#WCW: MEET TIYANI MAJOKO, THE WOMAN WHO SURVIVED TRAGEDY TO BREAK NEW BOUNDS
Zimbabwean born, Tiyani Majoko is as fascinating as her name sounds. As I briskly walk into the Woolworths coffee shop located in the busy Johannesburg shopping centre in Rivonia village, I find that I am unsure what to expect. She had earlier been described by my contact as ‘bursting full of energy’ as I arrived roughly 10 minutes late due to some unexpected police activity. As I took one last look at my mirror (I had gotten my make-up done on the train so I fussed about my foundation and concealer blending), I walked in half-hoping she wouldn’t be able to read my uncertainty.
I glanced around the coffee shop and to my surprise, seated in the corner was this melanin infused woman dressed in a power suit with a smoothie on her table, sporting a large ‘Bozoma-style’ Afro which she had made into a mo-hawk of sorts; so odd, a nice lady asked to take a picture so she could show it to her hairdresser.
I briefly apologise for not being punctual and she shrugs me off asking instead that I introduce myself and I was immediately put at ease.
I would later find out that this was a woman who was as fierce about her ambition as she was about her hair. Not only did she, at 26 years old, co-found a legal consultancy firm which she creatively named, LAWGISTICS; the firm not only operates within the confines of South Africa but also operates in other parts of Africa including Tazania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. She began LAWGISTICS with a view to “disrupting the status quo of the law” utilising dynamic, young leadership and a collaborative work model. Within 5 years, the team has grown to 10 attorneys operating in various capacities.
At 30years old, the young lawyer and entrpreneur has bagged up an impressive line up of qualifications including an LLB degree from the University of Pretoria, a Commercial Law and Advanced Commercial Law certificate by the Black Lawyers Association, a Crisis Management diploma from Harvard Manage Mentor, a Business and Entrepreneurship certificate from University of Notre Dame and a certificate from the Gordon School of Business Science (“GIBS”) and is an alumni of the highly prestigious Mandela-Washington Fellowship.
During our conversation, she receives several phone calls and text messages which she respectfully ignores and it becomes apparent that I am seated with a woman who is used to being in high demand-everyone wants a piece of her and it’s easy to see why. She moves on to discussing several new projects which she tells me she hasn’t shared with anyone and I immediately feel as though I have been let into a secret, elite society. She doesn’t share any of her pitfalls with me and in fact, it reads as though she lives in a bubble of happiness with an infectious zest for life. It then becomes shocking when I discover that her lawyer mother and 2 siblings were brutally murdered by her uncle who was subsequently sentenced to death when she was only 13 years old. In the eye of tragedy, it seems as though the incident has done little to water down her drive but may have even propelled it.
Besides being business savvy and conducting projects across board in various sectors including audits, mining, deal structuring and fund-raising within Africa; she adds on writer to her growing list of roles playing contributor to highly distinguished platforms such as: The Huffington post and She leads Africa. She’s also the lead editor on her own platform, The Legal Werk. She has served on the Black Management Forum’s Sandton Branch and is responsible for the entrepreneurship committee within Women in Mining, South Africa. She founded The African Emancipation Foundation which is a non-profit company that equips entrepreneurs through a series of workshops and events and is also the co-founder of Code Hub Africa which aims to equip African youth with ICT and digital skills and the list just goes on.
As I sip from my cup of Chai, I watch her hurriedly communicate her upcoming projects and I can tell that this is a woman with a vision so mighty that her mind is always on over-drive with an urgency to change the world. A feature many of us do not possess. She recently gave a talk at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls and as I search through her Instagram stories, I smile knowingly as I see that Tiyani included a Cardi-B jam in her speech, getting the girls to bump and grind with her. It is so typical of her to pull off an act so brazen, so well thought-out to relax the grades 11 and 12 girls to enable her get her message across and provide an opening for free, undiluted discourse. I realise as I watch this video that this is a woman who lives intentionally, unapologetically and there is a method to her seeming madness.
The multi-faceted young woman is also a huge lover of Christ and a highly active worker at the Rivers Church in Sandton, South Africa.
If there is one thing to learn from this accomplished young woman who shows no signs of slowing down anytine soon, it is that life is truly what you make of it and you don’t have to be a product of your circumstance. Here is a woman that is not only set on a path to empower herself but to changing lives despite the odds stacked against her. That is legacy in the making.