A Wits intern is recognised for her dedication to the legal profession.

A Wits Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) intern has become the first recipient of the Student Change Maker award at the inaugural WOZA awards held at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton on Saturday, August 3.

Abongile Nkamisa, 23, won her award under the Future Ambassadors category for her community outreach work. Her project, Classy, taught the South African Bill of Rights to high school learners in a relatable way making the learners aware of their constitutional rights. The project ran at schools in the Eastern Cape from 2017 to 2018.

Nkamisa, a graduate of Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape, has been busy with her internship at CALS for the past three months.

“It feels really great to have received this award. It really sets good precedent, I guess, for other young people who are coming up and doing great things,” Nkamisa said.

“Carry on. Do your thing! People see you and they actually recognise how powerful of an impact you have in rural communities if you are working in rural communities or whatever student organisation movement you are involved in,” she told Wits Vuvuzela.

Nkamisa was nominated for the WOZA awards by Noni Ludidi, head of the legal studies department at Walter Sisulu.

Rehana Khan Parker, from WOZA awards, told Wits Vuvuzela, “Woza awards are awards to recognise women in the legal profession and to recognise our best in their fields as well as change-makers and trail blazers including students.”

“A student change-maker is a student who is not necessarily the one with the highest academic marks, but an all-rounder, one who is balanced in terms of social change, mentors others and shows a commitment to social justice by serving marginalised communities,” he added, saying that Nkamisa ticked all the boxes.

“South Africa has a shortage of women role models. Her example highlights that one can develop a career whilst still being grounded,” said Parker.

Woza awards are presented annually to women in law to recognise their dedication, achievements and contribution to the profession in legal education, human rights and the pro bono sector.

The awards aim to share, highlight and recognise the challenges of women in law in all areas of the profession.

CALS is a human rights organisation at the Wits School of law which uses a combination of research, advocacy and litigation to advance social justice.


Abongile Nkamisa, recipient of the WOZA Student Change Maker award. Photo: Tsholanang Rapoo

Acting deputy director at CALS, Palesa Madi, told Wits Vuvuzela, “We are very proud of Abongile. She is inspiring and this award is very well deserved. We look forward to seeing her continue to use her skills and passion in making this world a more just one.”

Nkamisa will be starting a new internship at Wits Health Consortium in September and is looking forward to doing her articles and becoming an attorney.

FEATURED IMAGE: Abongile Nkamisa, recipient of the WOZA Student Change Maker award. Photo: Tsholanang Rapoo