College of Law

A generational university

David Modisha Matlakala, former Deputy Speaker of the Limpopo Regional Student Representative Council (RSRC), calls on Unisa students to make the culture of reading, learning and writing fashionable.


David Modisha Matlakala

"The more you read, the more you realise you don't know anything. Everyone should make the culture of reading, learning and writing very fashionable in our society. A reading nation becomes a winning nation. When you read, you discover yourself; you discover your community. Believe in your thought process."

Matlakala received his LLB degree during the recent Unisa Autumn Graduation session in Pretoria. "This milestone encompasses more than an LLB degree to me. It represents transformative experiences that shaped me; it's an acknowledgement of overcoming obstacles and discovering resilience within," he said.

The third-born child of Khomotso Matlakala pointed out that having grown up advocating for social justice, his newly acquired qualification would enable him and others to uphold the rule of law in society and fight for the rights of marginalised people.

Matlakala recounted some of the challenges he experienced during his studies, the biggest being the switch from venue-based to online examinations. "The unstable electricity supply in the country, being intimidated by the use of the invigilator app, etc, had a negative impact on us and delayed some of us from completing our qualifications quicker. But here we are today, graduating, thanks to our resilience," he said.

He also faced additional challenges like sleepless nights spent studying and the responsibility of being a student leader from a young age. He put a formula in place to manage these challenges. "I had to be a young adult, cut off my social life to fully focus on my studies. I adopted and committed myself to a healthy lifestyle, going to the gym and playing football during my free time.  Because reading requires one to be physically and mentally fit."

Matlakala expresses gratitude for the encouragement his family, Unisa staff members, friends and community provided, which was instrumental in his continued pursuit of education. He is determined to attain a master's degree in law and is also contemplating additional qualifications outside the legal field. He has singled out his uncle, Charlie Matlakala, for the positive impact he has had on the family.

"The first person in my family to have a university qualification was Uncle Charlie, who obtained his degree in 1997. His achievement created a culture of learning in my entire family. Also, my township of Mahwelereng is a very complex place, with people full of ambitions to achieve something in life, regardless of the challenges faced by the community. In a way, I think, that also rubbed off positively on me to also work hard to achieve my qualification," Matlakala concludes.   

* By Malose Gilbert Mokwatedi, Communication and Marketing Manager, North Eastern Region

Publish date: 2024/06/11

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