KNYSNA NEWS - If daring to dream was a person, it would be Bulelani Jerome Bans who recently made history when he became the first resident from Khayalethu, Greater Knysna to become an attorney.
A full bench of the Western Cape High Court, for the first time ever, also uprooted and sat outside Cape Town especially for his inauguration.
Bans, of Dercksens Inc in Knysna, was admitted on Thursday 7 November in the Eastern Circuit Local Division of the Western Cape High Court, sitting at Knysna where judges N Erasmus and RCA Henney presided over the proceedings.
Bans comes from humble beginnings having been born in the small Karoo town of Murraysburg and attending school there until Grade 8 before continuing at Alexander Sinton High School in Crawford, Cape Town.
When he was doing his third year studying LLB at the University of the Western Cape, he had to drop out in the second semester after learning that he was going to be a father.
"I clearly remember my mother saying, 'Hamba uyofuna umsebenzi, soze ndondle wena ndiphinde ndondle nomntana wakho (You need to go and get a job, there's no way I'm feeding you and your child)'."
Bans says he continued attending classes behind his mother's back until one Monday morning when she woke him up and told him she found him a job, "and so I dropped out and started working".
At that stage a vacancy for an interpreter at the Knysna Magistrate's Court was advertised and after a successful interview he was appointed as a court interpreter.
"While working for the department of justice I registered at Unisa to complete my LLB. In hindsight, my mother taught me to take responsibility for my actions and for that I'll always be grateful."
The 37-year-old who always wears a genuine smile is now married and has three children.
He says his biggest challenge was finding the balance between studying and working simultaneously. "It's a challenging task that requires one to prioritise and make hard sacrifices. What pulled me through was knowing that my destiny lies within reach and I am the only that can reach and seize it," Bans recalls.
"I have always wanted to be a lawyer to serve the community of Knysna where my family and I have been residing for over two decades," he says, adding that he intends to stay on as a professional assistant at Dercksens Inc where he has been working as a candidate attorney since 2017.
"My director knows I'm very ambitious and that eventually I want to make my way up to the cooperate ladder to director and/or partner status."
His advice to youngsters? "There's no shame in failure, get up, try again and learn from mistakes made by yourself and others."
The inspirational new lawyer says he owes much gratitude to the Knysna community for their unprecedented support "which you have shown me while I was moulding my career", and adds, "I'm looking forward to serving the community with the same vigour and competence in the future."
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