Many people look up to Elvis Cosmos. Literally. Walking around campus, he often finds himself the tallest one in the room. But as a graduate of Strathmore Law School, former President of the Strathmore Law Clinic and the Best Male Oral Speaker at last year’s International Criminal Law Moot, even those as tall as him likely look up to him.
Elvis brought a burning passion for the law to his time at SLS. Not a passion to be a high paid lawyer, but instead to make an impact and help less fortunate people out of difficult circumstances. In his younger years, he quickly learnt that life is a collection of circumstances, some outside our control. We can all find ourselves on either side of the privilege coin – as he did. This lesson drives him to be tenacious and ambitious in the study of law.
From the word go, Elvis jumped into extracurricular activities to support his study. Extracurricular here is used very lightly to mean the Law clinic and international moot competitions. Challenging and rewarding; these activities could not be described as relaxing. As he worked on his dissertation, took up positions of power and participated in moots above his classroom learning level, Elvis found himself juggling a lot of work each semester.
When doubt crept in, as it often does, Elvis turned to his support system. A good dose of tough love can mend a lot – but not everything. When he was on the cusp of presidency of the Law Clinic, Elvis lost his grandmother. There he was, a young man balancing a law degree, personal and professional responsibilities, and now without the bolstering support of a dear friend. He questioned if he really could do it, imposter syndrome and depressive symptoms crept in.
“How did you come through such a dark time in your life?” I asked him.
“I sank into it for a while, I didn’t want to take on this opportunity and become President. I didn’t think I was the right person for it. But my tough love support system kicked in. They reminded me that if they could believe in me, I could believe in myself”. One friend told me very directly ‘Jiheshimu’. It was the wakeup call I needed”
He wrote back and accepted the position of President. And his year as head of the organization was their most vibrant year yet. He injected his personal values of transparency, humility and constant learning into his role as vision bearer and the Law Clinic thrived under his leadership. So much so that when he completed his studies, he was invited to be the Faculty Coordinator of the Strathmore Law Clinic. He can be spotted – very easily – around campus.
Wakili wa Wanjiku. He hopes to one day start a fund and become a beneficiary to many young people who, like him, find themselves on the flip side of privilege.
When asked what his plans are to celebrate his graduation, he admitted he’s still not sure. Maybe he’ll take a solo trip.
This article was written by Celia Kinuthia.
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