Law practice is a very demanding profession and with the constant emergence of new law firms, competition is extremely keen. That is why there is the need to go the extra mile to meet the demands of clients, as well as other crucial deadlines.
It is,therefore, not common to come across a practising lawyer who has time for another job which requires almost the same kind of attention and dedication.
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Lawyer Sika Abla Addo, together with her husband runs the Addo, Addo Legal Attorneys, a legal firm on the Spintex Road in Accra. Her passion for cooking, however,would not limit her to the legal profession as she also owns Sika’s Kitchen, a restaurant at Dzorwulu.
“I love to eat good food and I love cooking as well.I learnt to cook through experimenting with recipes from books and television cooking programmes. Right from childhood, I would experiment with any new recipe I came across and being the first girl in the family, I always had my brothers to taste my discoveries. My mom was a nurse and so most of the time, I had to cook in her absence,” she told The Mirror.
Recounting how she eventually turned her passion into a second job, she said a few years ago, her mom owned a small shop around the Central Business District in Accra Central where she sold pastries to workers around the area but with time, she decided to start baking the pastries herself rather than buy from her suppliers.
“A few weeks after we started baking, I was approached by a gentleman who owned a restaurant on the beach and wanted us to start baking at his restaurant. So I employed more people and that weekend, we were at the beach ready for business. We were there for two days but I decided to stop baking there because I didn’t like the environment.”
“I had employed new workers and couldn’t just lay them off; that was when I decided to add food to the pastries we sold at the Accra Shop. It is a small place so what we did was to cook and pack the food for sale,” she explained.
Although the original idea was not to set up a restaurant, she realised the shop in Accra was too small and, therefore, decided to set up a full restaurant. She is grateful to her husband for the support although it took some time to convince him into accepting the idea.
Last August, the restaurant started operations with the aim of serving decent food at affordable prices.
“I keep telling my staff our aim is not just to make profit but to meet or even exceed the expectation of our customers with our services and different variety of local food so customers would feel welcomed.”
Although she has employed professional caterers to handle the restaurant, she is often actively involved in what happens there, especially in the kitchen.
“I know every single recipe used at the restaurant. I spend time with my staff everyday so I know what goes into what they cook. I always go to the restaurant unannounced so they are not able to predict when I would be there and this keeps them on their toes constantly.”
Education and career
Lawyer Addo had her primary education at the Cosmos Basic School at Lapaz in Accra before attending the Wesley Girls High School in Cape Cape Coast. She later gained admission to the University of Ghana where she studied Philosophy and Psychology for her first degree.
After completing her national service at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), she went back to the Law Faculty of the University of Ghana, then to the Ghana School of Law. In October 2011, she was called to the Bar.
“When I was in Level 100, my senior brother was in his final year at the Law Faculty and he always convinced me to study law. Coincidentally, during my national service at CHRAJ, I had to work under some lawyers and had to review some legal documents once in a while. I eventually fell in love with the profession and decided to take it serious,” she stated.
After school, she did her pupillage with Puozuing and Associates, later moved to Kimathi & Partners before setting up Addo, Addo Legal Attorneys with her husband, Lawyer Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo who she met at the law school.
“Handling two jobs require a lot of hard work and dedication; I am fortunate to have my mother supporting me at the restaurant but aside her support, I put in a lot of work to get my two businesses running. It is not always about wearing heels and fancy clothes; when I have to look good I do but most importantly when I have to work, I work.
“There are times I would meet some colleagues in the market and they wondered if I was the same person. Some of my clients see me at the restaurant and they are surprised I am the same lawyer. It is not easy juggling two jobs and a family, but with dedication and a lot of hard work, it is possible,” she stated.