The African moot team did amazingly well at the African Moot competition in the first week of July. The accolades are, 6th best English speaking team out of 43 teams, the 10th best oralists out of over 90 oralists and the best West African team.

The dream team indeed.

Read their interview below.

Please introduce yourselves.

ABISOLA;. My name is Fayinka Abisola Tiwalade.

FOLAJIMI; Otitoola Olufolajimi

Why African moot?

ABISOLA;. African moot because it was the next available competition and I intended to tryout for all the competition to improve my mooting skills. I tried out for Price Media Moot competition but I did not qualify so the next competition was African Moot.

FOLAJIMI; I have always wanted to do African Moot since I was in 200 level. Back then, I was really passionate about human rights. I still am. It is also one of the most important competitions we participate in and there is a long list of great alumni who represented us at African Moot.

Do you think that African moot offers a new perspective on human rights?

ABISOLA; Yes, I believe that African Moot gives a fresh perspective to human rights because we are no longer discussing basic human rights but fifth generation human rights. Rights of refugees including child refugees. The  rights of LGBTQI persons in Africa. We are also beginning the conversation about economic migrants and their rights as well.

FOLAJIMI; Yes it does. Every year, the human rights issues covered by African Moot are diverse and dynamic. This year, one of the issues was minority rights based on sexual orientation. This is one issue that most African countries avoid confronting and the others who confront it do not have a consensus on it. 

What ran through your mind when you touched down in Botswana?

ABISOLA; First off I was like wow, we’re actually doing this then I started to feel the pressure of the competition. Then I looked around and saw that Botswana was actually really beautiful.

FOLAJIMI; Several things. First, I was really surprised because I never expected it to be so beautiful. When I stepped into the airport to meet with the participants from other schools, I felt a bit of pressure, because I had heard a lot about some of these schools. Also, since it was my third year trying out and I finally went for this one, I took that moment to tell myself how proud I was about my persistence. 

Describe your experience in the competition?

ABISOLA; I actually learnt a lot seeing that it was my official competition, I learnt that even when you’re not speaking, you’re competing because the judges  are always watching you and your countenance. Whether or not you’re exuding confidence matters as well. Even if you’re scared or you think you said something wrong, don’t look devastated because they might use that. It’s a plus when they say you looked confident in your case and at that point it didn’t matter whether or not I was correct, it mattered that I looked confident in my presentation. Also, no matter what anyone is saying, think of yourself. There were doubts about my intending performance and I worked hard and I practiced hard and put in a whole lot of effort and I believed in myself that I was going to do great even though it was my first time.

FOLAJIMI; Beautiful. The competition, the people, the environment, the country. Everything. Imagine being in a foreign land but you still feel like you are at home because of how well you are received.

What were you most excited about going for the competition?

ABISOLA; I was first excited about traveling to a new country. I’ve never been there. I was excited about meeting people from different countries which I eventually did, I met people from Uganda, Malawi, South Africa, Kenya Egypt Zambia and it was great to  experience their culture and languages. I was excited to be speaking on an international level.

FOLAJIMI; The fact that I was actually going after years of trying out. 

Based on your experience what are the lessons?

ABISOLA; I’ve learnt that anybody can do anything given they set their minds to it and put it the required work.  I also learnt that team work is really important. Prayer is super super important and nothing can take away it’s place. First of all, we need to have a research database to make research easier. Starting from the scratch doesn’t do us much good.

FOLAJIMI; The team will always need all the help they can get, especially with research because they will be going up against the best from every school in Africa.

What do you have to say to people thinking of trying out next year?

ABISOLA; Please do African Moot, I can’t stress it enough, try out. You just need determination and hard work. You’ll learn a lot and the exposure and fun that comes with the competition is indescribable.

FOLAJIMI; African Moot was a beautiful experience. The competition and everything that came along with it. Do your best in the tryout phase, it will come in handy during the competition itself.

Any other comments?

ABISOLA; Special thanks to the Dean of the Faculty of Law for the assistance in all ramifications. To the executives of the Mooting Society, thank you guys for all your efforts. To Omeiza, Ipinnu, Mubarak, Nelson, Isaac and Temi. Thank you guys for answering me whenever i called. To the African Moot tryout finalists, we’re the real dream Team.

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