Serisha Azaria Moodley

Azaria Incorporated Attorneys

What does your company do?

SERISHA AZARIA MOODLEY INC. (Attorneys, Conveyancers & Notaries) is 100% black female owned, offering a range of customised and innovative, legal, conveyancing, personal, business and training services.

What is your biggest success?

I used the contrast of my life, being raised in a home that was consistently a war zone, specifically with a mum that was chronically depressed, suicidal & lacked self-love, to make every effort to be everything but that which I witnessed. Further, my mum stayed in a marriage beyond its expiry due to her financial dependence. All of this lead me to read voraciously in order to empower myself, mind, body and soul. I need to add that I never really saw myself as a victim, not because I had the emotional maturity to make that choice but it was not something I delved in for too long. Today as I journey towards my 50th birthday I am super proud to have raised 2 beautiful daughters, aged 23 & 19, have a successful business of my own that allows me the financial independence to make choices and decisions that align with my desires & need. I am married for 28 years and as it is said longevity is not a mark of success in marriage, it certainly is and has been one of my greatest teachers and where most of my growth has emanated from. But my biggest achievement is having gratitude for my beautiful mum, understanding her role in my life in the greater scheme of things and truly knowing that people are fighting battles within themselves that we have no knowledge of. The journey to this awareness has been a gift. To say that I am a work in progress but for now I am completely content with where and 'how' the universe has brought me here and the fact that I now know that it never ends... we are a beautiful story waiting to unfold...

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Being a man or woman in South Africa is significantly linked to other social relations such as race, class, ethnicity and religion. So, there were certainly many barriers on the journey, more so being a woman, especially in the legal field which is largely male dominated. I would say that my biggest hurdle when I ventured into Gauteng in 2006 was being a female attorney of colour in a senior position. There was much resistance to my authority which was compounded by the fact that I was not necessarily bilingual, from a legal perspective. Consequently, when I launched my own legal firm in 2016, I did it 'my way'. The hurdle within my own business was definitely funding. My business was launched after the tragic death of my previous employer, so there was not much time invested in planning and although I assumed that many of my previous clients would support me, after servicing them for almost 9 years, I was wrong. It was only in 2022 that my firm started making a profit.