In June 2013, Safiya de Vries joined ESI Attorneys with 20 years of career experience. Safiya’s professional journey began immediately after completing her Matric at 19. She started as a receptionist at a company specialising in Kruger Rands and it was here that her path took an unexpected turn. A director of the company she was working at also happened to be associated with a firm of conveyancing attorneys and he approached her to move into the conveyancing world. Safiya’s parents had sold their house and needed conveyancing attorneys and she was their representative. Through this experience, Safiya realised how many people need guidance and assistance with buying and selling property. Her career took flight as the firm grew and Safiya is very grateful for the opportunities they provided.
One of Safiya’s standout qualities is her genuine affinity for people. Her ability to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds has made her adept at catering to clients’ needs effectively. This ability is undoubtedly rooted in her upbringing, as Safiya grew up with 10 siblings on the Cape Flats, within a humble community in Manenberg. She carried these strong family values into her own life, marrying at the age of 21 and celebrating her 39th wedding anniversary in August 2023. She is a proud mother of two sons, aged 30 and 28 and a friendly and outgoing 28-year-old daughter who all reflect the values she instilled in them.
One remarkable aspect of Safiya’s life is her dedication to charity work. She initiated the “ESI feeding scheme”, which began as a small gathering around the kitchen table, where each person contributed something for tea time. Over time, it has evolved into a heartwarming tradition. The ESI directors rallied behind this initiative and even purchased a stove and an airfryer to assist in the making of delicious tea time treats for her colleagues.
Safiya’s compassion extends beyond the workplace. She and her family actively engage in charity work within their impoverished community, collecting second-hand clothing, creating food parcels and aiding those in need. While they are not affiliated with any formal charity organisation, their grassroots efforts are a testament to the power of community-driven compassion.
One particular charity initiative that holds a special place in Safiya’s heart is the wheelchair donation program. Jacques Esterhuyse approached her with the idea and means and Safiya didn’t hesitate to embrace it. The memory of a daughter pushing her mom to the day hospital in a pram struck a chord with her. The initiative took off, and Safiya and her family have so far personally delivered wheelchairs to 20 deserving individuals. Word spread and the program continued to thrive, reaching people of all ages and backgrounds. It became a lifeline for those who couldn’t move freely due to disabilities, enabling them to regain their independence and mobility.
For Safiya, family and friendship are paramount. She believes that relationships form the bedrock of our lives and enrich our existence. Her motto, “Always be the best person you can be,” reflects her commitment to personal growth and the belief that actions speak louder than words. She lives by the principle that we rise by lifting others and emphasises the importance of gratitude.
In her spare time, Safiya is an avid outdoors enthusiast. Hiking and trips to the beach offer her solace and the chance to unwind. Hiking, in particular, allows her to live in the present moment, surrounded by nature’s beauty. The beach, regardless of the weather, serves as a sanctuary for letting go of daily stress. A walk along the shore, even in stormy weather, provides a sense of peace and rejuvenation.
Safiya de Vries is a shining example of someone who combines professional success with a deep commitment to community and compassion. Her journey at ESI has not only enriched her life but has also positively impacted the lives of those around her. Her dedication to charity work and her belief in the power of gratitude serve as an inspiration to us all.