This month we chat to 25-year-old, Tsakane Sibisi, who is a candidate attorney. Tsakane holds a BA Law and LLB degree from the North West University and as a new entrant to the legal field, her hunger and eagerness is the motivation behind her willingness to realizing her full potential in this field.
Below is the interview between For Women in Law (FWIL) and (TS) Tsakane Sibisi.
FWIL:What inspired you to study law?
TS:I chose to study law because it is more than just a career, it is one of the most fundamental aspects of life. Pursuing law also meant that I will be adding a bit of a difference where I can by
FWIL:Please tell us what is the most challenging and exciting part about being a candidate attorney?
TS:Well, the most exciting part about being a CA is exploring and experiencing the different fields of law, in a space of two years you are being exposed to various fields in order to broaden your knowledge and experience of the law and as for challenges, is balancing work and books, because, you still need to write those boards! And that’s where time management comes to the test.
FWIL:As a woman in law, have you experienced gender bias? If yes, how have you dealt with it?
TS:Honestly, I haven’t experienced any, But I believe that the judiciary and legal sector is working hard in achieving equality and transformation.
FWIL: What does being an alpha female mean to you?
TS: An Alpha-Female is a woman who is confident enough to embrace her leadership qualities, she is assertive and stands for what she believes in.
FWIL: Would you consider yourself a feminist? If yes, what does feminism mean to you? If no, why not?
TS: Feminism is a term that is quite carelessly used nowadays, however I strongly believe in equal rights and opportunities for both men and women.
FWIL: The journey of most legal professionals is not always an easy one. What are some of the lessons you have learned along the way and how have they shaped your outlook on life?
TS: Very true! Its definitely not an easy journey and not a quick one either, you will constantly get to a point where you ask yourself, is it really what you want to do, and that’s completely normal. Some may come across friends and family who won’t resonate with you pursuing a legal profession because you don’t look or sound the part. I have learnt that Law, like any other career, is one to be pursued because you want to and are passionate about, not because you think you should or because someone thought it is a career that is well suited for you. Stay true to yourself.
FWIL:What is the best advice you would give to aspiring legal professionals?
TS:The best advice to give to an aspiring legal professional is to grab each and every opportunity that would equip you to become a good lawyer, Take part in activities such as Mock trials, Moot court, be part of the Law Student Council/Society, be involved. The legal profession is a competitive one; always aspire to be the extra out of the ordinary. Another thing source a mentor in the legal profession to guide, teach and share ideas with you, it makes the journey less stressful.
FWIL:What recent change/amendment in the law has caught your attention? (do you agree with the change? Why/why not)
TS:There’s actually two that I have been following up on, those are the National Minimum Wage Bill which, amongst others, stipulates that all employees must be paid, at least R20 an hour as well as the amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution to enable expropriation of land without compensation. With the former, I believe it enables employees to earn a dignified wage and probably increase work productivity to say the least and that is a short term effect with the introduction of the Bill, however we are in an economy
FWIL:What are some of your effective networking skills?
TS:Firstly, establish your target; your target would be meaningful contacts, well-established contacts, who would actually add value to you. Secondly, research more about your contacts; you might actually find things you share in common. Lastly, attend seminars, luncheons and events to grow your network.
FWIL:What does the term “role model” mean to you? Which phenomenal woman in law would you call your role model?
TS:A role model is someone who epitomises the kind of person you would want to be one day or someone who you simply look up to. My role model has to be Adv Rethabile Seema, she’s an Advocate, Lecturer, Doctoral student, Wife and mom, talk about a superwoman!
FWIL:What books have you read that have greatly influenced your life
TS: The Secret! This book has absolutely changed my life, this book found me when I was going through the most career- wise. After reading the book, I changed my entire perspective on life generally.
FWIL: What’s a quote that you live by? Your mantra.
TS: “Your thoughts become things” – from the book, The Secret, this means that when you constantly think about the things that you want, you are unconsciously summoning what you want with the mightiest power in the universe. That is the law of attraction.
FWIL: How do you remain autonomous while working in the legal field?
TS: To be autonomous I always stand my ground, I never compromise my values and morals.
FWIL: How can people reach out to you? (social media handles)
TS: Tsakane Sibisi on Facebook and @tsakane_s on instagram J