Advocate Rofhiwa Victory Mudau’s journey to obtaining his law degree is one of resilience and persistence. Born in Soweto in 1988, Mudau’s dream of becoming a lawyer began in primary school when one of his teachers asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.
However, his passage to becoming an advocate has been one marred with challenges that would lead to some people throwing in the towel.
A lack of finances is one of the biggest stumbling blocks which are stopping many young people from realizing their dreams.
“I started my schooling at Thshilidzi primary school in Chiawelo, Soweto. When I was in standard 2 (now known as Grade 4), my grandmother decided to take me to Venda,” he says.
His grandmother believed that Venda was the better place to raise her grandson, as she feared that Soweto would corrupt him and turn him into a naughty child. In Venda, Mudau had to walk 4km to get to school, as the primary school he was enrolled in was further from his home.
In 2001 Mudau started at high school and this is where his big plans to go study wine refinery in Cape Town were born. However, his matric results were not what he desired.
“I had already planned to study through a bursary at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology on some degree in wine refinery (Food Technology) but the grade 12 results didn’t allow me such a luxury,” he says.
And as a result of that, he had to return back to Soweto, as family members had promised to help him further his studies.
But that did not materialise. With family members not being able to assist and his dreams of furthering his studies being shuttered, Mudau went back to Venda. Upon his arrival in Venda, he was able to enrol at the University of Venda to do a computer course.
But after a year at the university Mudau had to drop out, as his grandmother could no longer act as surety for his National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Following that, Mudau worked for several retail stores earning less than R10 an hour.
Reflecting on his life and being unhappy with where it was, Mudau decided to ask for God’s intervention and started fasting. His prayers didn’t go unanswered, as he was later offered a job as an administration clerk at Protea Magistrate court. Little did he know that his job would lead to him one day becoming an advocate.
“In 2008, I registered for a Business Information Systems Diploma with Damelin through correspondence, which I later discontinued for an LLB degree,” he says.
In 2009, Mudau was permanently employed as a court clerk. A year later, he applied at the University of South Africa for a Bachelor of Laws Degree.
“At the same time applied for a bursary with the Department of Justice, which never materialised,” he says. But he was not about to give up. He applied for a loan, which paid for his studies. Seven years later, Mudau finally completed his LLB.
On the year he completed his law degree, he was approached by Klopper and Jonker Inc. attorneys to do his vocational training. After being rejected on a number of occasions from doing his pupillage, in 2019, Mudau finally did his pupillage and passed. He is now a full member of the Johannesburg Society of Advocates.
The father and husband says his advice for anyone who has a dream is to trust God, let go of pride and ask for help when they require it.
“People don’t owe you things, but you owe yourself a better life and never settle for less,” he says. Mudau’s inspiring stories is a great example that if you work hard and are persistent, nothing can stand on your way