LOS VENCENDORES


(For UNILAG LAW CLASS OF 2016)


Joshua Omenga

How can I, prognosticator of your success,

Extol your dénouement?

An epilogue denuded in the very prologue!

But necessity impels me to this paean

For to leave unacknowledged

The strides you have trodden

Shall be the ultimate perfidy…
In hard times I have known you

When malefic courses threatened your progress

In eras of change I have known you

When new policies redefined your studentship,

When many took to routes obscure,

When, drilled beyond bearing, others fell

Victims of the inevitable –

But you Los Vencedores

Fed fat even in the dearth of grasses

And can I, your advocate

Fail to cantillate your triumphs?
It was not a road untrodden

The familiar glade of legal education

Has lost novelty before your investiture

For you no rule was changed

It was – same irksome lectures

Same vexatious catalogue of cases

Same monochromatic garb begrudged by the uninitiates;

But what greater miracle than this:

Your transmutation of the mundane into the transcendent?
How transient seems the yesteryears of your sojourn

At this moment of parting! 

Bitter is this farewell, O ye beloved of the faculty – 

And yet parting it must be

That you, whose light have long been veiled

May freely shine to the world…

Let this be my succour:

That I your acolyte, watching from a distance,

May say unto spectators:

‘I too walked among the winners.’

Postscript 

Can one choose from among the stars? It is not out of choice that I name these for whom we are indebted: Ijeoma Efobi, our adept Class Governor; Alade Omotosho who ensured that materials were timely available; Michael Isochukwu, selfless provider of class note in all formats, deliverer of lazy students; Aishat Okesola, Barakat Mustapha, Teri Wellington and other stenographers who ensured accurate transcriptions of incoherent classes; Rilwan Shittu whose tutorial demystified and made wadable the numerous materials and classes; the Adebos, the Bidemis, the Ifes, the Joneses, the Ubakas, the Vivians , the Yinkas who saw to it that we are winners outside the confines of the class – these representative few inuncted the rough road that we have trodden. And for those whose timeous Whatsapp information, villainy, jests and mischiefs made pleasant the tedious life of the law students…

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