Women Perspire, Men Sweat – CHIEF (MRS) FOLAKE SOLANKE (SAN)

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Today, the great Faculty Of Law, University of Ibadan had its 30th Anniversary Personality Lecture in Honour of CHIEF FOLAKE SOLANKE (SAN)

She is strict they said. So our black and whites we wore. Prim and Proper we should always be. Law students we are.

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L-R : Oluwaseyi, Oreofe and I

We walked into the hall and we were made to sit at the third row! JESUS!!! The Judges and Senior Advocates had commanded. We had to listen.

God please I do not want to doze off in front of all these people – my silent prayer.

God listened. He answered. I didn’t sleep.

This third row seat would finally give me a clear perspective to this beautiful woman. Looking at her, all I could see was elegance and grace. She had the poise of a Queen. Her dark suit and hat blended perfectly well with her green nail polish.

She is 83. But she looks 16.

I also observed that she never used GLASSES. I’m 21 and I’m literally blind.

This woman is a woman of MANY FIRSTS. I’ll tell you :

First female state commissioner in the Western State of Nigeria (1972-1974)

First female Chairman WNTV/WNBS (1972-1974)

FIRST FEMALE ADVOCATE OF NIGERIA (SAN) (1981)

First non-Caucasian International President of Zonta International (1994-1996)- a non-governmental organization (NGO) working for the advancement of women worldwide.

Was formerly a teacher of Latin and Mathematics in public schools in England and Nigeria and has practiced law since 1963 in her Albuquerque Law Chambers – the first female law office in Ibadan.

I remember following my friend to her Chambers last week. Quite stale. Didn’t look like the beautiful woman who owned it. This would teach me simplicity.
I didn’t see computers, but I saw a TYPE WRITER. “How can someone be using typewriter at this age and time”, I asked my self! I would also learn that the man who handled this manual machine has worked with her for FORTY-EIGHT GOOD YEARS! this again would teach me Friendship and Loyalty.

It was time for the lecture : THE CULTURE OF READING FOR EXAMINATION AND SCHOLARSHIP VS ONSLAUGHT OF COMPUTER ON THE BOOK (READING GENERALLY)

I Jotted down :

The Internet is not a substitute for the book.

It is a supplement and not a distraction.

Reading books remain one of the most important paths to real knowledge.

A successful lawyer has to be addicted to reading books.

Books : THEY EXPAND THE HORIZON, INCREASE VOCABULARY, SHARPENS THE INTELLECT and the most profitable way of spending time.

1st Timothy 3:15 – Study To Show Thyself Approved…

People who do not have reading culture are to be pitied. They suffer from INTELLECTUAL POVERTY.

Reading will outlive computers when we raise the book and reading culture.

She talked about the recent failures of the law school results and how the students cried “FOUL”. She blames them. For not reading hard enough. She blames them for spending quality amount of their time pinging and chatting. She wonders why they let them take their phones into lecture halls.

We made a pledge :

From today I promise to read books and not to use the Internet as substitute for books. Because books are the path to professional Excellence and success in the world.

(This is the point where I fan myself, because, durrrh, I’m a BOOK NERD)

She also brought few of her books, one being : THE TRIALS OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND ST. PAUL. Copies of these books she said, were sent to the POPE and ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY – Because they represent the two strong pillars of the Christian faith (Catholicism and Anglicanism). They replied her saying they were looking forward to seeing her soon. More of an invitation I guess. AMAZING!!!

She’s a Feminist also. She fought for the equal payment of men and women in civil service in Nigeria. (Then women who were at the same level with men were paid lesser) But she fought for this right, a right that all women working with the government enjoy now. She also fought for the establishment of  MINSITRY FOR WOMEN AFFAIRS.

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Now I know why I’ve been scared. Now I know why I’ve been running.

The fear. That I’ll never be as good as these legal luminaries and Judges. That I’ll never be as good as my classmates who can still remember things we were taught from 100level. I will never be as good Mrs. FOLAKE SOLANKE.

This fear has consumed me. I tell everyone who cares to listen – I DON’T WANT TO PRACTICE LAW!!!

I know it’s not me talking. It’s the fear. The fear that I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

I say it all the time so I believe this fear. So I developed my coping mechanism. My defense mechanism – TO SAY I DON’T WANT TO HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH LAW!

But I have seen GREAT WOMEN TODAY!
WOMEN OF FIRSTS…
WOMEN WHO MAKE DECISIONS FOR NIGERIA…

And so…

This is to GREAT WOMEN

MAY WE BE THEM
MAY WE KNOW THEM
MAY WE RAISE THEM

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Let's get that LLB. Let's crash through glass ceilings. Because we can!!! Because I can!!!

Love xoxo

Adriel©2015

LLB in view – #PenultimateYear

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