AMANDLA! VANGUARD EDITION
Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, SAN
Member of the Court of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Paris International Court of Arbitration
Member of the World Bank Group Sanctions Board
Past Chairperson of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators [CIARB] (UK) Nigerian Branch,"
My Story, Your Inspiration
I attribute my life’s journey to the Almighty God who set me along my path. In life there are so many choices to be made, particularly at the early stages of one’s career, and it requires guidance not to take the wrong step. On graduating, I wanted a different career path— one which would have been more financially rewarding, for starters, and which seemed perfect at the time, but in hindsight would not have culminated in me being where I am today. God led me to commence my career at the Lagos State Ministry of Justice. I was exposed to the court system early and learnt the rudiments of advocacy. I benefited from various training programs on international commercial contracts, including alternative dispute resolution. I was exposed to practical arbitration matters, including those of an international nature. I was lucky to have learnt early in life that, when one is young, what one learns is more important than what is earned financially. My attitude to work and life was also crucial – focus, determination, setting clear goals/priorities, and striving for excellence at all times are things that enabled me to be where I am today. I am also fortunate to have a very supportive husband.
When it comes to creating and establishing a successful career, focus, dedication, hard work and persistence are key. My advice for Women in Law would be to set your goals, get your priorities straight, and run with it. But run your own race— don’t get entangled in inordinate ambition. In addition, it is important to balance work and family life, and to make time for leisure and health activities; only a healthy person can focus on career goals. Furthermore, learn the value of service in any position or organisation you find yourself in – service is key to recognition, higher levels and open doors. Never stop educating yourself. Always be aware that life is about challenges, so take those challenges as they come and don’t let them destroy or distract you from your goals. Never let anybody put you down— appreciate who you are and be confident about yourself. Ignore unnecessary distractions, particularly from those who hold prejudices against you. See them as weaknesses on their part, and develop an effective response strategy that does not derail you from the task ahead. Last but not least, hold on to your faith in God.