By | 15 June 2020


I was born and raised in the dusty streets of Alexandra, an environment ravaged by the scourge of unemployment, poverty, crime, teenage pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse. I was raised in a single parent household with an unstable income that could only cater to our barest necessities. Subsequent to matriculating in 2013, I opted for a gap year during which I devoted myself to the pursuit of knowledge and developed a keen interest in the law. This resulted in a burning desire to immerse myself in the legal field.


In the following year I applied to study towards the Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree at the University of South Africa. I was granted admission. Pursuing my studies was a great leap of faith as my financial background could have possibly diminished my desire to study. Securing employment a few months into my legal studies aided to lessen the financial burden on my family and provided funding for my education. I have since made it to the final semester without experiencing financial exclusion. I would not have made it this far if I had allowed my financial situation to limit my ability to dream for a brighter future. Had I postponed my plans and waited for a financial breakthrough, I probably would have fallen into the trap of stagnation. It occurred to me that I should never limit my dreams to the possible, instead, delve into what seems impossible.


I am grateful for receiving practical legal exposure through our SABWiL Shadowing programme. Luminary Attorney Denise Swartz graciously permitted me to SABWiL Shadow at the prestigious Swartz Attorneys in October 2019. I further participated in the annual SABWiL Human Rights Court (SHRC) held in December 2019 presided over by SHRC Chief Justice Adv. Soraya Hassim SC. I was a litigant immersed in solving a matter concerning section 20 of the Constitution.


Being invested in the development of my community and the legal profession has spurred me to affilitate with several progressive bodies advocating for change.I am a member of the Black Lawyers Association Student Chapter (BLASC). I serve as a young scholar society member at SASLAW. I currently have the privilege to serve as the Projects and Events Co-ordinator in our South African Black Women in Law (SABWiL) movement.


Along my journey, I realised that there is power that lies in one’s ability to dream beyond the current circumstances. This has yielded great results in my life and I challenge us to dream. I resonate with the sentiments of Robert Fritz – ”If you limit your choices to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want and all that is left is compromised’’. Here’s to daring to live beyond our current means, Vuk’uzenzele. I urge our members to practise physical distancing, wear masks and wash hands frequently to prevent the surge of covid-19. Ubuntu.


Nthabiseng Nkopane
SABWiL Alumni NEC (Projects and Events Coordinator)

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