Baruga thanks wife, sister for law degree

Weekender

By MARTHA DERUAGE
GETTING admission to practice law is a dream for every law student.
An admission to practice law is acquired when a lawyer receives a license to practice.
Two weeks ago, on March 1 Kible Baruga wanted nothing more than to have his two best friends beside him as he got admitted to the bar at the Waigani Court House, Port Moresby.
His two best friends, the tough women behind his achievement were his sister Cathy Bangai and his wife Amelia.
Like the saying goes, behind every successful man is a strong woman or women.
“I am very happy to have my two best friends, my sister and my wife, to be here today on this special day,” said Kible after his admission.
Kible, 41, has become the first lawyer from his remote village at Tape, on the border of Northern and Morobe.
His only sister Cathy who lives with her pastor husband in Lae, came all the way to witness the day.
His wife Amelia and daughters Stella and Angelica came all the way from Northern.
Amelia is the headmistress of Imonda Adventist High School.
“This day is for them, my sister and my wife, because of their constant support financially and emotionally,” the newly admitted lawyer said.
Kible had a rough childhood and his experience had led him to be where he is today.
He was in grade two when his father passed away.
His only sister Cathy Bangai is the eldest child and she helped their mother raise Kible and the five younger brothers.
“My big sister is my best friend. She helped raise me and when my father and mother passed away we raised our younger siblings.
“She was like my mother, but also my best friend because she supported me throughout my life’s journey.”
Being the second eldest among seven children, he was forced to be the man of the house to support the family.
His early childhood days were spent at Popondetta town but after their father’s passing, his mother took the children to the village.
He was raised by his big sister and mother.
Kible completed his high school at Martyrs Memorial High School in Northern.
He was later selected to do secondary education at Kerevat National High School.
After completing school, he was employed by a commercial bank.
Not long after that his only living parent and mother passed away.
He was still at a tender age where he needed parental guidance but he had to be strong to support his other siblings.
Kible later met his wife Amelia.
They had three children, John Ley who is 18 and is doing year 12 at Mt Diamond Adventist School in Port Moresby, Stella 15, is in grade nine at Imonda Adventist High School and Angelica is seven years old.
They had their struggles but were comfortable living in Western Highlands till an incident in 2010 turned their lives around.
Kible was working in Western Highlands and his wife Amelia was a lecturer at Holy Trinity Teachers College that year.
That was when Kible was wrongly accused of misappropriation and he was sacked from his job.
“It was a normal day at school, I didn’t know what was wrong,” Amelia said.
“I was surprised to see our baby sitter with our three weeks old baby at the school.
“The baby sitter was being escorted by police and she was crying. She was saying the police are here to move us out of the house we were living in.
“My husband was at the court house trying to sort things out, I was really confused and scared.
“It was a really tough time for us.”
“God had helped us to get through, and we coped with life,” Amelia said.
The Barugas moved to Holy Trinity Teachers College after the eviction.
Kible knew he did not do anything wrong, and with all the struggles of going to the court house, he decided to become a lawyer.
He upgraded his marks at UPNG Western Highlands open campus and in 2012 he was selected to do first year of law school.
The commercial bank acknowledged that he was wrongly accused and cleared his name in 2015.
“It was a struggle handling my legal fees and my school fees but my two best friends (sister Cathy, wife Amelia) went all the way supporting me financially.”
After six years in school he graduated at the Legal Training Institute on Wednesday, Feb 27 and got admitted to the bar two days later.
Kible said it felt good to prove to his family and friends that he was not just a student but he had made it and he could practice law now.
His eldest son John Ley couldn’t make it to his graduation and admission but he was pleased to have his other family members there.
“Those sleepless nights we went hungry, cramming for exams and test; it was finally fruitful at the admission day. Being admitted to the bar is a dream for every law student,” Kible said.
“The day before his admittance, we were really excited and couldn’t sleep. I am so proud of my husband. I am used to hear him say ‘next please’, or ‘override’ but now I look forward to hear him say ‘yes your honour’ or ‘yes your worship,’” Amelia said.
It was a tough journey for Kible to get to where he is.
All those experiencs had made him to be the man that he is today.
“I went through the experience of not having parents and that had shaped me to be the man that I am. These experiences had made me strong.
“I couldn’t do it without God and my family.”
With his 17 years of banking experience, he would like to do commercial law.
“I am interested to join any government or commercial entity to work and with my banking experiences I believe it would be useful to commercial entity.”
Kible has banking skills and a law degree which is a lot to offer to any private or government entity that would be interested in him.
He was pleased to have set a good example for his children because his daughter, 15-year-old Stella Baruga just wants to be like him, a lawyer.
“My UPNG gown was claimed already by my daughter who said she wanted to be a lawyer,” Kible said.
Young Stella was inspired and motivated during the graduation and his father’s admission.
“I was watching the graduation and I can’t help it, I was so emotional,” Stella said.
“I was inspired by the young women who went up to get their papers. I was so proud of my father too as he went up.
“Seeing him as my role model, I would like to be a lawyer too.”
After Kible’s graduation, daughter Stella got the gown and said she would keep it and don it on her own graduation day some years later.
Stella said she would look at that gown to challenge herself to study law.
Proud of her father, she hopes to one day make him proud of her too when she becomes a lawyer.

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