City Serobe scoops the position of director at Routledge Modise Attorneys
Although soccer was his first love, City Serobe is scoring goals left, right and centre as a prominent South African lawyer. Last week Serobe joined law firm, Routledge Modise Attorneys, as a director and is an active member of the black lawyers association.
Born in Johannesburg and raised in Diepkloof, Serobe remembers his days as a young lawyer being fraught with oppression and anger at the apartheid establishment, but despite his difficult role back then, he is still happy that he chose law over becoming a soccer star.
He was inspired by one of his first mentors who was also a promising soccer player and who is now a judge, Ratha Mokgoatlheng . "I wanted to go into soccer but my parents wouldn't let me," he says, adding that in retrospect it was a good thing. "It's a limited career and it's a pity so many youngsters don't see that. Sometimes you get lucky but you still need something to fall back on."
Serobe began his studies at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape and had to fight the system to get into Wits in Johannesburg.
"In those days you had to apply for ministerial permission to attend Wits as a black person," he says.
When his application was denied, Serobe's mother went to the minister's offices and with teary eyes she refused to leave until they reversed the decision, which they did.
After completing his articles, Serobe formed his own law firm Makenna Serobe Attorneys, which in 1996 became the first black law firm to merge with a white firm.
Serobe has always had a special interest in serving the community and through the black lawyers association, he has made a significant contribution towards developing the legal fraternity in underdeveloped areas of South Africa by teaching trial advocacy at universities with the aim to uplift young black lawyers.