From rugby player to lawyer

Babalwa Latsha, South Africa’s first woman rugby player to turn professional exchanges field to the courtroom.

Her mission: justice for all.

“The most important thing to me is that I follow my heart and my purpose and that has led me to the game of rugby.

“Of course, not neglecting law as well because it is also my passion.

“At some stage, the two were intertwined, that is law and rugby, in different ways other than it being in the courtroom,” she said.

“That may come in the form of, perhaps, serving on the committee or the subcommittee of Rugby Africa for Player Welfare and Participation so there are other ways in which I can use my law qualification to enhance and elevate women’s rugby,” she said in an interview.

She has graduated with a law degree from the University of the Western Cape and also made history becoming the first female professional player in South Africa.

“Now, the door for African women rugby players is open,” she said.

“Fortunately, the Women’s Premier league in South Africa will be kicking off quite soon.

“That is where you can see me in action on the pitch. Of course Covid-19 has impacted all of us globally on various levels, and obviously playing, as well.

“But on a personal level, I have developed hobbies that I didn’t know that I actually had such as writing,” Latsha said.

“Over the years I’ve developed a thick skin, and found mechanisms in which I accept criticism, but I also know which criticism to acknowledge and which not to,” she said.

Growing up she thought she would be a professional football player not a rugby player.

“Of course, I came across the sport of rugby, football was my first love.”