At the tender age of 25, Phemelo Theophilus Magau has completed a daunting challenge: he completed his Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree in just two years.
He recently was awarded his LLD in Mercantile Law during an autumn graduation ceremony at the Mahikeng Campus of the North-West University (NWU).
The title of Phemelo’s PhD thesis was “A comparative legal analysis of the promotion of financial education for low-income earners in South Africa”.
The thesis argues that the current regulatory framework for financial education is not robust enough to adequately promote financial education for low-income earners in South Africa, especially during a crisis such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
In the study, Phemelo argues that financial education is vital for improving financial consumers’ knowledge of saving, budgeting, investing, doing financial planning, understanding financial risks and borrowing responsibly.
He draws on lessons from Botswana, Australia and the United Kingdom on the promotion of financial education.
“Financial education is essential in assisting financial consumers to make well-informed decisions, judgments and choices regarding the management of their finances for both short- and long-term financial goals,” says Phemelo.
Phemelo says completing a Doctor of Laws in two years at the age of 25 is a milestone achievement that required a formidable resolve on his end and a consistent support system from family and promoters.
“Diligence, determination and perseverance are the secret to my success as a student. I had to maintain a balanced lifestyle and have a positive outlook on life.”
“This approach was fundamental in shaping my dream and vision of being one of the youngest LLD-holders in the country.”
“I am also indebted to the support of my promoter and mentor, Prof Howard Chitimira. He has played an instrumental role in my studies and my career.”
“It is through his indefatigable and unflinching support that I managed to complete my studies in the minimum record time. I am also grateful to Dr Hamadziripi, who acted as a co-promoter in my studies,” says Phemelo.
Phemelo’s student life at the NWU
Phemelo says, “From an academic point of view, I endeavoured to do well in my studies. This resulted in my graduating top of my class for the LLB degree on the Mahikeng Campus in 2018.”
“During my studies for my LLM degree in 2019, I kept the same spirit to be the best that I could be.”
“Notably, I also took an active role as a student leader. For a number of years, I had been involved in student leadership in the Faculty of Law and the broader university.”
“For instance, in 2017 I was the Academic Affairs leader for the Law Students Council at the Mahikeng Campus. In 2018, I was elected as the chairperson of the Law Students Council,” says Phemelo.
Phemelo says young people who aspire to continue their studies at tertiary-education institutions should select a programme that is contemporary and relevant, and a qualification that will work for them.
In addition to this, they should study for careers that they are passionate about.
“The reality is that it is not easy to be a student at a tertiary-education institution – this is where passion matters the most, as it will carry you through,” concludes Phemelo.
About Phemelo Magau
Born on 28 July 1996 in Kuruman, Northern Cape, Dr Phemelo Magau completed his LLB at the NWU in 2018 and obtained his LLM in Mercantile Law in 2019.
A former lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the NWU, he is currently a lecturer in the School of Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
To date, he has four published journal articles and two upcoming book chapters to his name. He has presented various papers at local and international academic conferences.
Phemelo has co-supervised four master’s-degree students and is a member of the organising committee for the annual International Corporate and Financial Markets Law Conference.