Work. Self promotion. Sleep. 

I type this with heavy eyelids, I cannot wait to get under the covers. Sleep is one of my favorite pastimes (had you told me this when I was a child, I would have told you to bugger off). Over the last few weeks, I’ve been burning the 11pm oil (my candle burns out by midnight) and rising early to work (on my business proposals). 

In 2016, my focus was on university and my first year as a technology and media candidate attorney. It has been great. I’m glad to note that I have been growing my personal brand as a technology lawyer. 

One year in, and I’ve been published in reputable platforms, including South Africa’s legal journal. I will include the links below as I’m not above self promotion. If you don’t promote yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? 

I have now adjusted to working over and beyond 8 hours (candidate attorney life) while studying full time. This adjustment has confirmed that there is as much time in a day as you choose. 

I have currently been stretching the hours of my allocated 24 hours, at work and on Symbios, my CSI (Corporate Social Investment) consultancy, or implementancy as I like to call it. We’re doers, go-getters, action people and we’re going to manage sustainable projects. 
Exciting times ahead! But first, sleep. 

Oh wait, before bed, here are the links to my articles that I’ve written (and co-written). 
1. Is virtual child porn illegal? http://www.timeslive.co.za/ilive/2016/04/15/Is-virtual-child-porn-illegal 

2. Your private Facebook messages can be used in court against you – even if you were hacked http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2016/02/05/Your-private-Facebook-messages-can-be-used-in-court-against-you-even-if-you-were-hacked-iLIVE

3. POPI – Compliance v Defiance http://www.derebus.org.za/popi-compliance-v-defiance/ 

4. Businesses lure Pokémon go players to their doorsteps https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2016-08-11-businesses-lure-pokmon-go-players-to-their-doorsteps/ 

5. Minister Gordhan’s budget speech hints at using big data to give a big beating to corrupt officials https://www.ppmattorneys.co.za/minister-gordhans-budget-speech-hints-using-big-data-give-big-beating-corrupt-officials/

6. SASSA controversy: aspects related to the protection of personal information https://www.ppmattorneys.co.za/sassa-controversy-aspects-related-protection-personal-information/

7. Ben 10s and state ICT procurement- getting it right the first time https://www.ppmattorneys.co.za/ben-10s-state-ict-procurement-getting-right-first-time/

Advertisements

(not)child’s play

I am extremely delighted to hear that Malawi has banned child marriages, or more specifically, girl-child marriages. Malawi has one of the highest rates of child marriages in the world – forget playing with friends and going to school, girl-wives must accept a lifetime of submission to look after the household and their husbands.

When you hear the words “child marriage” you know it is a problem but it may not seem like a life threatening problem in comparison to “poverty” or “violence” because the term marriage is cloaked with love and respect and a lifelong unity, so how is that a bad thing? Firstly, poverty is one of the primary reasons girls are married – their families cannot afford to look after them, and secondly, abuse within marriage is rife.

Child marriages destroy a girl’s childhood, it propels them into womanhood at a meteoric speed, yet denies them an education or any chance of financial independence. When I was 11 years old, I had barely understood what changes my body was going through and what that meant, I cannot imagine being married and having children at that age. Thousands of girls don’t need to imagine what that is like, they live the reality – from as early as 9 years old. It is a reality that is much darker than playing house, these young girls are sent to sexual initiation camps to “cleanse” them of their youth where they are forced to have sex with an older man. It pains me to think of the trauma this causes, however, it does not stop there. Once married, girls are often subjected to abuse by their husbands (who are grown men) – emotionally, sexually, physically and verbally. It infringes on their right to dignity, among other fundamental rights.

I read an article by an attorney who wrote that, after seeing the “women” in Malawi with their babies and husbands, she turned to the law, hoping that it would protect children. To summarize, she found out that the Constitution of Malawi did not prohibit child marriages, and children were classified as anyone under that age of 16 years old. Our South African Constitution is, in my opinion, one of the best on the continent. It explicitly states and protects ALL our fundamental rights and unlike, Malawi, is not in conflict with the international standards of the definition of childhood. So, reading that, I felt hopeful that if we are so progressive with our legislation, it will not be long until other African countries follow.

And follow they did – February 2015: the Marriage, Divorce & Family Relations Bill of 2015 was promulgated. This bill prohibits the marriage of children under the age of 18 years old. Obviously, implementation is key but I am incredibly optimistic now that it is legally enforceable. We must commend the thousands of activists that led the campaign to abolish girl-child marriage.