My name is Thabile Zamanguni Gcabashe and I am 26 years old. I grew up in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal (“KZN”). I attended high school at Pietermaritzburg Girls High School and The Wykeham Collegiate, both situated in KZN. I registered for a Bachelor of Laws (“LLB” ) at the University of the Witwatersrand and commenced my first year at the beginning of February 2013. I completed my LLB at the end of December 2016 and attained my LLB (cum laude) during March 2017. I completed my articles over a period of two years at a reputable law firm in Johannesburg. Subsequently thereafter, I was admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa and I specialize in all forms of litigation and alternative dispute resolution.
- What were the questions you asked yourself before pursuing Law as a profession?
To be honest, I did not ask myself any questions before pursuing my law career. Initially, I always wanted to be a doctor. Unfortunately, I did not do well in maths and physics. As a result, I had to pursue my second career choice. I went into my LLB with the mindset that I will take it as it comes, considering it was not my first choice. Fortunately, I fell in love with the course immediately and I was one of the few that graduated top of my class.
- Describe a day in the life of an Attorney?
Outside of a pandemic, I wake up every day at 04h30 and head to the gym. I gym for approximately 1 hour and thereafter I get myself ready for work. I get to the office at approximately 07h00 for 07h30. Ideally, during this time I sit down and attend to any incomplete tasks, as well as catch up on any emails from the previous night that I have not seen. However, things do not always go as planned. Most of the time my days are unpredictable. I take every new instruction as and when it comes in.
- Which milestones have defined success in your career field for you so far?
Being admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa and being recruited by one of the country’s top firms.
- Do you feel Black women get the respect they deserve in your field?
I think we do to a certain extent. Unfortunately, we still live in an era where as black women we need to work harder in order to prove ourselves and our capabilities. Based on my discussions with other women, this is a common characteristic in other fields too.
- How do your social media, and legal interests mesh together?
The law is very universal. It touches on a lot of areas, including social media. In light of this, I enjoy teaching the law to people who have no legal background. Influencer marketing is a rising industry in South Africa and I want to teach influencers and other digital entrepreneurs the legal aspects of influencer marketing.
- Favourite part of being a Black Women & Attorney?
For all the shortcomings of affirmative action, it does seem to assist in the mobility and viability of young black females in the corporate space. A number of firms, in particular international firms, as well as companies, make it a point to meet their moral and legislative responsibilities by looking to provide employment options to young, black females, amongst other previously disadvantaged groups. I have been approached by numerous international firms seeking to employ me as a result thereof.
- Would you say that you are living the life you imagined at your current age?
Definitely. When I was younger, and in particular when I was in university, this is where I imagined I would be at this age. Onwards and upwards from here.
- What is the one money lesson you have learnt in your 20’s?
The importance of saving and having a financial plan the moment you start working and receive an income, regardless of the amount you are receiving at any given point in your life.
- What do you do for fun outside of your job, what are your hobbies?
Outside of my job, I enjoy being at home and in my own space. I am a bit of an introvert and enjoy being indoors a lot during my downtime. My perfect weekend entails relaxing at home and watching movies on Netflix. I enjoy singing – I always joke by saying that if it were truly up to me, I would have become a singer – reading, creating content and catching up on current affairs.
You can catch Thabile on her journey and expertise on her platform.
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