Alungile Madolo Picture: Supplied
Alungile Madolo, a 26 years old attorney from a small town near Mthatha, has risen above the odds. Beating societal barriers after being discriminated against due to her gender, the young lawyer, who was admitted as an attorney of the High Court, continues to make waves after recently opening up her own legal firm.
Born and raised in Coza A/A in Libode, a small town near Mthatha, Alungile says that her passion to become a lawyer began when she was watching a television show called Sokhulu and Partners. “I really loved how lawyers handled themselves in court and that is exactly when I decided that one day that is going to be mine representing my people in court,” she told BONA.
The young attorney studied in Mthatha at St. Johns College and Walter Sisulu University where she was enrolled for Bachelor of Laws from 2015 to 2018. She conducted her Practical Legal Training in 2019 at LEAD.
In 2020, she joined the field and became a Candidate attorney at AS ZONO and Associates. In 2021 after having passed her board exams and completing her contract, she was admitted as an attorney of the High Court.
Being a young, black – and especially female – attorney came with a loads of prejudices. The 26-year-old explained:
“Well, the biggest challenge I used to encounter is being a new female attorney. Being judged by my physical stature and people not giving me a chance to present myself. I am female, I am short and now people are not sure as to whether or not such a person can represent them in cour,t so that is where I encountered problems to a point where I wouldn’t even get instructions,” she said.
“I, however, overcome all of that by staying true to myself and being confident that I will stop even so, I will still push harder and impress my clients,” she adds.
On building a lasting legacy
The High Court attorney went on to open her own legal practice, ALUNGILE MADOLO INC in 2022. She says opening her own legal firm at the age of 25 was the best decision she has made.
Alungile also says being an attorney has taught her quite a lot, such as being patient.
“As an attorney, I have learnt that one must just be patient. Especially financially! I have learnt that the route I chose needs commitment. One must just take a short break from the world and focus a lot more on building their names in this career.”
She also explained that although her firm is very small, she has goals to make it as one of the “biggest woman led practices.”
“My firm is still a very small one. Even when they refer to me as a director I sometimes think I have not reached that stage as yet. My goal is seeing my practice as one of the biggest woman led practices. I wish to feed more than 100 homes through this practice. Commitment and dedication will be the only ways that will assist me in achieving my goals. Then, after having pushed that far, I can be a judge of the biggest courts in South Africa.”
Alungile urges young people to always be “ready to read everyday. Not be lazy because this is not for the small boys. They must grow passion for the fraternity.”
And as for those who would like to pursue a career in law, the 26-year-old advises them to work and push hard.
“If you really love law, then this course and career is the most interesting. I see it as one of the careers that also has many job opportunities especially in this difficult era of high unemployment rate. To name a few, one can be an attorney, advocate, prosecutor, legal advisor, a scholar and many other opportunities in the law career. So I would definitely encourage that person to push harder.”
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