From an early age, I realised I loved words and I loved certain things about words. For instance how one word could convey several meanings, or how with a stress on a different syllable each time, one could give a word a new meaning altogether. I grew up the last of seven children, the child of parent who had a love for education. They realised that having an education was a gateway to a world of success and were determined that all their children would have an education no matter the cost.
The five eldest of my siblings were female so I honed my reading skills in the 80’s on a steady diet of Mills & Boon, Silhouette Romance and Barbara Cartland. Later, I developed a love for Robert Ludlum, Jeffrey Archer and other writers in the espionage/adventure genre. I still love Agatha Christie. While I understand that the world can be a sad place, I never could understand why Danielle Steele’s novels were so sad and heart wrenching. It seemed her protagonists had to go to hell and back to find love. Sadly, I could never read Barbara Taylor Bradford. Till today, I still think James Hadley Chase and Frederick Forsythe are acquired tastes. I have picked up The Day of the Jackal to read many times but I’ve been unable to read it but I thought The Negotiator was a great novel. On the other hand, I think Sidney Sheldon is a genius. If Tomorrow Comes must be one of the best novels ever written. And I’m definitely not a fan of movies adapted from novels. I always think the novels are better and the movies lose something of the soul of the story.
When you read, you discover information that no one might think of telling you, magical facts that normally wouldn’t come up in a conversation with your friends because it’s completely unrelated to the life you’re living. Through reading, I discovered that Marie-Antoinette who was the wife of King Louis XVI at the time of the French Revolution was of Austrian birth and a childhood friend of the famous composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; that the African country known as Tanzania is comprised of two formerly independent states, Tanganyika and the island of Zanzibar; and that Benin City which was part of the ancient Benin Empire was one of the first cities in the world to have street lights. My love of reading and the discovery of not so well known facts was what made me participate in a taping of the Nigerian version of the globally renowned game show; “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” a few years ago where I won the second-highest prize money on offer at the time.
I’ve been practicing law for the past 15 years and I’ve loved every moment of it. I especially love litigation and its adversarial nature. I believe there’s something especially magical about using the power of words (and facts of course) to convince a judge that your position is in fact, the correct one. I’m a Partner in Gbenga Biobaku & Co., a leading commercial law firm in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria where I live.
I’m passionate about justice and I honestly believe that Nigeria has a bright future in spite of the current crop of leaders. I have faith that things will get better for the country in my lifetime but we all need to play our part.