynes were already on their feet, applauding and cheering loudly.

“Awesome story, Mr. Addo-Mensah! Lord, you’ve had one heck of a journey!” Diamond exclaimed. “But thanks be to God, you finally made it!”

“Yeah. Congratulations once again, Lawyer Kwamina!” Serwaah congratulated me.

“Yeah, yeah, congrats! You made it, chale! More grease to your elbow, sir!” Toby added.

I rose from my seat and clasped my hands together. “Thanks so much for the love, guys. It’s been pretty overwhelming, the love that has come from all angles. Facebook, IG, WhatsApp… people have shown love for this achievement, and I’m grateful. Chale, it still hasn’t fully sunk in, but with time, it obviously will.”

“Speaking of social media, any comments on the special love you got on Facebook?” Toby grinned.

I rolled my eyes. “No, no comment on that. I don’t like stress.”

They all laughed at that.

“That aside, I really appreciate the love. Honestly. I know for a fact that a new journey begins. Now that I’m at the Bar diɛɛ, there’s a lot I aim to achieve. I definitely intend to leave my mark and have a legacy in Ghana’s legal history. It’ll take time, but of course, I already knew that. All I need to do for now is build myself, keep learning and depend on God to guide me, and I’ll surely make it and make my wife, kids and family and friends happy and proud of me.

“So yeah, by the grace of God, and with the hard work I put in, after six years of hustling, falling and rising, I made it. And that is my journey to the Bar.”

Applause and cheers.

Yes, dear reader, that is my story. It was not an easy journey, but at the end, I finally arrived at my destination. This was a story I always intended to share with y’all, and I’m glad I managed to do it like this. Thanks for reading!! And now that 2021’s business has kicked off, expect a busy year, y’all!

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