When you are young it's hard to prove yourself - UFS's youngest law lecturer

2016-06-30 10:34
Advocate Loyiso Makapela. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Advocate Loyiso Makapela. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Bloemfontein – At just 27 years of age, University of the Free State (UFS) student and advocate, Loyiso Makapela, has already taken giant leaps in her career.  

Makapela has been nominated as one of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young Achievers of 2016 in the education category. 

“Being the Mail & Guardian’s 200 young South Africans has been on my list for three years. This year it was the first thing I wrote in my journal as goals to achieve in 2016,” she told News24 on Wednesday.

“Since I was 18, I always wrote down a list of goals that I wanted to achieve - and sometimes I get scared when they come true.”

Born and bred in a small town in the Eastern Cape, Makapela has two master’s degrees under her belt.

Last year, she was awarded the Desmond Tutu Doctoral scholarship by the National Research Foundation. She would start her PhD at both the University of Stellenbosch and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in July. 

She is the youngest lecturer at the UFS’s law faculty. 

“When you are young it is very hard to prove yourself, especially in the workplace, and a lot of people suffer from that. Sometimes even my students look at me like I don't know anything, until I have to prove myself.  I had to work hard to be recognised."

She said she was in the final stages of creating a website aimed at young and ambitious South African women, titled “Young Women of Power”.

“I believe I am advancing the country in what I do. You create how fast or slow your career goes, especially academically. So I decided I was going to be the youngest in everything. I have also decided to go over and above in whatever I needed to achieve,” she said.

Makapela is from a family of academics. Her father, a school principal, has four degrees, her mother two. She said her parents led by example. In November 2012, she was in the same exam room with her father, both doing their master’s degrees.

She has presented papers and chaired sessions at various conferences locally and internationally.

“You don’t have to be world renowned. Whenever I go to a place I do my best and I get that from my parents," she said.  

Makapela said she would leave the UFS on Thursday to pursue her PhD full-time.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  education

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