Written by Dineo Matete

On 13 August 2022, a memorable colloquium was held by SWCM in partnership with
the Centre of Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. The conversation was led by the concept of passing the baton among women in the profession. The event was free and open for all to attend and it served as a meeting place and platform where women within and associated with the law to come together and share ideas and network. The event brought together experienced legal practitioners who have already cemented themselves in the legal fraternity to pass on their baton of knowledge, experiences, and wisdom to young legal minds present at the event.

As a volunteer that day, my heart drummed a rhythm of equal terror and excitement as the event commenced with the arrival of our guests. The event was facilitated by Advocate Lerato Molete, who established the atmosphere right from the start as she humored the auditorium about her athletic days! The keynote speakers were Justice Tshiqi and Palesa Madi.

With a notebook in one hand and a pen in the other, everyone sat glued to the wealth of wisdom that was shared by our speakers and guests. I am delighted to share the highlights from the conversation.
For a successful baton exchange to occur there are beautiful leadership lessons I learned from this analogy of passing a baton:

  •  A dropped baton can cost the team the race. As the leader, you are responsible for passing the baton well. The exchange zone should be a successful pass. One that keeps the women you are leading in the right direction and that is towards the finish line.
  • As the receiver, you must be willing to want receive the baton just as badly! No one can run the race for you.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy! There is a difference between healthy competition and unhealthy competition.
  • Networking is important. Building meaningful relationships with other women serves as a shelter from the storms that life brings. The journey does not have
    to be lonely!
  • If voices of insecurity, doubt, and, fear creep in silence these voices through hard work!

In conclusion, the colloquium served as a reminder that despite the many tears that
threatened to dilute my dreams, my faith did not dissolve. My race may be a bit
difficult than others but what is important is that – I am still on the track field, running!