Lovemore Ndou – Principal Solicitor
Despite all of his glittering sporting achievements, the South African-born fighter regards his education as among his greatest accomplishments.
“I would say winning three boxing world titles (two major titles (IBF & IBO) and one minor (WBF)) is my greatest achievement. When I first laced a pair of boxing gloves I only dreamt of winning one world title. The other greatest achievement I would say is graduating from university with undergraduate degrees in Law & Communications, Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies, a Masters in Criminal Prosecution, a Masters in Family Law and a Masters in Human Rights Law & Policy. For someone who started school four years later to go on and achieve so much means a lot to me, it’s a blessing.”
The former boxer and MMA fighter got into law as a result of his own dealings with boxing promoters and managers, and his own dealings with the Police and the Legal System in South Africa.
“I once spent three months locked up with no charge for speaking to a white girl at a supermarket. The police accused me of having sexual relations with her. They set a dog on me and I have been left scarred on my face and arm for life. I had no opportunity to speak to a lawyer or defend myself, and was sentenced to six cuts of the whip. I still have the scars on my back and buttocks. Boxing promoters and managers, on the other hand, I always found them very arrogant and difficult to deal with. I also find that to be successful as a lawyer you need to have a bit of mongrel and cockiness in you, as long as you don’t go overboard with it. This is where I see the similarities to boxing.”
He also wanted to set an example to other athletes. “It’s good to be talented in sports but it’s great to be educated. Education is the best thing anyone can have.” As a lawyer Lovemore prides himself in delivering desired results. He fights hard for his clients like the champion he is. He is an excellent communicator who is also very competent and confident in a courtroom. He is fluent in English, Afrikaans and has a great understanding of many African languages such as Xhosa, Zulu, Venda, Sotho, Tsonga, Ndebele and Shona.
“When communicating with clients I always make sure that I communicate at a level at which they will be able to understand the issues at hand and always avoid using legal jargon. This is because communication problems may be exacerbated when a person does not speak English as a first language and when complicated legal terminology is used. I apply the same method of communication when dealing with clients who are socially or economically disadvantaged or when dealing with clients who come from wide ranging culturally diverse backgrounds, or when dealing with clients who have a history of substance abuse. I am also aware of wide ranges of cultures that clients come from and the fact that each culture is to be treated differently. It is also important to respect clients’ cultures. I am also well aware that all of the above issues if not approached in a more professional way can create barriers in the clients’ understanding of legal documents and processes. I am also well aware that features of the courtroom environment, such as the formality and structure of courtrooms, can intimidate people, particularly people with a mental illness or clients who are socially or economically disadvantaged or clients who come from wide ranging culturally diverse backgrounds and at times even exacerbate their symptoms, hence I always prepare my clients for these environments in advance.”