Zim woman puts herself through law school with domestic worker’s salary

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A South African-based Zimbabwean domestic worker shocked a Western Cape couple when she told them she had completed her LLB degree. 

Actor Tim Theron and his wife said their 30-year-old SweepSouth domestic worker Barbra Gurupira informed them that she had pushed her way through law school by using her salary to fund her studies. She completed her studies in October, bagging a few distinctions in the process.

Tim Theron and his wife Juanli with Barbra Gurupira, who used her salary as a SweepSouth domestic worker to put herself through law school. Image: Tim Theron via Facebook

Now all she needs is her articles to get her law career off the ground – and the Therons are on a mission to help her.

Asked how Gurupira shared her story with them, Theron said it came up in a simple conversation about her five-year-old child, who she had left back at home in Zimbabwe with her grandparents.

“She said she was studying and we asked her what she was studying. She said she had just finished her LLB degree, but being from Zimbabwe, she had no massive network to get her connected to people who could assist her in doing her articles,” said Theron.

“My wife and I decided to help.”

The couple posted Gurupira’s story on their social media accounts.

“She’s clearly a disciplined hard worker. After all, you don’t work AND study this hard if you’re not. Her English proficiency is impressive and it was clear that she has a good head on her shoulders. We got the impression that she is working with a goal in mind,” reads part of their post.

Within hours, several people had responded, tagging law firms and lawyers they knew. Others requested Gurupira’s CV.

On Monday, Theron said Gurupira had prepared her CV and was certifying her documents in the hope of finally putting domestic work behind her.

Theron said he and his wife were impressed when they went through Barbra’s CV. “She did extremely well in school and had a good job in Zimbabwe before coming to South Africa for better studying opportunities,” said Theron.

He said Gurupira had worked as a branch controller at an esteemed law society in Zimbabwe but wanted to move up in the ranks of law. — TimesLIVE


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  1. She is a very strong woman who persevered and her determination has paid her off.

    I have seen her going through a lot of very difficult situations and she would do any kind of work without complaining. One day she spent the whole night at work working on her Portfolio exam

    I salute you Babra. Well done my sister. I pray that your story inspires others in your situation. I salute her mom who has supported her throughout her carrier.

    May the Lord remember you Babra and remember everything I told you, you will need it.

    Keep well and in touch.

    Peace Pundu Mrs

  2. I hope for the best for such a focused woman.
    It’s touching considering how some people always complain about government not doing anything to empower them. As long as the facilities for empowerment are there, it’s your duty to empower yourself.
    Congratulations, Makorokoto Amhlope my sister.
    Let’s hope also that they don’t accuse you of taking ‘their’ degree with ‘their’ distinctions

  3. You make us proud Barbara. Mwana wevhu. The sky is the limit and you are an inspiration to young people who will always know that if focussed on your goal nothing can get in your way.Love the determination and drive. Well done !

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