Imagine if Bear Grylls decided to swap his survival gear for a law degree and had a penchant for family camping trips. That’s Maretha van Rooyen in a nutshell. Born in the wildlife-rich lands of Eldoret, Kenya, Maretha’s childhood was an African adventure, complete with camping escapades through Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, and Namibia. Think less ‘Out of Africa’, more ‘Into the Wild’, with a family twist.

Fast forward a few years, and Maretha, now in South Africa, alternates between her camping gear and law books. After a scenic academic tour through Pretoria and Potchefstroom, she grabbed a BA degree faster than a cheetah chasing its lunch. But wait, there’s more! When her third kiddo hit toddlerhood, Maretha thought, “Why not add a bit more chaos?” and dived into law studies at UNISA. Just for kicks, you know?

Enter the world of labour law. A lecturer, Prof. Brenda Grant, dropped a casual comment about women being ace at labour law, and Maretha thought, “Challenge accepted!” She strides into the bargaining councils and CCMA like it’s the Serengeti, ready to tackle legal lions and employment elephants.

But what about life outside the legal savannah? Maretha’s a family woman through and through. Her clan is her pride (pun intended), and she’s got a soft spot for domestic animals, too. She’s the person you call when you need a hand, a listening ear, or a strategic move in labour matters.

Now, picture this: Maretha, in her off-time, is like a detective in one of those intense crime series she loves binging. Only instead of solving mysteries, she’s unravelling word puzzles and sewing up a storm for her granddaughter. She’s got a playlist that could rival any road trip DJ – from Leonard Cohen to Laurika Rauch, she’s got the beats to keep her grooving.

As for her taste buds? She’s all about the fancy steaks and seafood. If it swims or sizzles, Maretha’s there with a napkin tucked in and a fork ready.

Looking ahead, Maretha’s got plans. Retirement? Pfft, more like a shift to part-time legal adventuring. She’s like the Indiana Jones of labour law, always ready for the next escapade.

So, there you have it: Maretha van Rooyen, not just a labour lawyer, but a bushveld-loving, puzzle-solving, music-jamming, steak-savouring dynamo. From the African plains to the corridors of legal power, she’s living proof that life is one big, exciting camping trip – with a side of law and order!