Why did you choose to follow a career in law?
I grew up in a small town in Limpopo called Musina, only 15 km from the Zimbabwean border, Beitbridge. As a young small-town girl, I only became aware of politics the day Mr Mandela was released from prison. I became interested in knowing all about him and, when I learnt about the atrocities of the unjust system in South Africa, I was motivated to study law so that I could bring justice to the people.
Does your background influence the way in which you lead at LindsayKeller?
My father died when I was only six years old and my mother was a housewife. My father’s passing motivated her to rise to the occasion and enter the labour market to support me and my three siblings, although she had no skills. I was therefore raised by a very strong, single woman who taught me to face head-on the many challenges that life presents, and always respect other people. I learnt my leadership skills from my mother. She taught me to be strong and stand for any management decision I take in conjunction with my partners. Most importantly, I respect both my partners and the junior staff, and in return I earn their respect.
What are your areas of expertise and what do you enjoy about practising in these fields of law?
I have vast experience of civil litigation. In addition, I am a conveyancer and notary. While it could be argued that litigation is expensive and excludes the poor, it is still rewarding to see people receiving justice. I also enjoy notarial work, in particular assisting clients entering into antenuptial contracts. It is fulfilling to ensure that young couples in love are protected financially.
You joined LindsayKeller in 2006. In which way has the firm enabled you to realise your potential?
As a junior attorney, management showed me that they had faith in me by allowing me to work independently. This motivated me to work even harder, be diligent and render a good service to our clients. I believe this ultimately helped me to realise my potential. Over and above this, LindsayKeller practises a culture of non-racism and non-sexism; everyone is treated with respect and judged on merit.
Who is your role model?
Without a doubt, it has to be Adv. Thuli Madonsela, for the simple reason that acting ethically is key to being successful in both business and the law. Adv. Madonsela is very humble and ethical and yet is a very strong black woman whom I respect greatly.
How do you see opportunities for women in the workplace and in the legal industry today?
I believe women can successfully occupy any leadership role in the workplace. I think that, more than 20 years into democracy, a lot still has to be done in order to empower women, especially in the judiciary. I would like to see more women on the bench.
How would you like to inspire others as a woman leading LindsayKeller?
I would like them to know that they can achieve their goals through delivering work of a high standard. Loyalty pays off and, if they remain loyal and work hard, we can all take LindsayKeller forward.