We are still celebrating Women’s Month, and we are recognizing some phenomenal women in the Legal Fraternity, and today we have Judge Thokozile Mathilda Masipa, a woman of great substance, not only in character, but in the value and impact she has had in the South African Legal Fraternity.
She speaks about her early years, growing up in the squalor of a two bedroom house in Orlando East and sleeping under a kitchen table at night. Orlando East was also a community filled with vices and was a very negative environment for a child to grow up. Yet she came out on top, which she attributes to her upbringing by very strict parents. Her other motivation was the abject poverty around her, and her determination not to live in poverty.
Judge Masipa studied Social Work, but being unable to get a job immediately due to demands for work experience, she got into journalism. As a journalist, Judge Thokozile Masipa found her real calling, through the social injustices she noticed around her, through the eyes of a journalist, which led to her transition into being a lawyer.
“As a Journalist, part of my job was to sit in Magistrate courts, and decide which stories will interest our readers, and during that time, I observed that a lot of injustices were going on, because of the laws that were in place at the time.
So, I said to myself ‘as a journalist, you could expose these things, but you couldn’t do more than that, but as a lawyer, I could go to court, and challenge these laws in a court of law, and that’s where I decided that I’ve got to do law.”
Watch the episode for more on the life and times of this inspiring and phenomenal woman.