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Farai’s journey started when he arrived in South Africa a few years ago and took up any job he could find to make ends meet.

Soon Farai will receive his LLB law degree and ready to embark his dream to become a lawyer – read more about his incredible journey and his version of “the story of my life”


It all started in 2004 after I had just finished my Advanced Level studies I managed to enrol with the University of Zimbabwe for a Bachelors degree in Human resources, but I did drop-out in my second year of study due to lack of funding, and also because of the economic recession in Zimbabwe and I then decided to complete my education outside the country. I then decided to leave Zimbabwe in 2006 August heading for Botswana where I did piece works in the farms, but the living conditions were very difficult and there were no educational opportunities for me, and I decided to come to South Africa in January 2007.

After I had crossed the border illegally in 2007 January I managed to come to Cape Town in April 2007 and applied for a resident permit. For six months I worked in the Construction industry, until in November 2007 when I got a job to work as a gardener for the De Waal family after they had spotted my advert on gumtree looking for a job. This was the life changing moment in my life, and I went on to work for them for the next seven years.

In 2010 I remember Doreen asked me if I would like to go back to school since I was still young, and she told me that it might change my life for the better. Doreen wanted me to study something to do with agriculture since I was working with flowers, but my mind was set on achieving something bigger than that. I thought of completing my Human resource degree but realized that there were now few job opportunities in that field and I decided to change to something that will give me a lot of job opportunities. I took my time evaluating my options that’s when one day Meyer invited me to do some cleaning work at his office in town and that’s the day I decided that I wanted to be a Lawyer just like him. The way his business was being conducted in the office and how Meyer conducted himself whether at the office or at home inspired me to study law and be a lawyer like him. This made think of the injustice that my people are facing back home where the rule of law only favors the rich and while the poor are suffering, and I thought that if I become a Lawyer I may be able to help bring the change I want to see in the world in the justice system. My main aim as Lawyer is to help change other people’s lives positively and make sure that justice is attained by all.

In 2011, I then enrolled with UNISA for an LLB Degree, and I passed all my modules in the first semester and the next semester I did pass again, and showed Meyer and Doreen my results and they decided in my second year of study to give me a study bursary and managed to sponsor my studies until I finished today. I never thought such a poor guy coming from a very poor background can achieve so much in life, but with hard work and self-determination, and being surrounded with people with a positive mind taught me that if you put your mind into doing something nothing can be impossible.

It was never easy for me to finish my degree.  In 2015 the whole year I never registered for my studies due to personal family problems. I did lose my loved ones along the way, a lot of my fellow friends looked down upon me and discouraged me thinking that as a black foreigner I was just wasting my time and money because I will never get employed in South Africa but I thank God for giving me strength to persevere and he is the one who holds the future. No matter the challenges I faced along the way I was determined to make it to the top.

I thank my wife and family for all the support they gave, and my second family the De Waal family for showing unconditional love and support throughout my studies. I never thought such a poor guy coming from such a poor background can achieve so much in life, but with hard work and self-determination, and being surrounded with people with a positive mind taught me that if you put your mind into doing something nothing can be impossible.


Farai Mapingire

Farai is looking for articles with a law firm. Contact Meyer de Waal meyer@mdwinc.co.za for his full CV.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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