You never know how priceless your freedom is until it is taken away from you!
And when that freedom is taken unjustifiably the word justice becomes like a heap of garbage left uncollected at the Kaneshie market. It stinks.
For years, one man has shown an unassailable commitment in championing the cause of restoring justice in an unjust society.
The poorest of the poor now have justice smiling at them all because of him; the innocent man who had 14 years of his life wasted in remand for a crime he never committed has gained his freedom thanks to him; the young boy whose anal region was tortured, fractured and ripped apart by none other than a senior medical doctor in the infamous Dr Ali Gabass sodomy scandal now has justice all because of him; the journalist who was accused of defiling a minor, humiliated and condemned into a dungeon for three years has also gained his freedom.
Thanks to him, many men, women thrown into prison on remand, without trial, crammed in jails like animals, fed with crumbs of food are getting their freedom under a Justice For All programme. Justice is no longer a priceless commodity for the highest bidder, it is for all.
Justice now has a new meaning; a new name- Francis Xavier Sosu- the man who never saw justice in the beginning; the man who came from nothing more than the armpits of society has shown that when society is just, care for its own, love its own and provide education and the most basic of needs for its own; that investment turns out to be a mighty big ocean of blessing back to the same society.
Sosu is now an apostle of justice, an author, a proud father, a preacher man, a gospel musician, a philanthropist, a ray of light to the many dark depressing stories of life, and a man daring to be president. You might be tempted to think he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth but there was even no spoon at the time he was born.
Xavier-Sosu was never expected to be a household name known to the Bar like the Akufo-Addos, the Tsikatas, the Ala Adjeteys or Kulendis. It could never have been.
For a profession heavily and jealously guarded by powerful elements, who you are and your family background counts just as much as your competencies if you are to join the league of the learned society.
But Francis had no exalted ancestry; he had no roots in the Bar. His family name was insignificant and quite popular on the streets of Kotobabi, because young Francis became a street kid.
Born to an alcoholic father at the time and a mother who was a slave to a trokosi shrine nothing much was expected from Francis Xavier, much less to become a lawyer.
Poverty and suffering were synonymous to the Sosus.
The first born lost her sight and dropped out of school. The second also dropped out. Francis who was the third could not drop out because he was not in school in the first place. His place was on the streets after he refused to join his grandfather in a little village in Togo notoriously known for worshipping idols at the time. His three other siblings and an adopted child had their future just as bleak.
The streets offered refuge for young Francis. He fed on anything, including leftovers on rubbish dumps. And for neighbouring communities like Accra Newton, Mamobi and Nima leftovers on rubbish dumps were even hard to come by.
It was demeaning to sleep on the streets when others slept in mansions; it was dehumanizing to scavenge on rubbish dumps for daily bread when others had tables of honey and bread laid before them; It was unfair to deny a person access to education when others had a dozen schools to select from.
And while young Francis suffered the pain and the indignities of an unjust society; he was also unconsciously learning the art of justice, albeit in the most unorthodox way.
Society never gave him a chance but God did. He used a teacher, Ruby Arhin, who saw in Sosu a dream to fight on and a potential to succeed despite the overwhelming odds.
She enrolled him to school. At age eight, Francis Xavier for the first time stepped foot in a classroom and began his nursery education. That was where it all began. A seed of success was sown and about to germinate but the suffering continued nonetheless.
To every great stride made, came greater challenges that had to be surmounted.
Sosu graduated to the Accra Newtown Primary and JHS, a public school, popularly called ‘syto’.
The school was running a morning and afternoon shifts. When it was afternoon shift Sosu had to be selling from ice water to kerosene in the morning to raise some capital before going to school. When he was on the morning shift, selling had to be done in the afternoon. It was a daily struggle.
But Sosu never gave up. He perfected the arts of reading, writing and singing in the church. Those were the brightest spots in the dark life of pain, misery and struggle.
He passed his BECE and got admitted to ST John’s Grammar SHS in Achimota Accra.
He was not completely out of the woods yet. He was still sleeping in a kiosk just opposite the Kotobabi police station and had to walk several miles before he went to school every morning. He could not pay his school fees but was committed to school’s activities. His fees had piled up and occasionally taunted and mocked at until the headmistress came to his rescue. She excused him from paying his school fees until his mother had raised some money for it.
Sosu badly needed help but being on the streets alone was not enough guarantee to receive help. He had to show that he was worth any help. God and his academic credentials again spoke for him.
The Village of Hope, an orphanage, having witnessed a little gem struggling to shine on the streets came to his rescue with a promise to fund his education. He did not disappoint them. Young Francis did not only exhibit great academic prowess but honed a great leadership skill by becoming the head prefect of the St John’s Grammar School.
He combined as many tasks and pain as possible but did not compromise on his education. It was his life. He lived it. He wrote his exams passed and got admission into the University of Ghana.
Francis Xavier was offered Archaeology, Russian Language, Dance and Sociology, a combination most students scorned and lampooned. He grabbed it with an open mind hoping and working towards the best. He graduated successfully with a BA (Hons).
Far from being an ingrate, Sosu offered to do his National Service with the Village of Hope. The village that gave him hope, a better life and a successful education.
Like an impulse of thought, the choice of Law was tossed into his mind by the Barnett family who were linked to the Village of Hope. He obliged. For one who has witnessed a life of injustice, a career call to fight injustice was a national call to duty, one he could not turn his back to. He accepted the challenge despite a competitive, frustrating and rigorous entry procedures. He was admitted and with the same hard work, Sosu passed his LLB and enrolled at the Ghana School of Law. He was called to the Bar in 2010.
Today Xavier-Sosu struts up and down Ghana’s court rooms with his cute tiny body drowned in a gown with his head up high playing counsel, not in the big political landmark cases, or the multi-billion cases involving business moguls and conglomerates but in the smallest of cases involving the most insignificant members of society who are without a voice, hope and whose lives are most often at the mercy of a state that cares so little for the have-nots and in fact contributes to violating the rights of the people it swore to protect.
If the legal maxim that says it is better for 10 criminals to escape justice than have one innocent man wrongfully convicted makes any sense, then the selfless gallantry of Xavier in fighting to save the innocent from the jaw-dropping miscarriage of justice can only be commendable. He does not only save the innocent from wrongful convictions, he gets the criminals who manipulate and attempt to bribe and run away from justice to face the tune of their misdeeds.
Society is better today with Francis Xavier Sosu; the Bar is richer today with him.
“I believe the call to be a lawyer is a divine call. It is a moral call. It is a call to stand by justice; for justice” he told Myjoyonline.com
“My motivation is to give up back to society what society gave to me,” he added.
Through Francis, the family which was an object of mockery in society, a slave to poverty; strangers to education can now afford a smile because life has been made a lot more meaningful, exciting.
Francis Sosu is happily married to Felicia with whom he has two beautiful kids. But his service to mankind is not over.
Having helped many families; touched many lives, the acclaimed lawyer is counting on the same zeal, determination and God’s grace which shot him to fame from the streets to catapult him to the presidency.
“Unlike others I am not shy to declare my intention to want to be Ghana’s president someday,” he said.
And he is working at it, just like he did when he nurtured that dream of becoming a lawyer.
His dreams are ambitious but he never fails to try. We wait to see but until then Myjoyonline.com celebrates the story of persistence, the extension of grace; the exhibition of love and selflessness, the story of Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu (ESQ).
Source: My Joy Online
An X Live Africa News Aggregation Service (http://xliveafrica.com)