Barrister gowns were swapped for elegant ball gowns at a glittering inaugural WOZA Women in Law Awards 2019 gala dinner held in Sandton last week. The awards are the brainchild of Rehana Khan Parker and Asha Singhania, who thought it was high time women legal practitioners from all corners of South Africa – who are doing amazingly well in their fields – get the recognition that they deserve.
The prestigious event was about celebrating and sharing success stories and milestones achieved by women through their hard work, passion and courage.
Khan Parker proudly announced: “The Woza call for nominations was a resounding success, yielding 119 nominations received from women lawyers across the country.”
LegalPreneur Award Winner Advocate Kai Lee-Chen
The evening was graced with the presence of legal dignitaries, well known jurists and legal elite who came to congratulate the winners and finalists across 23 categories.
Highlights of the evening were the awarding of the Pinnacle Award to Advocate Kgomotso Moroka – Senior Council; the Lifetime Award to Adv Priscilla Jana and the LegalPreneur Award to Kai-Lie Chen.
Moroka – a trailblazer in her own right known for being the first black woman to take silk in South Africa - was given the award for her leadership in empowering other women and her participation and contribution to different commissions of enquiry.
Jana, the Deputy Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission, was given the award for long track record of activism and contribution to the liberation and democratisation of South Africa.
Chen, Director at Kai-Lie Chen Attorneys, received the award for heading one of the most successful corporate law firms in South Africa.
Pinnacle Award Winner Advocate Kgomotso Moroka
Also, as a commitment to inspiring and encouraging young women, WOZA awards included categories focusing on the profession’s future ambassadors. Abongile Nkamisa, a law student at Walter Sisulu University, scooped the change maker award.
The Candidate Attorney top achiever award went to Sarah Jane Goldman who graduated with a Bachelors of Law Degree (Summa Cum Laude) from Varsity College and the candidate attorney change maker award was awarded to Jessica Schwenn of Schwenn Incorporated, KwaZulu-Natal.
The awards will be held annually to celebrate and inspire women lawyers who push boundries and achieve growth while serving their communities and grooming up and coming lawyers.