Transforming SA’s real estate industry, meet the youngest-ever black female attorney admitted as a conveyancer

Theodora Aidoo September 04, 2019
Nomlayo Mabhena. Photo

If you are looking to buy or sell a property in Africa, transfer legal title of real property from one person to another or even grant an encumbrance such as a mortgage or a lien, you’ll surely need a conveyancer to help you out.

Nomlayo Mabhena has carved out a carrier in the justice system as the youngest-ever female attorney admitted as a conveyancer.

Mabhena says she would like to use her career to play an active role in changing the narrative around black female practitioners in the industry

Her love for law started at the age of 9 after she read Kwasi Koranteng’s book “The Innocent Prisoner” which is about the story of a young Ghanaian man who planned to train as a doctor in the U.S. but is arrested at the airport when cocaine is planted in his suitcase.

As reported by, reading that book solidified her decision to study law and it awakened a love for justice in her.

“What I hope to bring to the legal industry is a new face which will inspire the next generation not only to meet the current standards but to go over and above that and raise the bar,” she said.

Transforming SA's real estate industry, meet the youngest-ever black female attorney admitted as a conveyancer
youngest-ever black female Conveyencer
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Asked how she felt when she realised she was the youngest-ever black female conveyancer, Mabhena said: “I was ecstatic! I was incredibly humbled because not ever in my life did I think something that incredible would happen to a girl from Olievenhoutbosch who used to walk to school in Midrand reading her Harry Potter books.”

Surviving as a young black African raised in a low to medium income households, her passion got her admitted as one of the legal practitioners at the high court at the age of 23, making her the youngest-ever black female conveyancer to get such an honour.

Journalist Lungile Matsuma noted that Mabhena’s passion for the next generation of black female practitioners was sparked by the fact that the legal profession has always been male-dominated and women were not allowed to be lawyers around 1929.

“I believe that the next generation needs to see people that look like us [blacks] in these spaces so that they can see that is possible to be successful in these spaces,” Mabhena told Lungile Matsuma.

In a bid to improve the cumbersome court filing system to ensure easy access to justice in the country, the young conveyancer looks forward to an electronic court filing system in the country. 

She is currently a dispute resolution practice associate at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, one of the largest business law firms in South Africa, with more than 350 lawyers and a track record spanning over 166 years.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 4, 2019


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