My name is Tiyani Majoko. A part of my dream is to create large scale legal solutions that will make the delivery of legal services worldwide faster, excellent and more accessible. I created The Legal Werk, my startup that focuses on legal professionals, which I aim to launch in North America over the next few months.
My parents were both lawyers and ran a law firm with branches in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and Francistown in Botswana. My mother passed away when I was 13 years old and I decided to pursue a career in law so I could carry on in my mother’s legacy. Now, I am a lawyer and I want to give back to the industry for all it has given me.
I know the impact I want to have on this planet and that is why I chose the life I did, that is my decision to be single for nearly 10 years. I know society has a natural expectation of you but I chose not to conform to it. I wanted to make my dreams come true with minimal distractions. As someone who went through a huge personal trauma at a young age, I beat the odds by God’s Grace. On the other hand it is easy to hide between work and a busy life rather than facing my feelings and letting someone into my life. In all, I learnt that it is important to have a single mind about what you want to create but not single-minded about how you want to achieve it.
It is natural that society may have expectations but I chose not to conform to it and the path I took led me on an adventure and lessons I want to share.
In this journey you learn how to live and focus on yourself In terms of the relationship I have with myself, I connect better when I connect with God so I am intentional about scheduling time in the morning to read, pray and reflect.
I am also very big on keeping a journal; I like to write down my thoughts, desires and frustrations. It is always interesting to look back and see where I am coming from and how far I have gotten to from there.
I don’t think I do very well on self-care. I am a type-A personality so I am a bit of a control freak. I like to push regardless of the cost on my well being but I am learning to make concessions even for myself.
The one thing I incorporate each week is a 24 hour ‘no work’ rule from Friday night to Saturday, which I refer to as my Sabbath.
I believe there is a link between love, beauty and peace. Once I was able to make that connection, I began my journey of self-love, self-acceptance, self-fulfillment and self-awareness. I don’t look exactly like the images of conventional beauty in the media, but now I have peace and confidence within myself which I draw solely from God and His purpose for me and because of that I have learnt to accept and acknowledge my beauty.
I think we are so fortunate to live in a time where you can find your tribe of people who share similar mindsets. And for me that is feminism. If someone was to look through my social media they would find mainly feminist-supporting content.
I implore young women to explore feminism on their terms and not base it off from the experiences others have had from the movement. I think the definition of feminism is fluid and open to different interpretations to the women who embody it. Nonetheless, the basic sentiments we all share are that women are entitled to the benefits and quality of life men enjoy because we make similar, if not greater contributions to the spaces we are involved in.
I would also suggest to the young up-and-coming woman that she must learn to communicate her views and vocalise her desires by figuring out whom she is and if what she wants stems from within her or from society.
IN THE LINE OF DUTY
I can’t think of a specific incident where I have been discriminated openly, but there have been instances where people, question your credibility as a professional by making statements or asking questions, however nuanced, they wouldn’t ask a man. These nuances are often manifested through micro aggressions for example when you aren’t paid on time or asked to render free services which are all condescending actions perpetrated by both men and women.
It can be really debilitating, personally and professionally because it makes you doubt your own competence. I remember when a former employer didn’t pay me for almost six months, leading me to the brink of homelessness and debt. I felt so worthless and unintelligent but in that season, I grew so much spiritually and emotionally. I came out of that episode with wisdom and I was able to make peace with him and understand that it was not my fault. I rose above that and learnt to define myself beyond my career and possessions and it taught me not to label my worth with a title.
Now I have the wisdom of foresight to sift out time-wasting people and I don’t take it personally anymore. They are not my target market. I know who I am and I don’t focus on people who do not value my contribution.
MY ROLE MODELS
There have been people I look up to who have inspired me on my journey and the most important has been my parents. They came from poor backgrounds and yet overcame their challenges. They built a law firm that still stands today. I am especially proud of my father who raised me after my mother died. I admire his resilience, empathy, compassion, work ethics, dedication to his clients and his self-awareness. There are other people I look up to as well who have inspired me on my journey:
Oprah Winfrey – She created success on her own terms by doing what she enjoys. She is a symbol of women empowerment and doesn’t take herself too seriously!
Sara Blakely (founder of Spanx)- She defied the odds and created a billion-dollar brand with no business school training. She too took the time to build up herself before getting married.
Howard Schultz (founder of Starbucks) – He has shown me the importance of leadership as an all-round issue by ensuring you take care of all your stakeholders and give them what they need.
Ava Duvernay (Storyteller and movie producer) – She started slow and steady, by remaining authentic and telling the stories of women and black people in the most accurate, respectful and beautiful ways.
Jada and Will Smith (Actors and parents) – The value they have for family and the positive influence they have in the black community is inspiring. I like how they focus on doing work that matters.
Michelle Obama- She is a boss! She is strong, beautiful, honest and wise! In all her accolades, she feels so relatable and accessible. She genuinely cares about people.
Tracee Ellis Ross- She is the poster child for being happily single. She is at the top of her game as an actress, entrepreneur, director and influencer. Not only is she attractive but has a lightness of spirit and depth of soul. She is awesome!
Learn! I can’t emphasise this enough. Take in everything you can. That is the goal of any self-discovery journey – what you learn about yourself and from others. Personally I learnt a lot from the books I have read:
Devon Franklin and Meagan Goode in their book ‘The Wait” and his book ‘Hollywood Commandments”.
I also learnt so much from Pastor Michael Todd and his relationship series on You tube called “Relationship Goals”, which I highly recommend for anyone looking to know God’s perspective on relationships.
When I started working outside of the big law firm environment, I read ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg
Reading Steve Jobs biography really challenged my creativity and Onward by Howard Schultz challenged by leadership.
I also loved Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, because it showed me the importance of travelling and being scrappy and resilient.
I am now very big on listening to podcasts. I have my own called Cheat The Hustle where I share on entrepreneurship. My top business podcasts are Tim Ferriss Show, Masters of Scale and A Drink with James.