As a policy manager at Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at the University of Cape Town, Ziyanda Stuurman’s academic journey has taken her to universities in England and the US. With two master’s degrees under her belt, Stuurman now works to turn academic research into the blueprint for actionable policies for the betterment of all stakeholders. When she was younger, she believed she needed a law degree to have the type of career she has now, but she dropped out because she didn’t feel happy or healthy, pivoting instead to political science. It’s one of her most valuable “mistakes”, as it’s led her to where she is today. Her proudest accomplishment is the completion of her book, which focuses on the history, politics and future of policing in South Africa. It’s a subject that has far-reaching implications and one that has come under increased scrutiny in the past year.
I want young people who are dreaming of being lawyers one day, not to do it because of money but to do it because they wanna help people and make a change in our communities. Let’s hold our leaders accountable. Let’s change the status quo. We are the change we have been waiting for.