Freddy Sonakile says he navigated easily into his position as legal advisor at the North West Provincial Legislature, because some of the activities that he deal with now, he had done as part of his practicals as an LLB student.
Fast facts about Freddy
the last born of Anna Mphoko Tooane
single and has no children
an avid reader in his spare time and has a collection of South African autobiographies
a motivational speaker and performs as a master of ceremonies at events
an admitted advocate of the High Court
responsible for drafting legislation, advising members of the Provincial Legislature on legal issues, engaging communities as part of public participation on legislation, and drafting contracts and opinions
A law degree opens many doors
An LLB degree is not a one-way street to a single profession but can lead to an array of opportunities and places. This is the view of 28 year-old alumnus Freddy Sonakile.
Freddy, who was born in the Zamdela township in the Free State town of Sasolburg, is a legal advisor at the North West Provincial Legislature these days, having obtained his LLB degree at the NWU’s campus in Mahikeng in 2013.
“It does not mean that once you have the degree you are limited to being a practising attorney or advocate. There is a lot more that you can do,” he says. “You can get into public administration positions; you can get into labour law. Almost every institution needs a legal division – you just need to keep an open mind and research the market to find gaps where lawyers are required.”
Studying at the NWU stood him in good stead, he says. “As someone who has been in leadership positions, I can proudly say we stand among the best and the university produces legends!”
Student leadership experience came in useful
Some of Freddy’s fondest memories as a student include being elected secretary general of the Student Representative Council in 2010/11. He says this was an interesting position to serve in and he learnt a lot.
“Two months before the end of the term, the then president was appointed as a junior lecturer in the Faculty of Law and had to vacate office. I was then appointed acting president until the end of the term,” Freddy recalls.
“The engagement with students and management were of a high quality and I think that is where I learnt to negotiate. There were times where tough decisions and compromises had to be made, so one had to learn to balance the two and remember the oath that one took to serve your fellow students.”
Exciting student life
Freddy says the campus in Mahikeng was the most vibrant of the three campuses in terms of student activism and transformation. “The Law Clinic was the best, and the moot courts and extra-mural activities were extraordinary. There was a lot to do when taking a break from the books.”
Little did he know that such involvement would serve him later as a legal advisor.
“The LLB degree has opened a lot of doors for me. It was a requirement for the position that I am currently occupying and the practical activities that the university offered as part of the degree proved to be worth it.”
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Some good advice
His advice to others is this: “It is always important to find other activities at university that you can be involved in outside of your academic life. This will enable you to gather other experiences which might be important to you in future. I found mine in student politics and this came together very well later in my career. Today I am a sharp negotiator, drafter and outspoken individual due to some of the skills that I acquired in other activities outside of my studies.”
On 18 August 2018, Taahirah Zungu and Lwazi Jakuja were crowned Miss and Mr NWU. Taahirah is a first-year sports science student on the campus in Mahikeng and Lwazi is a third-year student in the BCom Economics and Risk Management Extended Programme on the campus in Vanderbijlpark.
Chuwayza Kotze was crowned first princess and Ruandro Minaar first prince. They are both from the campus in Potchefstroom.