Never Too Late 

Hi 2017, 

They say a new year stands for new beginnings, new resolutions, new goals and aspirations. A time to start afresh, fix mistakes and settle to be better. 
Why then don’t I feel this rave? Why is yesterday the same as today, today as tomorrow. It’s like 2016 never ended and 2017 isn’t here yet. You really should have waited you know. Waited for me to get on my feet, overcome the helplessness and uncertainty, start to live. 

Am I a hypocrite for always telling people, “Live life to the fullest, Life’s short and living is a choice” when in actual fact all I do is stare at time hoping it’d pass while I drown in emptiness.
Hey, I thought a new year would be the solution but it turns out that nothing really changes, except we make it so. 
The  truth is, if I keep waiting to feel different and for life to force me to live, then it’d be 2018 and I’d still be waiting. 
I’ve decided to make out my own fresh start and begin to breath again. 

So here’s a happy new year to me, though 14 days late. I don’t know what fate has in store for me this time but I’ve decided this year’s going to be about figuring out what I want to be. 
I want to be certain of my life’s direction, my career choice, my spiritual stand, my personal beliefs and most especially myself. 

Do I really want to practice Law and if yes, what aspect of Law anyway? After a week of interning, I noticed Litigation Lawyers are really sober, strict looking and hardly smiles and Lawyers in the Commercial department are in fact the opposite. Well, I sure know I don’t want wrinkles pretty early. 
 When I was younger, I’d tell myself to wait patiently to see where life leads. I even finally decided to study Law a day to the submission of my form. It didn’t really matter then, things always worked out in the end. 

Truth is, I don’t want to be the biblical description of a person tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine anymore. 
I’m tired of not being totally certain of what the Bible actually says. Do we all go to heaven no matter what, as long as we believe, or do we have to work hard for it? Is God all love and kind and sweet or is he wicked and punishes every bad sneeze? 

Does evil really exist in my family and do I really have to join in prayers fighting forces and demons and mountains I don’t see anywhere? 
I’m tired of different Pastors with different doctrines, trying to plant fear in people’s hearts. I really need to know for myself what I believe in and what I do not. Some months back, someone stole from me during a church service and what really hurt was the fact that the Preacher was talking about free salvation without fear and it didn’t mean anything to the person. So I wonder even till now, does anyone actually listen to the gospel? Does it really change anyone or are we all deceiving ourselves? 

Anyway, it’s time to live, love and laugh. To return those calls from old friends I refused to answer, make new friends and notice the little beauties of life. I can’t remember when last I sat under the stars singing to heavenly bodies about how I’m going to make it big and impact many lives. When last I stayed under the rain getting myself all wet to make me feel new. Hell! What happened to me?.

Positivity  and confidence is what defines me and I’d let it guide me this new year as I shut my ears to the noise that has blocked my reasoning. Happiness is actually something you take for yourself not wait for it to be given to you, and it’s actually FREE!!! 
Welcome to MAP, 2017. Let’s make it awesome. 

ρя£sђ¥  ℓąℓą

Motivation Credit: Mayowa, for the push and for being there. 


Year 3!!! 

“Thus, Development psychology is of no doubt important in bla bla bla…” Last paper done. Yet I can’t stand up to submit in front. The much awaited Tuesday is here and my heart cringes with mixed emotions – happiness, fear, regrets, mostly regrets. 

Year 2 was many many things but I would not say perfect. It started with that terrible determination to push yourself out and try new things. In my school at least, it meant politics, leadership, joining new organizations, winning debates, dropping off worthless relationships or friendships, and CGPA patching.

Newly admitted students would start asking questions on what they need to know to do well in Year 1. You feel the enthusiasm, even from a phone call or chat, and the passion to learn the Law. 

Heyyyy! chill, you’re not even a Faculty of Law Student yet, welcome to Arts. You know they spent the holidays watching Suits and How To Get Away With Murder; they can’t wait to wear the black suit, perform wonders in court, and finish a court case in three days. (I still argued with my roommate in English department about How to get away with murder being totally different from real life Law. Sighs! She still doesn’t believe me, and when I try to settle it by saying someday you’d have a court case and find out for yourself, as a true Nigerian, the  “God forbid” resounded so loud, you’d think I placed a curse on her). 

So first, lawyers in Nigeria do not wear suits but a wig, gown, beep and I don’t know the rest yet. Second, lawyers don’t argue so much in court. They read out the Law and apply it to the facts, waiting patiently for the Judge to write it all on paper. Yes, I’m serious. He writes it all on paper!! Let’s call it “dictating your arguments”. Third, court cases actually never ever finish in a week. Maybe two, three years or fifteen or more. You’d file a summon or whatever, wait thirty days for a reply, then file something else and wait seven days and it goes on like that. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I asked a lawyer and he says it’s fun. If I remember well (thanks to my crashed phone, I can’t dig the chat), he says the beauty of advocacy is trying to find the lacuna in the other party’s argument, and manipulating it to your own advantage or something like that. 
Eventually, the enthusiastic freshmen would discover Law wasn’t what they pictured in their head. Some would transfer to other departments like CLA, others would only care to pass, some wouldn’t care at all and attend classes only during tests, while the passionate at heart will remain passionate. 
In year 2, you’d realize Law lecturers are divided into three: the “give-me-back-my-material” lecturers, the “check-this-case-and-that-textbook-and-this-article” lecturer, and the “I don’t even know what this one wants” lecturer. 
The first type are those who feel they’ve done the research you need, and you reading up new things is arrogant and uncalled for. The passionate Law students are bitter towards this type of lecturers. How else would they show off their newly learnt Muhammed v Abubakar?.  The second type are passionate scholars who would force you to research and read up cases even after you’ve sworn to only use textbook cases. Personally, I think this is what passionate Law students eventually turn out to be (beware Izu, Ij). Well, the third are the unpredictable lecturers. You don’t know exactly what topics they’ve taught you and what they haven’t, and they basically spend the class combining stories about their school days, Nysc days and court appearances. It’s difficult to predict what impresses them during the exams, and you just move with the flow hoping to impress them with whatever gets them impressed. 
Oh! Law exams are as depressing as the colour black. Even after quoting all the cases and dictums in Iluyomade and Eka (detestable is too kind a word to describe that textbook), there’s this feeling of I should have written more and fear of not pleasing the lecturer. 

In my two years of studying Law, I’ve never seen a Law student walk boldly to the notice board to check their exam results. Hands clasped tight, lips silently praying, and hearts beating hard, we pray for a miracle of 70 (believe me, never 71). That’s how unpredictable a  Law examination result is in contrast to the mostly predictable questions.

And when you get a 69, 64, 59, 54 or 39, there’s this bitter taste that wouldn’t leave your mouth. Of course, a salty liquid might try to force it’s way from the side of your eyes, but you just pretend to be a boss, shrug and give a bright I-don’t-care smile. That’s the Lawtitude.

Gazing at Year 3 in 3G,  what I see is Criminal Law and Tort lovingly beckoning to me. Family law sounds boring; I predict cases about a man who married a wife under English law and the other customary law,  and the children fighting over inheritance. Triple yawn. 
Commercial transactions?? All I see are Contract and Sagay-cious tears. 
A few weeks to the start of Year 2, a friend in Year 4 was telling me about the Almighty Law of Contract, and I remember vividly being pissed at the hullabaloo and hype. 

Hello!! What’s so hard about this Law of Contract anyway? 

 Oh! Carlil, Carbolic, Hyundai construction, and the rest of you who would never complete your contractual agreements, thus giving Lord Denning the freedom to develop hundreds of Law principles, rules and exceptions, I say a beautiful goodbye. I repeat never again.
And to unnecessary courses like Computer Science and Psychology we were forced to learn, I really hope someday I’d actually need to apply Python or Forensic psychology in a court case. 
So here’s two years down and it’s been really great with my LLB’19 set. Really amazing people who make the five year journey worth it afterall, notwithstanding the hansards, Adiguns, Anifalajes, Contract I slyings, fake AOCs et al. 
However, the truth is that I really do not know what next yet.

When people ask,”So what aspect of Law do you want to go into?”, I usually want to scream “Hey! I’m just in Year 2. I basically just started studying Law”. 

But now, I really do not have an excuse. It’s time to find who I am in LAW. 

ρя£sђ¥  ℓąℓą

To me and to you 

For Cannon, who taught me I can never be anyone else

Dear Tee,

Isn’t it funny how time’s so fast, yet so slow? Those nights under the moon with Aunt A where we argued what we wanted to be. 

You’d say, “I want to be a scientist. Then I’d cure HIV AIDS”  

I’d say, “I want to be a doctor” … Because I already used Nurse and Lawyer the week before. 

Those nights where we dreamt little dreams of a future so far, it felt it’d never come. 
Tee, the future is here and I’m dead tired, exhausted… Pretending I’m stronger than the demons around me. I planned to write this on my birthday tomorrow, I’d finally be an adult – not Common Law standards. Yet, I’m scared if I wait I’d remain lost then and if I’m lost as an adult, I’d probably be lost forever. 
I’m scared it’d be like my sixteenth birthday, I waited for a difference there was none. She wasn’t taller, fatter, smarter. It was like she was still fifteen. 
I think I’ve finally figured who I want to be. After years of following your dreams and living your goals, I think I’m now me, who I’m supposed to be. 

Truth is, you were the “Taiwo” and I, the “Kehinde”. Testing the waters with both legs was your job and mine to follow your steps after. 

Now I know I’d never be able to sing as good as you do and I’d be kicked out of any band, replaced with that cute Mary y’all wanted to date. 

Dancing and drawing, they’re not for me. So I’d quit mimicking your dance moves and tracing out your artwork, blaming God for creating me talentless. 

Rapping, creative writing, extrovertism, adult conversation – you did them all flawlessly. You were even a mini god at breaking rules while I never had the confidence to do same. 

Truth is, you were my real role model – not mum, dad or Dora Akinyuli. I’d believe your theory over Albert Einstein’s, were you ever wrong? 

That first class in LLT Law where Mrs Olomola asked, “Why did you choose to study Law?” 

Eyes tightly closed, heart raised to the highest of the heavens, I prayed she called me not. 

How would I explain that I’m studying Law because Tee chose to study Law and his steps, I follow. 

Now ‘Mamami’  is a little adult with her own goals, dreams and aspirations. 

I’ve decided I would no longer wait for you test the waters anymore. I’d make my own decisions and pay my own consequences. I’m ready to take risks, make sacrifices and rebel life standards, though many years late. 

Yet, I want to run to your room in tears screaming, “I can’t take it anymore, Law is hard and life’s harder!!”

Then in my head I see that look on your face saying silently, 

“Hey, don’t get mushy on me that’s the number 1 rule. Stay strong, only weak people cry. Fight those battles while I seat and wait. I’d only come in when it gets too hard but the number 2 rule remains that nothing must be too hard for you”

So I turn back in feigned braggadocio, pretending I have a plan to overcome life’s uncertainties. 

 I’d pretend I’m fine and close my eyes shut when that throbbing headache drives me dizzy and tries to force out those forbidden salty liquid from my eyelids. 

I’d pretend I’m ready for my exams in the next three weeks when all I see is blurred images. 

I’d pretend I’m not scared that after starting so well, I might not give mom and dad their big first class Lawyer dream. 

I’d pretend I’m not scared of the Law school grading system. 

I’d pretend I’m not scared that after seven years of studying Law, I’d just end up as one of the Law graduates without a name to be remembered. 

I’d pretend I’m not scared I’m getting old too fast and yet too slow. 

I’d pretend I’m not scared about yesterday, today and tomorrow. 

So I’d just pretend I can fight my demons alone and on my own. 

Presh, the tired and scared dreamChaser 

About to begin a new phase; still the same, yet changed. 

She Conquered One

There’s no more beautiful feeling than finishing a project you started – finally getting a degree, seeing an excellent examination result, dotting the last sentence of a writeup, ending a successful tenure.. I could go on. 

Today my fellowship’s Evangelism week came to an end and I’m so glad it went so well. Of course, God started it and finished it. 

Few months back, I slowly started regretting accepting the responsibility of coordinating Evangelism. 

What do I know about preaching to people? 

I don’t even know the Bible so much 

I solemnly promised myself:

Next year Precious you’re rejecting any such duty. You’re not ready for leadership. 

But hey, She came, she saw, she conquered… Yaaay. 

I decided to make out a list of things I learnt from taking out this position:

  • We Judge too fast: I pride myself in being understanding and empathic of people’s decisions and actions. I’m that annoying friend that would make excuses for the person you’re ranting to me about. Turns out, I’m not as understanding afterall. During one of the Evangelism rounds, I paired people to go visiting and I personally picked my partner randomly. While we were leaving together, she started speaking in Jenifaric  English and I could feel my tummy suppress and my chest constrict – I couldn’t breathe anymore. If you don’t know, mimicking Jenifa is one thing I do not like. I began to regret my partner choice.

She kept on talking about everything and anything and when she started criticising a particular religious sect I decided I didn’t like her one bit (don’t judge me for judging her hun). Then she stopped to buy corn and told the woman, “Enikan duro de wa”, which means there’s someone waiting for us. My brain screamed, “Liar! We’re going to evangelize.” 

Turns out, this girl really is an amazing, deep Christian. I was wrong, judged her too fast, disliked her too early and I’m glad I met someone so cool. 

  • There are beautiful People– What else can I use to describe people who sacrificed time, money, energy and their all to make the week a success? Members of my fellowship who had so many obligations including final year students with projects and a friend with swollen eyes. They supported all through and helped to bring smiles on people’s faces. And my amazing classmates who gave out despite the recession for the orphanage visit, Sighs! Beautiful people everywhere. 
    • Leadership involves sacrifice: At this moment, I’m tempted to shout “I swear”.  There were points I got frustrated of life dealing me hard blows of stress and moments I had to forgo certain important events to me.  

    Had to ask Chi, “Sometimes I wonder how my life would be if I was just a student, no church excoship, no LSS position, no L and D, no chess and  every other thing I’m engaged  in I can’t remember rn. Would I be happier? Better academically? Less stressed and worried?”
    He says, “I don’t think *YOU* would. Almost certain you would be more stressed n worried…”  (directly copied from whatsapp) 

    Of course, he’s right. I’d die of doing nothing. 

    I think the greatest test of Leadership wasn’t just my trying so hard to arrive before anyone else (I ended up failing though) but was at the Orphanage visit today. 

    Am I a hypocrite for shrinking back for a few seconds when that little skinny kid with sores and scars ran to hug me before I carried him up? 

    Am I pitiful for being scared I’d catch a disease when the sicklooking kids touched me? 

    Am I weak for needing one very big hug in the presence of suffering and pain? 

    Is it disappointing that I cried when I should have stood tall like the view of underfed sick children didn’t faze me? 

    I do not know. I’m still learning to be a leader. 

    ρя£sђ¥  ℓąℓą

    What If (Revised Edition/Honourable Mention Entry SMC July) 

    Hello beautiful people! How has life been treating you? Hope you’ve been chasing those big dreams of yours, 2016 is still tagged DreamChasing and it’s not over until it’s over.

    I got a honourable mention for my entry on Storried. Turns out I got a mail since August which I never read (Who else scrolls swiftly through their mails without checking them?) and I got published on their  website without even realizing it. 

    While I was disappointed about so many things going wrong, this sure came at the right time and I really appreciate Storried for being people of integrity and taking so much effort to contact me. Continue reading

    Faith Storms 

    Faith is a fragile thing. On Sunday the preacher kept declaring that “Faith isn’t about feelings but what the Word of God says”. 

    I remember nodding my head in total agreement. It sounded purely logical – our belief in the existence of God isn’t about feelings either. I was sure I’d always be confident in God come what may.

    How then do you tell this to a girl who prayed hard and believed so much despite the fact that are exams went really bad and ended up seeing a very awful result. Or that mother who believed so much for a healing notwithstanding what medical reports said and ended up losing her young daughter.

    Continue reading

    My Father

    My fist shook resentfully as I heard the words, “Let Winner go”.
    He knew how much I hated going outside the house yet insisted on being inconsiderate. The morning newspaper before him with his glasses perched on his nose looking like the beak of an eagle, I badly wanted to stab his heartless heart over and over and gleefully watch his blood ooze out painfully from his lifeless body. Continue reading