Youth & Influence : Trishanka Thoolsi

A scroll through her Instagram and you get to see her personality but most importantly her passion. It is picturesque and not an animal short of aesthetically pleasing.

And that’s when one has to be thankful for social media and the kind of amazing young women we can be exposed to. There are inspiring millenials all through our timeline and Trish is amongst them as one who uses their platform for the greater good. Amassing a following of almost sixteen thousand, you can image the amount of voice she has and gets to share in the age of online influencers.

The twenty four year old Trishanka Thoolsi, is a law student, a wildlife conservationist as well as an animal rights activist. She is young and driven, and is exactly the kind of young woman our platform seeks to engage with. SHE Legal Co understands very well that aside from pursuing our careers in law we also have a vast array of other interests which do not take away from our ability to work the profession but that we can be multidimensional and multifaceted in how we go about pursing our interests while also pursuing a thriving career in law.

When asked how she went about deciding to study law, Trishanka shares that:

“When I was younger I was lucky enough to be exposed to nature and wildlife and fell in love instantly. However, as my love for wildlife grew so did my desire to find out more about what our country does for their protection. To my surprise, there were little to no laws (at that stage) that protected them and that was when I decided instead of finding people to make a difference, I was going to be that person.”

It seems that Trishanka knew early on what the purpose of her life would be, and we imagine that would be a fulfilling journey. Though she shares that being a spokesperson for animals in South Africa can be both strenuous and rewarding, and that there are major highs and lows along the way. But she affirms that even in those moments she will always choose to be an animals rights defender because she will not be silenced.

She goes on to say that in this journey she has had the opportunity to work with amazing organizations over the years, from LIONSROCK, Four Paws International, Wild Aid and ARK Puppy Shelter. And, that’s only to name a few.

A sense of pride and feminism is evoked in her when we ask, what has having a voice meant to her as a young career woman, and she says:

” We spend way too much time teaching our young girls to worry about what men think of us in the workplace. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach young boys to care about being likeable in a ‘woman-dominated’ career. We spend to much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough but then we turn around and praise or excuse men for the same reasons.”

Trish, who says that even before it was popular to be a feminist, she never needed to find her voice. She knows that she always had a voice and only needed to feel empowered to use it. And that once she finally had a voice those around her were encouraged to listen.

Amongst one of her challenges in juggling all the work that she does as a woman working towards a career in law, Trishanka lists time as her most challenging aspect. However she notes that, “balance is key. And that when you have a passion for everything that you do in life you will always achieve what you have set out to do.”

In the spirit of youth month and acknowledging our history as young people and as women, we asked her what she thought has been some of the barriers through out the areas which she works in, and she notes the progress has been made to afford women equal opportunity.

“The problem doesn’t come from our rights, however; the problem sits with each individual who feels the need to remain in a male domineering mindset culture, to demoralize a person based on her gender.”

She goes on to share some powerful words on the importance of reinforcing the idea that men should respect women because we are people and that only then can we have women sitting in boardrooms without the need to feel that the men in the room may think that she is there just to fill a quota on women.

She definitely gives us a lot to think about, and you can wonder how she may cope with the pressures. Trish, mentions that one needs to be humble, be hungry and always be the hardest worker in the room.

With such a positive outlook on everything, we had to know how she sees her future unfolding, and she confidently shares that:

” In the next five years, I would have become a well established animal rights lawyer in South Africa. And to have influenced a lot more people with regards to their outlook on wildlife and the environment not only in South Africa but across the globe.”

She is definitely a force to reckon with and we have full confidence in her ability to achieve all that she sets to achieve in her career. Trishanka, by her own admission, is extremely resilient and is able to adapt to every situation she is put in.

On her closing message to young people and young women in South Africa for this youth month, Trish says that she wants everyone to be just like her in that she is hopeful because she deeply believes that young women in South Africa need not conform to societies believe of what a woman should be. She goes on to quote Chimamanda Adichie, “Gender as it functions today, is a grave injustice.”

For more on Trishanka, you can follow her on Instagram @trishtheactivist and be sure to check out her blog on

She is also on Facebook as TRISHANKA THOOLSI.

We hope you’ve all enjoyed this interview as much as we did, and that the take away from it is as inspiring and motivating for you all.

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