Showcasing Black Aspiring Barristers for Black History Month

For #BlackHistoryMonth I ran an Instagram series showcasing black aspiring barristers. I thought it was important to showcase black aspiring barristers because visibility matters. Diversity is the buzzword at the moment but each of us are unique individuals with our own stories to tell. Sometimes it can feel as if we are all placed into a homogenous, monolithic group of ‘BAME’. Whilst we may have race in common, we have our own individual journey and motivation for aspiring to the Bar. So, with that in mind, I asked everyone to tell me who will be the most proud when they get called to the Bar and why.

Check out the original feature on the BLESSING AT THE BAR Instagram here.

Precious Chenjerai

Precious (IG: @precious_rutendo)

“The person who will be most proud of me when I am called to the Bar of England and Wales is myself. I say that to say, this is something I have wanted since I was 14 years old and I have worked very hard and sacrificed much over these past few years. So come 2019, the qualification and call is one thing but it’s knowing that I worked, gave and sacrificed for this and that will be a proud moment for me.”

Natalie Larbi

Natalie (IG: @lovelylondongurll)

“My Mum will be the most proud of me when I’m called to the Bar as she was a 5 year old little girl when she came to this country and has worked hard to make something of herself. She always tells me “nothing worthwhile is easy to achieve” and that’s the voice I hear when I push forward in the times when I feel like it’s all too much.” 

Wendy Oparah

Wendy (IG: @oparahwendy)

“My Parents will be proud of me when I am called to the Bar. My parents migrated from Nigeria to England when I was just 11 years old. The transition was really hard for all of us but through all that my parents worked super super hard to ensure that we will not struggle at all. So this is my reward to my parents for all the hard work and patience they’ve endured to ensure I have a good education.” 

Dévante Gravesande

Dévante (IG: @cooliedg)

“My family would be extremely proud if I was called to the Bar. They know how much I have sacrificed for a career at the Bar and they have done everything possible to help me every step of the way!.” ⠀

Chidubem Okechukwu

Chidubem! (IG: @conc__81)

“God forced me to decide how much I really wanted to be a lawyer, in the most painful way ever. This was the day my A level results were published and I missed both my university offers for law (might I add that my firm choice was a whole Warwick University). The tears, pain, shock, and discouragement that came with that day and subsequent months after were enormous. Due to the fact that I had gone into clearing, I had to change all my plans so randomly and secure any university degree left to grab within a few hours of finding out my results.

To this effect, I actually ended up going to York University to earn a BA in Sociology with Criminology and then off to SOAS, University of London to earn an LLB in quick succession. In March of this year, some weeks after a most pleasant interview at the Inner Temple, I received an exhibition scholarship to study the full time BPTC, and I chose City university as my course provider. It’s funny because this was also around the time I had also just won a mooting competition, funded by Inner Temple, and held in honour of the first female judge at the Old bailey and one of the first female Queens Counsel, Rose Heilbron QC. My picture is of me standing beside the moot judge, her daughter, Hilary Heilbron QC of Brick Court Chambers.

The journey is not quite over, as of course the hunt for pupillage is yet another force to reckon with, but I am so much more mature in my ambitions and in my faith. And yes might I add that I most definitely look forward to being young, black, and female at the bar. Happy Black History Month!”

Benii Balande

Benii (IG: @beniibalande)

“The person that will be most proud of me when I’m called to the Bar of England and Wales is my mother. She believed in me right from the start when I was a little girl and to see my childhood dream manifest will be the proudest moment for her. She gave up her own higher education to allow me to study and go to the Bar. I’ll be forever grateful to her ❤️.”