Alumni Profile of Omphile Modibela, was also known as Spookie and Miss G.
I started at Tsogo High School in 1995 in standard 5 (Grade 7) and finished my matric in 1999. Earlier, I attended Isaac Mokwena Primary School in Mothotlung. Further I went on to attend Wits University (2000 -2004) where I obtained a degree in Chemical Engineering then Unisa (2006-2010) where I have just recently obtained my LLB degree.
Currently, I am working at an Intellectual Property Law firm, Spoor & Fisher, as a candidate patent attorney. I expect to be admitted as an attorney before the end of the year, where after I will be a qualified patent attorney. My job mainly involves obtaining patent protection for inventions (mainly inventions in the pharmaceutical, chemical, metallurgical, agricultural, paper industries) in South Africa and internationally, identifying whether certain products or processes are protected by way of patents, and if so, advising on the validity of such patents and whether clients can launch a product or processes without infringing such patents. On other occasions I have also been involved in Intellectual Property audits and due diligence.
I am inspired by pioneers, people who achieve the “impossible”, who dared to take the first step when many were afraid. Such people remind us of the potential that we as human beings have, and when we use this potential fully we can change the future completely.
The following excerpt from a book by Marianne Williamson sums up what I have tosay:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that otherpeople won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Do not be afraid to be who you are meant to be, do not be afraid of being great.
To current Students
I love South Africa and its future should be in the hands of well qualified people. Currently our learners lack inspiration and most expect Government to perform miracles. I wish to see a new generation of learners with focus on the future a firm grip on their lives. It is not enough to just exist.
Fondest Memories of Tsogo, Oh wow! So many. But I have to say that the yearly opening and closing masses and all the preparation for them were the best, le Mr. Malemane a re opedisa “Re bana baModimo”. Every time I remember the masses at school I get a warm, fuzzy feeling and I feel all teary.
I have had a lot of achievements in my life, but my recent one stands out the most. Having spent about a year working as a chemical engineer I decided that I was not enjoying it at all, so I decided to join Spoor & Fisher and start a career as a patent attorney. Becoming a patent attorney is no child’s play. It’s like studying for medicine and takes about the same time; the only thing missing is the cadavers. I enrolled for an LLB with Unisa in 2006, having no experience whatsoever in law, except for I learnt from watching The Practice and Ally McBeal (sp.). The following 4 years did not exactly go by in a blink, with me having to write Patent Board Exams at the same and attend PLT lectures, Attorney Admission exams. Oh and failing, yes failing, more than twice. The second time I failed spec drafting was the lowest point in my life, I felt like there was no point in going on. I went home and cried myself to sleep. The following day I decided that I was going to give another try and I was going to pass eventually, and if it took 10 more times. The next time I wrote spec drafting I passed. Thereafter the saying “If you fall down seven times, get up eight times” meant so much more to me. It feels like it has been an uphill climb for most of the time, but having received my last set of results last week Friday I can gladly say that it has been worth it. During this time I have learnt so much about myself, and have decided on what works for me and what doesn’t. I have learnt that I am able to achieve anything that I put my mind. I have also learnt the biggest lesson in my life: PATIENCE. Now my favourite verse in the Bible is ECCLESIASTES 3: 1-8 “There is a time for everything”
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