Visiting the University of Cape Town’s upper campus with her parents, neither of whom had had a tertiary education, eight-year-old Jameelah Omar marvelled at its sprawling ivy and decided that she would one day study there — and she did. With bursaries for both her undergraduate and master’s degrees in law, Omar specialised in criminal justice before dipping her toes into practise. She soon returned to the university to teach in the law faculty, and to pursue the PhD with which she is currently busy. Omar coordinates the final year of the LLB degree and convenes the community service programme, undeterred by the administrative burden because of the module’s proximity to her heart. Social justice pervades Omar’s legal outlook. She advises non-profit organisations such as the Women’s Legal Centre, and runs her own educational initiative, Right(s) From the Start, whose activities include providing foundational legal knowledge to primary school children.
Everything that lives grows: if your idea is alive and true, it will grow.