HUMBLE BEGINNINGS FOR TAMELLA LEAD TO GREAT SUCCESS
Written by: Shanice Pillay
‘Honour before Honours!’
These are the words that Okuhle Tamella, a recipient of the Steven Wallace Trust Scholarship, lives by.
The 23-year-old is an undergraduate in Maritime Law from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). She says she owes her success to her parents.
“I like to believe that I am a hardworking, ambitious and a respectful person with a creative flair because I enjoy arts and creative writing. I owe my successes to my parents whose advice and guidance form part of my core values and outlook on life,” said Tamella.
Born in Umata and raised in a small town of Kokstad, Tamella and her family moved to Durban a few years later. Being the only and eldest daughter she put the needs of her younger brothers and family first.
“I got my first job at the age of 16 so that my parents wouldn’t have to worry about giving me pocket money because we weren’t well off. And I thought that my younger brothers needed things more than I did,” said Tamella.
Over the years, she has gained many accolades to her name, some of which include soccer honours, Outdoor Hockey Player of the Year 2012, Indoor Hockey Full Honours 2012, Principal’s Prize 2012, De Beers English Olympiad Top Ten (placed 7th in South Africa) – 2012, just to name a few.
Having chosen to study Maritime Law – which is the study of domestic, private and international law that governs the relationship between private entities that operate vessels out at sea internationally, this led her to apply for The Steven Wallace Trust Scholarship, also known as The Trust.
The Trust is a benefit organisation established for the benefit of persons within South Africa to provide scholarships to individuals who are studying or training, wish to study or train, to become legal practitioners in the field of maritime law, wish to train further in maritime law, doing research or wish to do research and a few other requirements.
“We were advised that applications for the scholarship were open and we should look up the requirements. When I looked it up I thought it was an awesome opportunity. It took me a while to master the courage and I eventually did,” she said.
Tamella believes that her drive and enthusiasm shone through her application, as well as her passion for the area of law. Like the late Steven Wallace, she wishes to make a contribution to development.
The former New Forest High School student has her eyes set on a brighter future.
“Once I complete my LLM, I hope to serve my articles and thereafter be admitted as a practising maritime attorney. I wish to further my studies within the next five years at the World Maritime University,” she said.
She advises youth to make the most of their time at high school and university and to grab every opportunity because there is no such thing as failure, just a lesson learnt.
*Caption: Steven Wallace Trust Scholarship recipient, Okuhle Tamella.