Pursuing a career as a lawyer is but for me a lifelong dream. One which comes with so much freedom to speak up and be heard. One which would enable me to fight against injustice and be relentless in all my pursuits of speaking fearlessly with no restraint for those in need of such representation. Studying towards my LLB degree through the University of South Africa was a step towards the realization and manifestation of this dream. As I progressed further in my journey as a student, graduating at the ZK Matthews Great Hall served as a great source of motivation towards the completion of my degree.
Like any athlete who runs a successful race eagerly awaits claiming their medal on the podium, I have always anticipated my graduation day. This would effectively mark an end to my LLB studies. Unfortunately, my excitement was short-lived. I received correspondence from the university informing me that graduations had been cancelled amid the corona virus (covid-19) lockdown. Needless to say, I was devastated.
Reminiscing over all the days spent in the library and the sleepless nights burning the midnight oil, I do not regret any of that.
Given the opportunity I would do it all over again. This has been nothing short of a fulfilling journey which I enjoyed thoroughly.
Graduation serves as a ceremony to honour the graduates for all their hard-work, discipline and sacrifices. More so, for the black child, the graduation ceremony symbolises a victory for the family and the entire clan for all their contributions, prayers and continuous support. It is an occasion which signifies a turning point in one’s life and a moment to rejoice in unison. As I reflected upon the anguish I felt, I realized that I needed to make a choice pertaining to how I would confront this ordeal. I was either going to be demoralized by what had transpired or I could embrace the adversity. I chose the latter. Without a shadow of doubt this has kept me going. I may have not been conferred my LLB degree by his Excellency, former President Mr Thabo Mbeki, however, my journey suffices to render my dreams valid.
A message to our learned friends who might be in the same boat, cheer up, this is our moment. We ought to celebrate our victory for a lot of effort has gone into it. We should never let it be said that we have failed to honour ourselves and we have ventured into a state of professional paralysis. Perhaps, this isn’t supposed to be our only and last qualification after all. Let this be one of many other qualifications we obtain as we embark on a journey of lifelong learning. This is an opportunity for us to launch our careers and venture into a new dimension of our life. The truth is, we have the power to write our own narrative. Let us not let this deter us from celebrating our milestone.
In conclusion, we wish to implore all our members to strictly observe the rules of the lockdown, continuously keep physical distancing and wash hands in order to prevent the surge of covid-19. Ubuntu.
Dineo M. Modise
SABWiL Alumni NEC (Academic and Legal Research Officer)