Many of us will be dealt the wrong cards in life. It is therefore up to us to reshuffle our decks accordingly if we indeed want a better outcome. We need to think, dream and dare because the world will be as big and successful as we think. There are no barriers or obstacles to stop us when we believe in what we can achieve.
My name is Lerato Mudau and I was born in Mamelodi, Pretoria. I grew up in the shadow of my father who was a well-known soccer player. Many of the members in our community believed that I would also become a soccer player. Contrary to what many people thought I would be later in life, my mother chose to nurture us in a private space, away from our father’s fame. Frankly, life was and is still not as fancy as it seems. Fortunately, my mother is a great supporter of education. Against all the adversities we faced, she made sure that I was able to attend school.
After matriculating in 2014, I was successful in obtaining a bursary. I enrolled for the LL.B degree at the University of Free State. This enabled me to study at Varsity College. The journey was rocky as I unfortunately failed all my first-year modules. Dismayed as I was, in 2016 I enrolled for the BCom law degree. Once again, I failed all the commercial modules but passed all the law related modules. As a result, I forfeited my bursary. Fortunately, I had the support of my mother, as she encouraged me to pick myself up and continue with the race.
In the year 2017, I was able to enrol at the University of South Africa (UNISA) for the LL.B degree. I then found strength to apply for another bursary and by the grace of God, it was awarded to me at the beginning of 2018. I am currently in the final year of my law studies. The journey has taught me not to easily give up as I am capable of accomplishing anything I set my mind to do.
As a law student, I have been extensively involved in various legal activities which have allowed me to develop a strong knowledge of the law. I participated in a shadowing programme which ran for six months under the supervision of Advocate Tebogo B. Molefe, who is still my mentor.
On the 8th to the 26th of July 2019, I had the honour and privilege to make a profound contribution to this noble profession by participating in the Honourable Judge President Mlambo’s filing project. The project was facilitated at the High Court in Johannesburg. In the same month, I joined the Student Litigation Society (SLS) as a volunteer and I was later appointed to be a part of the events co-ordination committee. It was during this time that I learnt about the existence of South African Black Women in Law (SABWiL).
One of my greatest achievements is becoming an Alumna of our prestigious movement. I joined the SABWiL Alumni fold in November 2019 through a shadowing programme conducted by Advocate Samantha Martin. Advocate Martin introduced me to two of her colleagues who provided me with great insight and advice regarding the legal profession. It was during this programme that I was exposed to and taught how the law of civil procedure functions in our legal systems and how issues concerning civil matters are conducted both in magistrates’ and high courts. Surely, being part of the SABWiL Alumni has been a great pleasure and has exposed me to a lot of opportunities. On the 8th of July 2020 I was appointed as the Academic and Legal Research Officer.
Serving my community has always been at the core of my heart. I aspire to use my education and skills to make a difference in people’s lives. Thus, I have an interest in family law, international human rights law and medical law. I resonate with the words of Benjamin Franklin – “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”.
Words of encouragement which I want to impart to all my learned friends are as follows: We should remember that the day we plant seeds will not be the same day we harvest. As Aristotle states, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet”. Being patient, humble and working smart as we continue with our respective journeys will eventually produce the results we all seek. Vuk’uzenzele.
We encourage our members to adhere to the COVID-19 rules and regulations. Stay safe and sanitize. Ubuntu.
SABWiL Alumni NEC (Academic and Legal Research Officer)