“My Final Legal Crowning” – 10 Years On, Bolaji Reminisces on His Journey to Becoming a Lawyer


By Bolaji S. Ramos

Every 14 February is very important and special to me, not because it is Valentine’s Day. But because it is an anniversary of a very special phase in this life of mine. It is my Call to the Nigerian Bar anniversary, and this year’s anniversary in particularly important, as it is my 10th year anniversary of being a lawyer. I call it a special crown around this head of mine.

10 years ago, I wrote a poem narrating my bitter-sweet journey to becoming a lawyer. I have looked for that poem where time has hidden it, and I have seen it. Today I must share it for the first time in 10 years for public consumption. Take a sip:


Today what must I say or do
To tell the world that I am drunk
And tipsy….

With a joy unexplainable
Happiness unquantifiable
Excitement insurmountable
Feat graciously impregnable.

I have gone to the battlefield of law
For five years ;
For five ferocious years
And I have fought for survival,
The Third World War
Which began with me.

Day one was a baptism of fire
A reminiscence of the Great War
And the 1939-45’s.
Other days were dark dawns in trenches
Darkening dawns…
Dawning darks…
Holding back my strangled strength
To attain the height of mighty Michelle.

My waking and weeping sun,
Encircled by the ghosts of yesterday,
Wound around and bound to sound
Like some unceasing cacophony
By the reality of my fin-ability,
Was pregnant with fears.

Ferocious feelings forming
In multitude in my moaning mind,
Were the sole occupants of my heart—
For how can I fight this war.

This Third World War
This legal War
This five-year War
This Anglo-Latin war

Without a battalion behind me
To come with me in spirit
To this battlefield of law
With bulky stuffy puffy pockets
To grace my learned-brainy lockets
So that I may sound aloud like crickets?

Yet my odyssey
Had a resemblance with Odysseus’–
Lost all alone in some distant Island.
I had no Telemachus to aid me
But for the meager…
Yet highly appreciated submissions
Of my human Zeus and Hera.

This Law fathered this War
This War bred these fears
These fears gave me sicknesses
These sicknesses affected my balance
And my imbalance…
It limited the level of my ascension.

For all times
In time, of time and out of time
Of this legal time,
I sold much time of my time
For money to sponsor this journey
So that time may tell sometime
That this war of advocacy was won.

Many were the times time
Never laughed at my time—
Darkening dawns…
Dawning darks…
Holding back my strangled strength.
Rather it descended
To pull me fiercely out of

This race
This grace
This pace
This face.

Many were the times time
Made me
Face a race at a pace that it took grace
To stamp my feet on the sand of time,
On the soil of this battlefield,
On the toil of this legalfield.

I received a lot of missiles
Upon my breast
And many times I lied
Half-dead and naked of shield
In the trenches of this war.

No weapons many times,
My only shield being optimism.
And my laugh and my smile
And my kindness and my erectness
Gave many the impression
That if I had not a sliver spoon in my mouth,
I must be close to having it.
So succour hardly came.

Ferocious feelings of the heart,
Mighty-weighty abstraction in the soul,
The invisible the infeasible the invincible.
They darkened my days ahead,
And in many mortal combats
They fought my optimism
Like gladiators in Ludo
Or the amphitheatre fighting
Till death…

Yet I must have risen
From my own ashes in some way
Like the Dodo bird on that mysterious day.
Yet I rose to tell this story in verses
For I have won this battle forever
And man and money
And death and money
Which I thought could hinder this journey
And which intensified my fears on the wake
Of this adventurous bitter honey,
Have lost to me on this day so sunny.

Today, need I say or do anything
To tell the world that I am drunk

And tipsy…

With a joy unexplainable
Happiness unquantifiable
Excitement insurmountable
Feat graciously impregnable

For these bitter
And autobiographic lines
Have told of my earlier drowning
And my final legal crowning.

–Bolaji S.Ramos

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