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“Hurdles Along The Way And The Challenges Beyond My Control Forced Me To Prorogue My Studies” First Class Graduate Shares

A first class law graduate from the university of Makeni has taken on his social media platform to inspire young people he wrote  “Hurdles Along The Way And The Challenges Beyond My Control Forced Me To Prorogue My Studies”

Chernor Bounanya Barrie
Chernor Bounanya Barrie

Acquiring education has never been an easy journey for most people in Sierra Leone, most especially for a family man who’d the greatest burden of studying, fending for his family, paying 𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬 every academic year for himself and his wife as tuition and other departmental charges in order to pursue their dream of becoming lawyers in the legal field, among many, are the challenges a family man faces, One of such people is Chernor Bounanya Barrie , a First Class degree holder in law from the University of Makeni and one of the only two to do so in the Mature/Distance class since the establishment of the law department at UniMak


Before entering to University, Chernor Bounanya Barrie was involved in other things apart from academic work, he served as the Founder and Director at Federation of Patriotic Youth & Child Advocacy Network – fepyocan that worked with leading organization including United Sierra Leone to work on the first ever awareness song on Ebola featuring leading Sierra Leonean musicians that was aired on BBC and organised the 50 Most Influential Youth Award recognizing youth from across the country who have created impacts in making the country a better place.

Read his complete story below;

𝘽𝙖𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙤𝙧 𝙤𝙛 𝙇𝙖𝙬𝙨 (𝙇𝙇.𝘽) with 𝙃𝙤𝙣𝙨. 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐬, 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐃𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 (𝟏:𝟏)

Firstly and with meekness, I would like to thank ᴀʟʟᴀʜ ᴛʜᴇ ᴀʟᴍɪɢʜᴛʏ for helping me achieve an integral aspect of my dream.

A friend once said that the legal profession has been classed over the years as the 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐠𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 (emphasis mine); and as such, only the affluent can afford to embark on such adventure . For me, becoming a lawyer or a legal academic is intrinsic to a better life that I would want me and my family to enjoy. And that has been the reason why I steadfastly focus on knowing (not just studying)the law and I hope to continue on that path.

My desirable and enviable law journey started almost six years ago (2016/17 academic year) and had it not been for Allah, I would not be in the place that I am today.

Years back, it was a far-fetched dream. At some point during my studies (2018/2019 academic year to start my Level 300 class), hurdles along the way and the hiccups/challenges beyond my control forced me to prorogue my studies. I respited (put on hold)my studies for a whole academic year and I nearly wanted to abandon my lawyering dream for another journey. And that was the time, my wife and some well-wishers including Morlai Turay and Ish Kelfallah talked me through the importance of bagging this prestigious degree into my many personal achievements.

𝐌𝐫. 𝐌𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐚𝐢 𝐓𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐲 who have this tactical shrewdness and discernment explained to me how he also struggled to become a professional in his field and reaffirmed his commitment to support me in this journey. At the end, I realised that indeed he wanted the very best for me and that gave me the zealousness to step-up my game and continue the fight. Thank you sooooooooooooooooo much boss 𝙈𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙖𝙞, I am forever indebted to you for everything.

To be honest, this has never been an easy journey for me especially as a family man who’d the greatest burden of studying, fending for my family, paying 𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬 every academic year for myself and my wife Aisha as tuition and other departmental charges in order pursue our dream of becoming lawyers and/or academic in the legal field, traveling to and from Makeni every week with my wife to pursue our law journey et al.

So truly, it has been a cumbrous & a clunky journey and some of my friends who I’d started this journey with, are already in the Sierra Leone Law School but as they say “ɴᴏᴛᴏ ʜᴏᴡ ꜰᴀꜱᴛ ᴜ ʀᴜɴ, ɴᴀ ʜᴏᴡ ᴜ ꜰɪɴɪꜱʜ ɴᴀ ᴇɪɴ ᴍᴀᴛᴛᴇʀ”. So thank you Allah for everything. Had it not been for Allah, wallahi ar nor for don able bane but as 𝘿𝙧𝙞𝙯𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙠 said, 𝐰𝐢 𝐧𝐚 𝐆𝐨𝐝 𝐞𝐢𝐧 𝐩𝐢𝐩𝐮𝐥 𝐬𝐨 𝐰𝐞 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞

My wife who usually (and jokingly) say to me that I am 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙥𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙤𝙪𝙨 in the law , well I’m sure, ein nor know say she is and has been the reason for that. 𝐒𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐚 𝐩𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐲 𝐚𝐜𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐳 𝐧𝐚 𝐞𝐢𝐧 𝐝𝐚𝐞 𝐩𝐮𝐬𝐡 𝐦𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐜𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐝𝐢𝐬 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐞𝐧 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐧𝐚 𝐨𝐬𝐞. And now, I love doing it and that helped me a lot during my studies. As 𝐀𝐥𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐭 𝐒𝐳𝐞𝐧𝐭-𝐆𝐲𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐲𝐢 said; “𝙍𝙚𝙨𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙝 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙚𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮𝙗𝙤𝙙𝙮 𝙚𝙡𝙨𝙚 𝙝𝙖𝙨 𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙣, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙠 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙣𝙤𝙗𝙤𝙙𝙮 𝙚𝙡𝙨𝙚 𝙝𝙖𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙩”. So yes, I was sagacious enough to avoid getting Cs in my Honours class but she (ᴀɪꜱʜᴀ)is the reason for that and she deservingly merit all the praise. I aced during my exams becoz of her support and encouragement. Thank u dearie.

𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤𝐬 𝐭𝐨𝐨 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐲 𝐁𝐚𝐛𝐚 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐍𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐡 𝐜𝐨𝐳 𝐢𝐟 𝐝𝐞𝐦 𝐧𝐨𝐫 𝐛𝐢𝐧 𝐩𝐮𝐭 𝐦𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐥, 𝐚𝐫 𝐧𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐝𝐨𝐧 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐝 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐫 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐮𝐞 𝐮𝐩 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐢𝐬 𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐬𝐞𝐟. They provided me the basics and I am forever indebted to them.

To the ones I loved and currently love, friends and family, staff and lecturers at UniMak, colleagues in class, well-wishers et al; I thank all of you and i am truly grateful for your prayers, supports and everything.

Today is the conferment day and almost all my colleagues and their families are in Makeni witnessing the conferment ceremony of our degrees and certifications. However, I made a promise to myself that the only graduation ceremony I’ll ever attend in person is my LL.D conferment(that if me village pipul dem nor mek meeting for me ooo). So yes 𝙄 𝙜𝙧𝙖𝙙𝙪𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙣 𝘼𝘽𝙎𝙀𝙉𝙏𝙄𝘼 and I am here in Freetown and in good spirit celebrating with y’all joyously.

And yes I bagged a FIRST CLASS degree in law (one of the only two to do so in the Mature/Distance class since the establishment of the law department at UniMak) and it is an honour to the 𝘽𝙊𝙐𝙉𝘼𝙉𝙔𝘼 family. As 𝐃𝐉 𝐑𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐠𝐞 said “𝐘𝐮 𝐟𝐢𝐥 𝐬𝐚𝐲 𝐧𝐚 𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐟𝐨 𝐥𝐞𝐡 𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐝𝐞𝐦 𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐝𝐢𝐬 𝐟𝐚𝐫?”

Next goal; LL.M? the Bar? Well, let the future decides dat

𝙑𝙚𝙣𝙞; 𝙑𝙞𝙙𝙞; 𝙑𝙞𝙘𝙞

𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐌𝐚𝐤 𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏




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