Born and raised in Worcester, 25 year old Victoria Fillies had known poverty since she could remember. She was determined to rise above her circumstances, telling herself over and again that she would not live like this. On the 5th of August 2016, her hard work and determination paid off when she was admitted as an attorney in the Western Cape High Court.
Victoria, one of five children, grew up in the Riverview block of flats. “We have lived in Z-block since I can remember,” she says, laughing. “My father died when I was five, so my mother had to raise us on her own.”
Victoria is the first person in her family to have a university degree and she says it was not always easy. “At first, I did not want to study because I knew my mother could not afford it, but Pastor Gregory West encouraged me and helped out,” she says. As a result, she received a bursary and decided to study law at the University of the Western Cape.
She says that she grew up in a gang infested area and faced poverty on a daily basis. However, instead of letting her surroundings get her down, it motivated her to rise above her circumstances. She says, “it was hard growing up and there was not always money, but my mother did what she had to so that she could give us the best. This encouraged me to work even harder – I looked past my situation and did my best. I always told myself I had only one chance, one chance to make it work; I could not afford to fail a subject and do it over again because there is no money. There were times when my friends went out but I stayed at home and studied. ”
She says that she became pregnant in her third year, but she still did not abandon her dream. Instead, the arrival of her son motivated her even more because she wanted to make sure that both her son and mother had a better life.
Although she has achieved a lot, she is still not satisfied. She always knew that the only way to succeed was through hard work and that is exactly what she is doing. Her biggest goal in life is to own her own law firm but for now, she will grab every opportunity and chance to make her mark in the legal world.
Source: Edited from a Netwerk24 article written by Angelo Julie