TV personality and lawyer Vusiwe Ngcobo makes waves in the courtroom and on screen
Few know that television personality Vusiwe Ngcobo is also a lawyer at one of SA’s top firms, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr.
She has come a long way from her days as a YoTV presenter, who evolved into a SABC sports presenter, which she balances with her work as a lawyer. Ngcobo joined the firm in 2013 as a candidate attorney and in two years was appointed as an associate in its dispute resolution department.
Two years later and Ngcobo began handling finance and banking legal affairs.
She talks about her path to success.
What are some of the obstacles you’ve encountered in your climb up the legal ladder?
I do not believe that I face any obstacles that are unique to me purely because I am an entertainer that is also a lawyer. I would say that the only 'almost obstacle' is when I have to deal with legal clients that know me as an entertainer and they are somewhat surprised to see that I am also a lawyer. Sometimes they are initially concerned about my capabilities but that is dealt with as soon as they see the quality of my work and the fact that I deliver in both my professions.
How difficult has it been to transition between the world of television and law?
The transition was not difficult at all, my focus has always been to apply myself fully in all that I do, irrespective of what it is. My bottom line is always delivering what I am required to deliver. That mind-set does not differ between entertainment and law, hence I am able to move between the two with ease.
Has your television career had any impact on your legal career?
I believe that all that I have achieved has been through my hard work. Unfortunately, I cannot say that my career in entertainment has helped me flourish in the legal world. Save that, I learnt from a young age to work hard for all that I have and let my work do the talking for me.
What it is like being a female lawyer in SA?
I think being a female lawyer is probably like any other profession, where there is any doubt on your abilities based on your gender. But you let your work speak for you. I am also blessed that I operate in an environment where I am trained by other senior female lawyers who have come across similar challenges to me and so they help me navigate such challenges. For me, the key thing is to always learn from experience in order to become not only a better lawyer but a better all-round human being.