By | 20 April 2020


The year was 2013 and I had just completed my 12th grade without a clue of what to do the following year. My Life Orientation teacher had suggested that I should consider volunteering at a local law firm. This was because I once mentioned law as a possible career.


Although doubtful, I approached a law firm called Nkgadima Attorneys and requested speaking to the director. I had also applied to Nando’s as a casual worker. I received a call to attend an interview at Nando’s and from the director of the said law firm. I, however, decided to work at Nando’s as I was going to receive remuneration. I worked for exactly two weeks until I inevitably quit as I saw my dream vehicle at the time (Mercedes GL63 AMG). This happened while I was at work pulling two rubbish bins. I knew that was not the life I desired to live.


In the year 2014, I decided to embark on a journey of self-discovery. I began as a messenger at the abovementioned law firm. I believe I made a good impression on the director. That year was my first encounter with the law and a long lasting relationship was established. I was subsequently presented with an opportunity to do paralegal work. I recall being out of the office and my personal line would constantly ring because different clients preferred to work with me. As a messenger and an unqualified paralegal at the time, this was truly humbling.


I then enrolled for a LLB degree in 2015 at the University of South Africa and completed this in 2018. During that period, I was an active student leader wherein I participated in student debates, legal training, legal drafting and presentations, student political activities and the SABWiL Shadowing programme. I also worked at the aforementioned law firm during recess to acquire as much experience as I possibly could until 2018. My biggest motivation was my disadvantaged economic background and further that I strive to improve the lives of black law students. During my gap year I realised that it was tough for black legal practitioners to receive proper exposure to the legal fraternity. I suppose the position has not changed much but that does not mean we should forget. Former President Nelson Mandela once mentioned that it is up to the youth to continue the struggle for freedom.


I began to work in February 2019 and registered my Articles of Clerkship in June of the same year. This was after completing six months of practical legal training. I was proud when I received positive feedback from the three law firms I had previously applied to for Articles. I, however, declined serving Articles of Clerkship in any of the firms. My decision was due to personal reasons.


I believe that I am purposed to improve the lives of other people, having Ubuntu as an epicentre, while I also focus on my own personal growth. I strive to continue my path to self-discovery and improvement. This I intend to do in accordance with the law and principles of justice. Who said you can’t be black and shine gracefully?


“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson


We advise all our members to regularly wash hands, maintain physical distance and stay home. Vuk’uzenzele.


Sibusiso Nhlapo
SABWiL Alumni NEC (Secretary-General)

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