Director Woman Magazine Issue 01

Lerato Matebesi, Legal Advisor

Lerato Matebesi is an admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa. The 29-year old served her articles at one of the top law firms in the country. “I’ve had quite an exciting start to my career and it keeps getting better.” She currently works as a Legal Advisor in the Property division of the Shoprite Group of Companies.

Choosing the Law

“I chose the law because at the centre of every institution the rule of law and order is required to better govern the relationships that exist between individuals and juristic parties. I believe that to be a powerful skill and knowledge base to acquire. I think of myself as an innate leader and the law in its nobility and construction seemed a fitting career to hone my inherent qualities.”

Journey to Lerato

“My journey has been a rocky one filled with lots of tears of joy and heartache, stumbling blocks and awesome moments of “oh my word you did that!” But in a nutshell, I completed my matric in 2009 with no intention of going to varsity the next year. [Unfortunately] my parents were not having it. I mean what is a gap year to black parents right? So essentially, my first year was a last minute scramble to get placed. I ended up at the University of the Western Cape in an attempt to be as far away from home as possible. I am the last born of three siblings with two older brothers and they are very over-protective so [I felt] I needed a break. I then miraculously completed my BSc in Medical Biosciences, majoring in Medical Microbiology and Human Physiology. After graduating, I quickly realised that that was not my calling and chose to start over again and did my LLB degree.”

“Being able to find answers to novel questions and constantly absorbing new knowledge are two of the most fulfilling aspects of my job. As a legal practitioner one signs up to being a lifelong learner, so the everyday adventure of not knowing what the day’s task will entail has been thrilling.”

For future legal minds

“To succeed in this fraternity, you need to be passionate, have an incredible belief in oneself and capabilities and most imperatively, exude confidence. You also need to have thick skin because it is not easy. However, it is also when the going gets tough that you must not quit, cry quietly in your corner if you must but then pull yourself together and keep moving forward. No one is going to hand you anything on a silver platter. The [best] way to the top lies in nurturing the connections you will make along the way. So do not burn bridges and leave a commendable lasting impression. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself, experience is gained only over time. Be a sponge, put in the effort and soon enough you will gain the required expertise to be regarded as one of the best. Most of all do not forget to breathe and enjoy the journey.”

About Author

Director Woman is a pan African women's career and business lifestyle digital magazine that celebrates, educates and empowers tomorrow's women, today & showcases that girls of colour are just as smart, capable and powerful.