My Story of Grass to Grace with out guest Barrister Taiwo Hassan, an Hotelier, Politician and Practising Lawyer. In this story of his, Barrister Hassan shared his tale of ladder climbing and the challenges faced while aspiring to become a better person in life.
AMEBO: Tell us who Barr Taiwo is and how your growing up was?
HASSAN: Barrister Taiwo Hassan is a very young man who is in his forties, attended his primary school at Idowa Anglican Primary School, Ijebu Ode, had his secondary education at Olugbode Comorehensive High School, Ile-Ife, Osun State and his first degree in Law at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, my master degree at Lagos State University where I bagged my M.Sc in Political Science.
My growing up was not a rosy one. After my secondary education my parent were financially handicap to train me for my Tertiary education but I was too determine to study Law because of a particular incident that happened to me.
I decided to learn barbing from my friends while in school. I was to be trained as a carpenter after my parent said they dont have the finance to send me to school, of course I was there but I changed my mind along the way. It was through this that I began to send my self to school with my barbing vocation. Of course I had my rough times, mocking by some people even some classmates but I wasn’t deterred. I didn’t even get bothered a bit because I actually had a focus which is aimed at helping the masses and fighting for them in a just and appropriate court of competent jurisdiction.
Amebo: You are a known solicitor, what inspired you to become a Lawyer by profession?
Hassan: what inspired me is the zeal to fight for the masses with recourse to the process of the law. I prefer to fight for your right than mine, I prefer seeing you eating than me eating. Amebo, go to so many police station you won’t like what you will see,so many aremere victims for no just cause, innocently convicted because of no lawyer or detained because of no help from anybody.
Seeking your indulgence, what made me settle for law despite not having money to train my self was an incident that happened to me in Mushin. I was packed as a roger and detained with a particular guy also among us whose parents could afford a lawyer. In was below 18 at that time. When the lawyer saw us despite coming for the influential guy, he took our case up and get us freedom. The amazing thing is that this lawyer is a very young man, he can’t be more than twenty one years Old, and I was like if my parents and family members couldn’t secure my bail and this 21 year old man did, I will become a lawyer too and help the people in difficulties.
AMEBO: Life has its tides, what are the challenges you faced in the process of climbing the ladder of Success?
HASSAN: Every man faces challenges, I haven’t attended my peak, Infact I have just started. I once told you how I had to become a carpenter and barber to sponsor myself in my University despite the tight schedule of studying law, that’s was my biggest challenge. I could have just resolve to fate but I told myself I will make it. Thus is the more reason I don’t look down on people no matter what. Let’s take the whistle blowing for example, any body can become a multimillionaire for just blowing the whistle now adays.
AMEBO: You had LL.B ( Law) and a M.Sc (Political Science), were you thinking of becoming a politician?
Hassan: (Laughing). If you are to fight for the masses, being a lawyer isn’t enough for that. You have to really understand the process of how the law is formed and those who are forming it. Infact one must be part of the formation of the law so as to insert your own vision of helping the less privilege. Let’s take for example our highly celebrated hero, Late Obafemi Awolowo; he was a lawyer but didn’t stop their to actualize his dream of free education for all, he joined the system. I also want to join this and contribute my quota. I want to meet thses our heroes in the world beyiund and tell them what I was able to achieve on earth. Let’s understand that “politics is law and law is politics”. You can’t be outside and complain how it is done, I want to be a problem solver. Today I’m a masters of political science soonest I will be a Doctor of politics.
AMEBO: Have you been able to achieve this your goal of fighting for the less privileged especially those standing trial without collecting a kobo?
HASSAN: I have done so many. I have even come down from my vehicles so very much to challenge the intimidation of some unprofessional police officers. You will agree with me that we have some uniform men who just take delight in harassing innocent people. In a nutshell, I have done many of that and I will continue to do as God gives me life.
AMEBO: What are the basic challenges you have faced in the process of discharging your duties as a lawyer?
HASSAN: Amebo, if you know much about us, you will understand that we derive pleasure in practising law. A lawyer is an Angel. So to many I haven’t faced any sort of challenge, ” trouble is my work and I prefer troubles”
AMEBO: You ventured into politics in your home town, what were you gunning for at that time and what was your experience like?
HASSAN: As much as politics is everywhere, home, work etc, venturing into it is just to bring the action in me. I was aiming to become a legislator in my state, Ogun. My passion has always been to ensure the legacies of Awolowo is maintained not the lip service and riding on Awolowo virtues to power during campaigns. Let me tell you we have many poor home background children that are exceptionally brilliant academically but no one is ready to take them to the next level of their future aspirations. So I decided to take the bull by the horn unfortunately I couldn’t get the ticket but I’m not quitting till I pursue this dream to the least.
AMEBO: Were you thinking dropping law for politics by that time?
HASSAN: (Laughing), law and politics are the same. In the regime of Obama, 80% of their legislators are lawyers and that is why things are working. I can’t quit law to practise politics. Even if I had won that election, my work goes on, don’t forget politics should be part-time unlike what us happening in Nigeria.
AMEBO: You are Taiwo what of your Kehinde?
HASSAN: that’s my second spirit, he is fine. If you see me you had seen him. He is happily married with a very nice job too.
AMEBO: Since you tried your hand in politics in 2015, are you relaunching in 2019?
HASSAN: God is the Alpha and Omega. He alone knows what we will do.and become, till then let God decide.
AMEBO: Have had an experience of defending a notorious hardened criminal despite your knowledge of who such a person is?
HASSAN: as a senior lawyer of the bar. Every suspect has a right to a defense and you can’t convict a suspect until the court pronounced it. So I have had such experience.
AMEBO: Talking about your family and work, his so you balance that.
HASSAN: I’m happily married to an amazing woman and have children who understands my work’s nature. Infact every body in my house including my dogs are lawyers (Laughs).
AMEBO: while in school studying law, do you ever have at a point in time thought of quitting as a result of a challenge either finance or something else?
HASSAN: No! Infact I strive daily with my barbing job to ensure I do better than those who were been sponsored by their parents. Don’t forget that I have a mission and vision plus a determination. So at no time DIS I ever thought of such.
AMEBO: Parents are integral part of ones success story, tell us about your parents?
HASSAN: my parents are very discipled, they really supported me even while in the University. My food stuff were still.provided by them despite my hustle for a better tomorrow and I must thank them.
AMEBO: How do you balance work demands and leisure hours?
HASSAN: I’m also an hotelier who loves privacy. So I simply go to my hotel to relax or go to.that of friends while keeping my family informed. I do go out of the country once in a blue moon, the last time I went out of the country was four years ago. Naturally I dont fantasies jetting out and most importantly my work doesn’t give room for long vacation of sort.
AMEBO: a lawyer, politician and hotelier, how do you maintain such huge task?
HASSAN: (smiles) glory be to God in the highest. Managing twelve or five business is like a President of a nation managing many states. I hope one day you will deem it fit for a dinner in my hotel, I’ll be glad to be your host whenever you are set.
AMEBO: Many people especially youths will be inspired about your achievements, what word do you have for them?
HASSAN: they should be focus and determined, have a foresight and believe in God. They should not renege in their dreams , Governor Amosun fought many times to become the Governor and today he is. If a carpenter like me can become a lawyer, they can be anything they choose. Sometimes at home my wife makes the joke, see this carpenter ooo bragging at home o but thankfully the carpenter is now a lawyer.
AMEBO: we want to sincerely thank you Barrister Taiwo Hassan for the time and the privilege to share your success story to inspire our readers out there.
HASSAN: the carpenter who is now a lawyer is saying you are welcome. I must commend you Amebo and your crew for the exploits in the new media. You have made information assessable to many people which I’m one of them. Thank you and I hope you don’t relent.