Life Legally Begins at Forty

Sakwiba Sikota
State Counsel Sakwiba Sikota


The question I often ask myself is, “When does life begin?”

Various anniversary numbers are given as special such as “sixteen”, “eighteen”, “Twenty one” and many others right upto the fifties, seventy fives and even a hundred. You hear things like, “Sweet sixteen”, “Eighteen with a bullet”, “Legal twenty one” and “Centurion”.

One anniversary that is celebrated like there is no tomorrow is forty. It is celebrated like there is no tomorrow even though they say, “Life begins at forty.

I may not look like it but today I celebrate my fortieth. You may not believe me but I have the papers to prove it.

28th December is a date I will always recollect. I am not the only one who gets sweet remembrance of this day.

You may well wonder whether you can trust my reminiscence of events that happened so long ago; especially since I was served with a fair share of sherry that day.

Forty years later I still remember those who share this special day with me. The people I share this anniversary with, though some have since sadly left us, are:-

  1. Mr. J.A. BANDA
  2. Miss. D.K Katebe (Mwiinga)
  3. Mr. S.S. Kakoma
  4. Mr. E.M. Simaluwani
  5. Miss. W. Sithole (Mweenda)
  6. Mr. S.K. Mwenyechanya
  7. Mr. M.S. Molotsi
  8. Mr. B.W. Nyirenda
  9. Mr. S.S. Silomba
  10. Mr. M.A.A. Nsofu
  11. Mr. R.N. Simbyakula
  12. Mr. E.R.B. M’embe
  13. Mr. W.S. Mweemba
  14. Myself

These are the fourteen young lawyers who were called to the bar (no wonder the sherry) on the twenty eighth December 1981. These are the graduates from the class of 1981 at the Law Practice Institute (now Ziale) that passed the exam on their first sitting out of a class of fifty three.

Amongst the fourteen we got a Supreme Court judge, three High Court judges, two chairmen of the Law Association of Zambia, a legal Affairs Minister, a university dean, a Member of Parliament, a Clerk of the National Assembly, a diplomatic ambassador, four State Counsels and even a mayor.

As I congratulate all those who were called to the bar this day forty years ago (including those not mentioned above but managed to clear their outstanding subjects at the September 1981 examination sitting) I say there is still so much to do.

I toast you with a glass of sherry. Do not stop now or hang up your wig. After all, life legally begins at forty.


  1. Ok I hear you Saki! Congrats for clogging 40 years in your law practice. Though, some cases your have undertaken hurt us (Zambians).

  2. Nothing to sing home about. I was independent and feeding my family at a tender age of 17. And yet ihad humble education background.

  3. All his friends are successful. Only Sakwiba is still searching for job. Anyway, like he said, he can start a primary school teaching job now.

  4. What is Sikota talking about? Lawyers seem to be deliberately poor communicators. Because they like confusing judges

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