Welcome! In this week's blog, we found a charismatic leader who has made his way through his career, decided to pursue what he loves, and has successfully achieved it. His story is one of a kind as he comes from a family of lawyers, and this propelled him to pursue a career of his pacesetters.
Meet Lawyer Beyeeman Ofori-Atta Akyea.
Beyeeman Ofori-Atta Akyea: A Dedicated Lawyer
Beyeeman Ofori-Atta Akyea, a commercial disputes lawyer in Ghana, has made a name for himself in the legal profession through his dedication to his work. Born and raised in Accra, he comes from Kyebi, a town in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Beyeeman's passion for Law was ignited at a young age when he accompanied his father to the Supreme Court. The sight of his father in his robe and the story behind it triggered his curiosity and led him to ask his father questions about his profession. In pursuing his purpose, he paid attention to his forerunner (his father). Beyeeman's household contributed to his success in becoming a lawyer - his parents are both lawyers, and his Aunt was the first female Chief Justice of Ghana. This influenced him to become one of Ghana’s finest lawyers.
Beyeeman Ofori-Atta Akyea
Beyeeman Ofori-Atta Akyea attended the Ghana International School in Accra, where he completed his A-levels in Sociology, History, and Economics. He then pursued his undergraduate studies in Law at the University of Reading in England. After completing his undergraduate degree, Beyeeman attended the University of Birmingham, where he studied the Bar Professional Training Course and became a barrister in England and Wales. He also studied at the Ghana School of Law, where he further honed his legal skills.
Today, Beyeeman is a commercial disputes lawyer at Zoe and Co., a leading law firm in Ghana. He is also an international commercial arbitrator, and his expertise in this field has earned him a reputation as one of the hardworking arbitrators in his profession. Beyeeman’s hunger for success led him to co-found an enterprise named Adu Gyamfi and Akyea, a consultancy firm specialized in Building and Road Construction, Real Estate, Electrical Engineering, and Import and Export. In pursuit of his profession, he has dealt with some challenges that made him discover himself better. However, he envisioned the power in his adversities and turned them into positive encouragement to become a resourceful lawyer and an advocate.
Beyeeman explains his work-life balance as equitable and genuinely enjoys his job. However, he also takes breaks to listen to music, work out, visit art exhibitions, scout the latest fashion trends, and watch his favourite action movies. His source of incitement is drawn from what he strongly believes in and how he values his calling as a lawyer.
As he believes in hard work and commitment, he urges young aspiring lawyers to find mentors to guide them through their career paths. He is also a firm believer in finding your purpose and having confidence in God. Beyeeman is convinced that his name carries a heavy cape over his shoulders and that he is destined to be a ‘nation builder.' His passion for Law and determination to succeed have made him a role model for young people in Ghana. He has demonstrated that with hard work and dedication, anyone can achieve their dreams. His story has inspired many, and his success is a testament to the power of perseverance.
I do not see failure as a setback but rather a force to be excellent. - Beyeeman Ofori-Atta Akye
Tell us a little bit about yourself. For example: (Your name, educational background, and achievements), basically everything that makes you who you are today.
My name is Beyeeman Ofori–Atta Akyea. Anytime I mention my name, it is met with a universal reaction of bewilderment and surprise. When people realize that I am not making up my name or after several failed attempts to pronounce it, I explain that it is a name of Akyem origin and means 'nation builder' or, more specifically, 'came to build a nation'.
I am from Kyebi in the Eastern Region of Ghana, but I have been privileged to spend most of my life in Ghana’s capital city, Accra, where I attended the best school in the nation, Ghana International School. After completing my A-levels in History, Sociology, and Economics, I attended the University of Reading in England, where I undertook my undergraduate studies in Law. Thereafter, I attended the University of Law in Birmingham, where I studied the Bar Professional Training Course (now known as the ‘Bar Practice Course’) and eventually became a Barrister in England and Wales during the treacherous COVID era. Like every other lawyer in Ghana, I survived the Ghana School of Law and currently practice at Zoe, Akyea & Co. as a Commercial Disputes lawyer, International Commercial Arbitrator, and Ghana’s youngest licensed Insolvency Practitioner.
I do not consider that I have done anything extraordinary or particularly noteworthy. I have just had the opportunity to succeed, and this opportunity is more important than any achievement I may hold. It is for this reason that I believe every individual deserves an equal opportunity and I am driven by this personal truth and conviction.
What inspired you to pursue law as a profession?
The most significant moment that is etched in my memory about my decision to pursue law is a scorching Monday morning several years ago when I accompanied my father to the Supreme Court of Ghana. As we were about to enter the court premises, I noticed that his robe was tattered, terribly faded and quite dirty. Being naïve and embarrassed at this sight, I promptly tugged at his robe and gestured to draw his attention to the state of his attire. In a strong, brazen voice that continues to echo in the fibres of my body today, he responded by saying: - “Beyeeman, it is not dirty; it demonstrates longevity.” He sounded like a battle-hardened Roman warrior. This statement was uniquely and personally profound to me. I liken this day to when the ‘woman with the issue of blood’ touched the helm of Jesus’ garment. It was at this point that the power to become a lawyer was transferred to me, and I was utterly convinced that I had a future in law.
At least, this is the story I tell myself at 9:42 p.m. when I still have 128 pages of an oil and gas turnkey contract to examine before the next day. More, though, I have been unintentionally nurtured into the profession by a household where both my parents are lawyers, and my aunt is the first female Chief Justice of the Republic. This has consciously or unconsciously influenced and inspired me to become what I am.
Can you share a significant turning point or life-changing experience that shaped who you are today?
A significant turning point in my life that transformed my worldview and set me on my current trajectory involves the months following the conclusion of my A-levels. I was not entirely satisfied with how my affairs had panned out, and I came to the transforming realisation that succeeding would require much more than natural talent or an intellectual bent. Anything worth achieving would require extremely hard work and daily rituals where I would have to repeatedly cross-examine myself by asking: - "How badly do I want this?”
Every day, I endeavour to be better than I was the previous day and knowing that I put in my best in every situation places me at ease.
How do you maintain a work-life balance, and what activities bring you joy outside of your work?
The truth is that many people believe that a work-life balance involves 50% work and 50% pleasure. I find that a work-life balance should be equitable, not equal, and in the foundational stages of your career, there may be a necessary and substantial imbalance between work and play. I work as hard as I can because I genuinely enjoy what I do, and I feel a sense of ownership in my work. Nonetheless, I am acutely aware of my limits and when I have reached my point of diminishing marginal utility. Scis te ipsum. I love to listen to loads of music on Spotify, work out, visit an art exhibition, scout the latest fashion trends, eat unholy amounts of food at a new restaurant, or watch thriller or action movies as often as I can.
What have been the challenges and benefits of taking the path you are on?
There is an assumption that if a person pursues a career in Law, they must enjoy reading copious volumes of material. I do not enjoy reading, quite frankly. This is particularly so because I do not have the strongest memory and have always found it challenging to pay attention to one thing for prolonged periods. This has forced me to push myself to far-reaching limits to complete the academic components necessary to become a lawyer. Fortunately, professional practice does not mirror the restrictions that the academic aspects of Law present. I am also moderately reclusive, and hence, having to deal with people and clients has exposed the weaknesses in my social skills.
The benefits, however, lie in overcoming these challenges. I am thrilled at the idea of running towards what you are not but hope to become, and I relish the prospect of becoming a skilled advocate, resourceful lawyer, and problem solver. I meet many people daily who have confidence in me and for some reason, believe I can assist them in one way or another. This drives me to expand my knowledge and find solutions whether it pertains to the medical field, business and finance, aeronautics, or zoology. That is what being an attorney, a counsellor, and a lawyer means to me. Every day, I am getting better, and that is worth something.
As a dual-qualified lawyer, what would you say drives you to always want to achieve more in life? What is your source of motivation?
I am Christian, so I believe God has predestined and preordained every person. Innately, I have a keen sense that there is a higher calling and purpose for me and an absolute need to fulfil that purpose. The said purpose cannot be described in words, but it is my name that stimulates me to be better not only for myself but for others. My name genuinely feels like a heavy cape draped over my shoulders. I feel an existential obligation to grant others the opportunities I have had, and this motivates me. I have also failed before and do not enjoy the feeling of failure. This pushes me to be excellent in everything I do.
How do you measure success?
I used to believe that success involved having a lot of money, degrees, and prestige. I still intensely aspire for these things; however, I now maintain that these are indicia of success. In short, I measure success by the impact that you have made, at least within your community, and the good reputation and respect you have earned from your peers. A good name is better than riches. I am yet to be successful, in my humble estimation.
How important is it to you to do what you love and be successful at it?
Your relationship with your career or work is like your relationship with a partner. Love is good, but it is never enough. You may not always love what you do, but you must first be convinced that what you do is your calling or purpose. Then, you must be loyal to this purpose by fostering it with metronomic doses of love, discipline, self-sacrifice, hard work, and other important virtues. Then, you will be successful.
What advice would you give any individual trying to venture into law?
Law is a noble profession and objectively the finest job in the world. It requires a great deal of hard work and dedication. You should be sure that you want to pursue this arduous path. When you make that decision, it is best to find a mentor who will guide you through this path. In law, no matter how many degrees you hold, there is no substitute for a person with more experience who has spent years on his feet. An insatiable desire to learn is also important, and you must have the intellectual humility for this. A high IQ and learning environment such as Zoe, Akyea & Co. has aided me in that regard.
Finally, my position is that at all times, you must be confident, bold, and even delusional to believe that in every room you step in and every engagement you have, you are the greatest lawyer in the room. "As a man thinks in his heart, so he is." BOAA fecit.
10. Are you on any social media platforms?
The team at YEWGlobal wishes Beyeeman Ofori-Atta Akyea all the best in his next endeavours. We can't wait to have an update on your success journey.
We hope you enjoyed this week's edition of the YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE WEEK.
See you all soon.