I heard my father call me. “Yemo! Yemo!”

“Sir!” I yelled. I quickly scanned my brain for a suitable defense to put up before appearing in his presence. If you grew up in my home, you would understand why this was absolutely necessary. When I appeared he was brandishing a piece of paper.

“Yemisi,” he said. “What is significant about December the twenty third 2000?”

I knew the answer. “It’s the date on my certificate from Law School stating my success at the bar examinations.”

“I thought that was your call-to-bar date?”

“No,” I replied. “Call-to-bar was the twenty third of January 2001.”

“How time flies,” my father muttered under his breath. Indeed, time had flown past, and with it a lot of the proverbial water under the bridge.

It has been 20 years since I was called to the Nigerian Bar, fulfilling shared aspirations between me and my parents. My father had been called to both the English Bar and the Nigerian Bar several years before I was. He probably never guessed I would be the one to step into those shoes of his. For several years, and right until this minute, I wonder what gains I have made for following in my father’s footsteps. Do not get me wrong; this is not a question about regrets or personal failure. It is just a pertinent question about purpose. For me, fulfilling that purpose will come from championing the civil liberties of women and children. I have been blessed with a career spanning oil and gas from my days working with the oil exploration behemoth, ExxonMobil, to becoming a lecturer. Surprisingly, I never imagined myself in academics.

In those 20 years I’ve been blessed with not only the LLB, but also another BA, MBA and a PhD. That we are survivors of the “holocaust” of 2020 is enough cause for celebrations, in addition to that I have family, wonderful friends, great colleagues, awesome communities, amazing support, unmerited favours. These and many wonderful testimonies to be grateful for. This calls for celebration.. And even though we cannot have a gathering to celebrate due to the corona virus restrictions, I do have this opportunity to express gratitude to God and to everyone who has made the last 20 years a beautiful one.

I am grateful for knowing you all, whether we are blood relations or not. May God bless you and fulfill all your expectations. I appreciate you all immensely. To the next twenty years!! May God keep us all


"Dreams are a test. Because a dream is going to test your resolve."

- Steven Spielberg

When you are born into activism, it chooses you, even if you think the choice was yours all along.

My “almost polygamous” family background prepared me in no small measure for a life of activism and of fighting to be heard.

Born as a child with no specific position in the family ‘stratagem’, neither male nor first son, not first daughter or last born, neither of father or of mother, it was important to be heard, noticed, and not taken for granted.

Fortunately for me, I had God-given tools to start with, for one, very strong vocals. (My mum says I need no microphone to deliver a stage play in a theatre large enough to seat an audience of five hundred (I eventually did this but it is a story for another day).

Secondly, I had the physical strength to fisticuff where and when necessary (I did a lot of that in primary school and will interview one witness someday for your pleasure). I must mention that this got me into a lot of trouble and I will elaborate later here.

Thirdly, I have a fighting spirit. The one that never gives up if it’s worth it.

Apart from those inborn ‘tools’, on my part, I acquired additional ‘tools’…I learnt to read and write. I worked on the art of appropriate expression and diplomacy (when and where necessary) in order to win in the battlefield of activism.

Right from home, it was clear as day that it is important to have a voice in order to make a difference. To be clear, “voice” in this context does not suggest mere usage of one’s vocal chords as in speaking. Here, it embodies all means of expression, whether in voice (speaking, singing, crying, etc.) or of actions (as it is often said,, they do speak louder than words).

The importance of that voice I got did not get a real test until my first year in the University when I contested for the position of President of the Law Students’ Society. Election Day saw me losing to a male candidate. Worthy of mention here is the fact that there were more females in my class than males. I erroneously believed I would win by mere headcount of females in the class.

But no, this was a wakeup call.

I walked away with several lessons learnt on stereotyping, limiting beliefs, social barriers, financial empowerment, Nigerian-kind-of-politics, and most especially how to win if you must.

I decided from the lessons picked from that experience, to stay off politics for a long time to come.

So what next?

That encounter, however, opened my eyes to social issues needing constant attention especially those against women and children. It is on this that I have maintained a stance over the years.

Beyond this piece, there will be more details about my advocacy work here. I will elaborate on my current aid to women and children in Nigerian prisons. What is key in the succeeding chapters is something you probably already know, seeing that I have dwelt extensively on “having a voice” and “making that voice count” in the course of documenting my journey in activism.

The unfolding script will be anchored on the socio-political dictum of Sòró sòké!

Because in order to resist, Il faut, Sòrò sòké!


20th call to bar anniversary

20th call to bar anniversary 2

20th call to bar anniversary 3

After call to bar party

Call to bar ceremony

Call to bar ceremony 2

In pursuit of justice - 'End SARS Europe protests'

In pursuit of justice - 'End SARS Europe protests' 2

In pursuit of justice - 'End SARS Europe protests' 3

My Dad at his call to bar, 27th November 1962