The Story of Manjeri

Graduation is looming.

Mother’s dress is picked out and she finally wrote that cheque or check to get my dresses.

I had a brilliant idea of sharing my story of law school.

Then it occurred to me that sharing my friends’ stories is an even more brilliant idea.

I asked, many agreed, few proceeded to write and even fewer were chosen.

So for the next few days leading up to 7th July, I will be sharing their stories.

Why their stories?

The idea was to capture the journey of a few of us in law school and publish it on my blog.

It was inspired by the conversations I had throughout our last semester, which for some reason felt very weird

A lot of my friends  did not consider it  an achievement to have finished this chapter of their lives  especially  because  of the horror stories we have had over the years about  the bar course, that is if you even pass the pre-entry exam to get in.

I wanted to change that, maybe just to have company in the “excitement lane” or to have content for my blog. The plan was to challenge them to count their blessings and what better way than writing about the journey, the milestones, low moments, lessons and everything in between.

This is Maria’s story. She preferred to answer the questions as put to her.

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Meet Maria-Manjeri-Naigaga.Chibita.

Wearer of gowns and attendee of red carpet events. Lover of poor people and a healthy meal of chapati and peas. Cake Business Owner. Also one of the nicest people I know.

How did you end up here at UCU?
Before I even finished high school, my mum had already collected admission forms for me  so she basically wheeled me to UCU.

Was it your first choice?
I could say it was…all i knew is I did not want Makerere and I wanted to do law. And I had also heard rumors that UCU offered the best law in Uganda so I had no objection.

How was your first day in a law class?
I don’t know if I can find the appropriate word to describe what I felt but I was absolutely terrified. Entering a class of over 150 students, none of whom I knew, must have been the scariest thing I had done at that point in my life. Considering I was painfully shy at the time, I felt like I was entering a lion’s den or something related.

Were you excited to be in law school?
I don’t think excited is the word. I was honored to join law school, because that had been my dream for as long as I can remember. *side bar* Excited would be Namaganda Christine nominating herself for class representative on the first day.

Has this excitement stayed with you throughout the years? If not what changed?
Like I said, I was not excited. However, over the years, I’ve been able to realize that for me, this was a calling by God and because of that, my time in law school had a purpose.

What has been your highlight?
I think one of my highlights was an advocates conference I attended in 2015 where I got to listen to Christian lawyers and their experiences. There I saw and heard people who were willing to lose their lives for the cause of Christ, including my dad. It may sound crazy but I felt inspired to do better…to live and to work for a cause greater than myself.

Has the academy of life taught you anything throughout the four years?
If life has taught me anything, it is that the greatest life to live is a life in Christ. He is just a complete package and He never fails.

What are you most grateful for?
Friends. As you grow, you realize that friends can be such a big influence in your life. So I’m grateful that I was able to form the right friendships, that built me rather than destroyed me.

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Photo Credit: MarthaKayUg

 

Do you have any regrets OR would you do anything differently?
I have no regrets.

When you look at all of it, does it feel like this is exactly where you were meant to be?
Exactly…I look forward to the future because I know that God has great plans for me.

What advice would you give your first year self in September 2013?
I would tell her to not let life happen to her…but to happen to life (ok that sounds dramatic), but basically that you can’t experience life by just sitting back. You have to go out there, however intimidating it may seem at first…because the world is bursting with opportunities. To live a full life because there’s so much more to life than books. So much more.
Do you have a plan after school?
Haha plan? I have plans lol. First get LDC out of the way, (at least pre entries), then I want to do an MBA in business management, then I want to specialize in legal aid..maybe even start an NGO one day. And finally to turn my business into a big bakery (Did I tell you I bake for business? Well now you know. Check out Confection Perfection and make orders too.

That’s my story. What’s yours? Was finishing school everything you hoped for and more?

Comments

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  1. Hope Jakisa

    Manjeri.. My former roommate.. I’m grateful that you not only stopped being my roommate but turned out to be a friend and eventually into the inner circle. 😊😊 awesome story. All the best in your next stage of your life. Congratulations Manje😇😇

  2. Dee Gash

    aawww Maria, am glad i got to read your story. Reminds me of how your darling mummy always told us that even journalism is a calling and if you’re not ready for the call, then quit, haha. You are truly your mother’s child, none the less, you are going to be a world changer miss, the world will not even be ready. but shine you light and be the change you want to see. All the best counsel Maria!
    Thanks Komusana as always, it’s a joy reading your pots.

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