SAWIP inspires, develops and supports annual teams of interns and its whole alumni body to bring about community development through social projects amongst the most disadvantaged and marginalised South Africans.

Will I ever stop being inspired?

by Tess Peacock
Tess Peacock
My name is Tess Nolizwe Peacock and I am presently in my final year of my postgr
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on May 29 in Uncategorized 1 Comment

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I attended a lecture last week where Zackie Achmat opened the session with ‘very few people inspire me anymore,’ Dr Brewer in our session alluded to the same sentiment in describing an event held with many Ambassadors. I thought to myself will I ever stop being inspired? Will it become increasingly harder to find things that inspire me? And then I wondered whether its life experience that chips away at our ability to be inspired or is it an increasing cynicism that permeates through the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the youth to effect change?

Spending time with the SAWIP team has lead to me believe that neither can possibly be true. I am well aware that I will meet people who will make me despondent, who will give the impression that the fights out there are insurmountable or who will disappoint me or sadden me. For everyone of those people who believes in war, power and oppression there is a person who is striving for peace, freedom and equality. For every person filled with unprecedented hatred there is someone filled with love. For every person that is filled with cynicism of the South African future there is someone filled with hope.

I, as have many young South Africans, been confronted with blind hatred and from a very young age I challenged it. I chose to challenge that blind hatred and in return I learnt to understand that many people hold such views because they have never been challenged. This motivated me to challenge it even more. And through this, I challenge the youth of today to challenge their parents, their friends and their colleagues. We are a far way off from the non-racial South Africa dreamed of by the Mandelas and Sisulus of their time but we are on our way there. Dr Brewer pertinently put it that there will be some turbulence on the way but we will get to our destination.

I know that as long as South Africa continues to produce young leaders, such as those of my fellow interns, who humble me and more importantly who inspire me, we have a bright future ahead of us.  And I am making a promise to myself now - to never stop being inspired.

Photo: Jolynn Minnaar

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About the author

Tess Peacock

My name is Tess Nolizwe Peacock and I am presently in my final year of my postgraduate Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Cape Town. I am a young activist with a strong commitment to building and contributing to a prosperous and united nation. I have a great sense of being rooted in Africa and acknowledge that whilst the struggle against Apartheid is over, every generation has a new struggle. Our struggle is fighting for a non-racial and non-sexist society where socio-economic rights and access to justice are not mere luxuries for the wealthy in this country.

I believe in the potential of the Constitution as a transformative document to change our society marred by such a grotesque racially polarised past. I also have a meaningful understanding and great empathy for the plight of so many poor and marginalised communities in South Africa. The empowering nature of the law is such that I feel that the legal community, law students and practitioners need to give back to society, be contributing members of their communities and want to improve the lives of fellow South Africans.


judy favish Tuesday, 12 July 2011 · Edit Reply

would love to discuss this with you cos I am increasingly starting to run out of energy to do anything outside of my job where I still feel I am driven by a particular set of values and ideals. Hope you will rekindle my fire when you return

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