I am Prudence Mathe, a young resilient South African Black Woman in Law. I was born and raised in the dusty streets of Mamelodi, Pretoria, a characterful environment which contributed immensely to the way I perceive life. I grew up understanding the struggles faced by African people- women, to be exact.
Inasmuch as the principles of Ubuntu thrived in my community, the circumstances were uninspiring and rendered many hopeless. “Surely, the status quo could not be the norm”, I thought to myself. My thoughts were always proactive and I had a quest to learn about the dynamics of living a fulfilling and a purposeful life. My proactive nature did not allow me to conform.
My journey started when I was in school. I have always been a bright learner, the scholar who would scoop awards every year-end. I was not certain of what I wanted to do after school, however, I always knew that I would become an influential person. I have always known that my dreams were not going to end where my physical eyes could see. My educators and peers served as a great source of encouragement as they would always reiterate, “You are a formidable learner, I know you will do exceedingly well in the next class test”. Their sentiments did not only build my confidence, they also pushed me to be a dreamer.
As a final year LLB student of the University of South Africa, I have grown to understand more about the socio-economic issues a black child faces, from lack of resources and funds to study further, to acquiring a degree and yet struggle to find employment. These are some of the reasons I have been on a quest to self-discovery and understanding what exactly my purpose is on this planet-earth. I know that I was not purposed to live ordinarily and having no impact on the lives of others. On the contrary, my purpose is to turn around the lives of my fellow African brothers and sisters.
I am a proud SABWiL Alumna, who has successfully participated in most of the programmes offered by SABWiL Alumni. These programmes include, among others, SABWiL Shadowing (#SS) and the esteemed SABWiL Human Rights Court (SHRC). As a SABWiL Alumna, the organization has contributed greatly to my growth. On the afternoon of the 29th of February 2020, I was elected to serve as the President of the SABWiL Alumni.
Being a President seemed intimidating at first considering that SABWiL is growing rapidly and we strive to surpass excellence. Nevertheless, I am settling quite well into the position. It is often said that with leadership, comes great responsibility. I aim to lead with foresight and with the intention to empower SABWiL Alumni. It is my responsibility to oversee that the house is being run orderly. Fortunately, SABWiL Alumni was founded on a strong foundation. I shall continue building where the Inaugural NEC has left off and so, too, pave a way for the NEC of the coming years.
I resonate with the words of Lady Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition but not too much ambition”. These are words over which I reminisce. I was told that my ambition is way too big for me. “Who do you think you are, aspiring to lead in a world that is male dominated?” However, I believe that pursuing a career in a male dominated field does not have to deter us from our goals. We ought to choose to live beyond the constraints that society has built.
In the spirit of Ubuntu and life preservation, we urge all our members to practice hand hygiene, physical distancing and stay home. Vuk’uzenzele. Wathint’abafazi Wathint’imbokodo.
SABWiL Alumni NEC (President)