Emerging from a painful background, Witsie Sakumzi Langa has triumphed over many challenges to attain success. He is now a final year LLB student, with his head held high and a bright future ahead.
What challenges did you face before you came to Wits?
In 1997 my mother abandoned my family, and my father was killed by a stroke a year later. That deeply affected the course of my life, as my siblings and I were taken to the SOS Children’s Village home in Mthatha. Coming from a big family of seven siblings did not prepare me to live in an orphanage of 150 children.
Given your difficult background, how did you make it into Wits?
I managed to matriculate with distinctions and was accepted into Wits University for an LLB degree. Out of all the 150 children at SOS Children’s Village, I was the first one to make it to university and therefore SOS paid for tuition fees.
Tell us about your accomplishments so far at the age of 22?
I made the Dean’s merit list in first year after achieving four distinctions. I am a recipient of the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary and this has enabled me to travel to England and Scotland. As a participant in ‘Law Against Walls’ I have been to Dubai, Switzerland and I am heading to America soon. I am a member of the Golden Key International society and a prospective candidate at Webber Wentzel Attorneys.
What do you think has set you apart from the rest?
I saw the importance of having an adaptive personality. I have lived my life in a way that allowed me to learn from the mistake of others, and be aware of what not to do. When I lacked role models where I was, I actively looked for them elsewhere.
What is your personal philosophy?
I live by these words “Try to help as many people as you can per day, and don’t forget the ones who helped you”. I am currently mentoring 25 students around Wits and I am passionate about motivational speaking.
On the lighter side of life, who is Sakumzi?
I love going out and I am very family orientated. I am faithful Chelsea supporter and have quite a knack for poetry.