- This woman has overcome hardships that would have crippled many people, like bullying and heartbreak
- Sharing her story with Briefly News, Nazli Williams let the people know who dragged her down that they should "do better"
- She prays that every child out there living in tough circumstances knows that they are capable of more than their current situation
Nazli Williams is the poster child for 'hard work pays off'. Earlier this week, Briefly News wrote about Nazli, who thanked an ex-teacher for encouraging her to keep going despite the bullying she endured as a child.
Nazli is now a successful divorce attorney, a happily married woman and a mother of two, but her life wasn't always this picture-perfect.
Afrikaans teacher's encouragement got her through
Speaking about the viral TikTok video, Nazli explained that she was teased at school because she lived in a shack. Growing up in poverty is the reality for a lot of children in South Africa. However, kids are still bullied for their circumstances.
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Nazli shared how Ms Demas lifted her spirits in a time of need. Her teacher encouraged self-worth and resilience and provided a perspective that helped her deal with bullies.
Academic success became a driving force for Nazli, who became headgirl and dux of her school.
“Ms Demas, my Afrikaans teacher, impacted the way I perceived myself at a very important developmental stage in my life.
"Ms Demas, specifically, gave me a way to deal with bullies who were mocking me for living in Fairyland, an informal settlement with lots of shacks.
“She told me that the most beautiful, whitest lily grows from the darkest soil when some kids were mocking me again about living in a shack.
"It was a very bad day that day. Her words immediately took the embarrassment and humiliation away, and all thoughts of dropping out of school disappeared.“
Nazli's love for law is thanks to her husband's passion
Law wasn't Nazli's first choice or even her second. She wanted to be an actress, but went on to study accounting thanks to her father's and teachers' advice.
“I never intended to become a lawyer. My dream, since childhood, was to become an entertainer, an actress, to be specific. In high school, I realised that I was very good at numbers, and my father and teachers started encouraging me to pursue a career in finance or accounting."
Nazli lost her father and fell pregnant during her studies. Dumped by the father of her child, Nazli graduated as a single mom with a six-week-old baby and prayed her father knew how his influence gave her the power to achieve this.
“I wish my father had seen me graduate and become an attorney. He died working so hard, all to release me from the shackles of poverty, just to die before he was sure that I made it out.
"I couldn’t let his death derail me. I couldn’t let his death be in vain either, so that is why I continued with my accounting studies at Stellenbosch University, even when I fell pregnant around my final year.”
Nazli met her now-husband during his legal clerkship and it was his infectious passion for law that inspired her to pursue a law degree. She enrolled part-time at Unisa and discovered a natural affinity for it.
“I decided on law because my husband’s passion and love of the law inspired me and I wanted all of that for myself.”
Nazli holds no grudges and forgives childhood bullies
When asked if she had anything to say to those who bullied her, Nazli took the high road and prayed that they went on to be better people and "do better":
“I condemn bullying, and I have a massive problem with it, especially when it is not handled correctly in schools.
“If I had anything to say to the bullies of my childhood, it is this: I hold no grudges; we're cool, but now that you know better, please do better, because we now find ourselves with adult bullies in homes and workplaces, and their kids learning from them, starting a new cycle of child bullies. So just do better.”
Nazli encourages people to look past their circumstances
Knowing what it's like to grow up feeling like you're not worthy, Nazli wants every child out there to know that they are capable. Nazli said it won't be easy, but it is so worth it:
“Work hard. Work hard. You must take responsibility for yourself and your choices.
"No matter how hard your background is, and it doesn’t matter what you want to become in life – if YOU don’t show up for yourself, if YOU don’t persist, if YOU don’t stop making excuses, if YOU don’t stop blaming others, then YOU are setting yourself up to stay exactly where you are."
Young man lands dream job as candidate attorney
Briefly News reported on the story of a young man who overflowed with gratitude when he got offered the position of a candidate attorney.
Kabelo, holding an LLB from the University of South Africa and a BA in political science from Rhodes University, will now stand alongside esteemed South African legal minds as he enters the esteemed corridors of one of the nation's premier law firms.
Source: Briefly News