2016: My Year of Becoming

Olaoluwa Abagun
Posted December 9, 2016 from Nigeria

As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to become a Lawyer. I wrote it down in my first diary, shared it with the dozens of best friends I had from kindergarten through adolescence, and even whispered it to God so many times. The puzzling thing is that I cannot decipher exactly where my inspiration came from...

I grew up watching my father guard his much cherished cameras, tripods, and other cinematography equipment. My first lessons in public speaking were right in front of his cameras, when I ranted on about the animal folktales I remembered from my story books. Very faintly, I canrecall how passionate my mother was about her petty trading. In my mind's eye, I still see her skillfully arranging her wares in big sacks, getting ready to lay the perfect ambush for her customers on their way to work at sunrise. Honestly, NOTHING from my background watered my longing to become a Lawyer.

At the beginning of the year, I was finally preparing to write the bar exams - the last hurdle between me and my sought after career! The classes were hectic, the work load was draining, and self-doubt began to weigh heavily on my shoulders. Through the silent tears of frustration, I was forced to reflect and clarify my "Why". Only then did it dawn on me that I got this far, because of a lifelong DREAM.

30th November 2016 will remain one of the most important days of my life. It was the day I was called to the Nigerian Bar and enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. My country gave me a mandate, to stand and advocate for justice without fear or favour. My conscience nudged me forward to change the narrative of discrimination, disenchantment, and underrepresentation of women and girls in my community.

Whenever I look back at 2016, I will remember how decades of dreaming metamorphosed into becoming. It will be my reference point for every little girl who wants to dream beyond her circumstance. Adorning my lawyer's robe and wig, I will say to her "You too can Become".

This story was submitted in response to 2016: Looking Back, Moving Forward.

Comments 3

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allie shep
Dec 12, 2016
Dec 12, 2016

CONGRATULATIONS on being called to the Bar Olaoluwa! I hope you will be able to use your position to help girls and women achieve equality in your country. Allie x

Olaoluwa Abagun
Dec 12, 2016
Dec 12, 2016

Thank you Allie :)

That is definitely the plan!

Sandisile Tshuma
Jul 22, 2017
Jul 22, 2017

Congratulations on bringing that little girl's dream to fruition, Ola! Your country needs you and is fortunate to have you. I hope you will rise to the challenge of being a true and honourable solicitor of that most Supreme Court.