Mphoentle Plaatjie shares with us her thoughts about what it was like finding out that she made onto our STORY OF S.H.E list. She also let’s us in on what she has planned for the new year.
Waking up and finding out that I had made it on to the #SOS30 STORY OF S.H.E. was both a pleasant surprise and an honor. I immediately went through the profiles of the phenomenal who had made it onto the list, and I was inspired. These women have achieved quiet a lot at their age. They are agents of change in their communities, they have more than one “hustle”, they are educated, and they are leaders.
Law, from a South African context – if not the whole world, has been a male dominated space. But these women have defied the status quo and penetrated the legal field in various ways by creating their own tables where they can make executive decisions that will change the world. I can’t help but be excited to see what else they have in store for the world.
This year I turn 22, and this will be final year as a full time student. I will be pursing a Professional Master in Commercial Law at the University of Cape Town. One cannot ignore the value the Internet has added to commercial transactions. Hence, I am very passionate about Transnational E-Commerce and Consumer Protection. I believe studying further will bring me a step closer to finding more viable options for South African consumers and eventually African consumers who participate in transnational electronic contracts.
Apart from becoming an Advocate and achieving various goals I have set for myself, I would like to be an academic giant. The amount of women who have taught me law modules is quite little in comparison to the amount of men who have taught me. It is also sad to say that I have not had a black female lecturer who heads her own course in the 5 years I have been studying law. I hope to be one of the many future black female Law lectures that inspires young women who can relate to my story. I hope to see transformation materialize with my generation. Ultimately I believe we can do whatever we put our minds to, no matter what statistics say or what the naysayers say.
I also hope to continue working with Pledge A Pad this year and extending its reach in South Africa. It is an NGO that collects and distributes sanitary towels for women in disadvantaged areas. We also educate women on menstrual health and genital health. There is still a lot of work to be done, because according the the University of Stellenbosch Law Clinic, 30% of girls miss school due to the lack sanitary towels.
Apart from all of that, I am young women who is investing in her future. I am laying a steady foundation through education, so that the structures of success can be steady once they come up. I hope to also plant seeds of hope and growth in young women from my community in the small things I do. Once again, I am honored that you have identified me as women to look out for in 2019. I leave you with my favorite verses. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’
‘Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.’
1 Timothy 4:12”