While many individuals are not bold enough to take a leap of faith in pursuing their passion or starting a business, Lucia Bugana is one of the few who risked it all to start her very own law firm, Nditsheni Lucia Bugana Attorneys (NLB Attorneys).
Originally from Venda, in Limpopo, the University of Witwatersrand law graduate admits that resigning from a stable job was not an overnight decision because she had a lot to consider. As a mother of two, she knew that she stood to lose a lot financially had her business been unsuccessful. However, she had decided that her passion and vision was more important than financial security at the time.
“I [imagined] the journey of surviving on a normal salary until retirement and then lacking until my death. I was also determined to find an alternative and running my own business seemed to be the only option,” she explains.
Driven by Tony Gaskins Jr’s quote, “if you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs’, Bugana resigned from her job at AVBOB’s legal department in December 2017 and the following year, NLB Attorneys opened its doors to the public.
The firm’s comprehensive range of services include; Employment Law and Industrial Relations, Matrimonial/ Family Law, Litigation and Commercial Law.
For Bugana, having her very own 100% Black owned law practice is not just about financial freedom, it is also about principle and conduct. She says that being in the corporate space was a reality check for her, as she realised that many people could be wavered by chasing a pay cheque. This is when she also noticed that her idea of justice had changed.
“Corporate is about targets, bottom lines and profits. There are no names, just results. I knew that I did not fit in and I longed for something more refreshing,” she says. It is for this reason that her firm is committed to excellence through change, fairness and justice.
Like many enterprises, capital was a major stumbling block. At times, Bugana would have court cases to attend, but did not have money for petrol. With the bills pilling up every month, she resolved to cut down on personal costs i.e.DSTV subscription. She also made the decision to first use a co-working office, because for her, the focus was on building the brand and not chasing profit.
Today, the proud businesswoman says that she is blessed to have made so much growth in just a year. This sees her firm on three panels i.e. Ekurhuleni Municipality, University of Johannesburg and Yambu Legal Protection. Looking ahead, even more growth is inevitable and Bugana hopes that NLB Attorneys becomes one of the best black law firms in South Africa and Africa as a whole.
When asked if she would advise someone else to quit their job to pursue their dreams, she says that she would definitely urge young people to do so. Although there is lots of work to be done, Bugana adds that she does not regret her decision. Her only regret is that she did not take this big leap earlier.
NLB Attorneys is on 21 Village Road, Selby, Johannesburg. Visit their website: http://nlbattorneys.co.za/
~ Thabile Shange