By Margaret Kamba
HARARE – It seems a little unbelievable to have lawyers recognised and awarded for being upright and I suppose this is because of the misconceptions associated with the industry. Many people assume that lawyers lie a lot and will do anything for money while half the time throwing their clients under the bus.
It is easy to assume these things especially when the person does not understand the principles that govern that particular profession. However when giving dignity to one’s profession comes first, such awards see the gems in the profession emerge.
The recent award to one lawyer Gift Maseko of Maseko Law Chambers who was awarded “Outstanding Legal Practitioner of Repute” by the Zimbabwe CEO’s Network caught my attention.
In my inquiry from the man himself, I got to understand that the award for “optimism, patience, understanding and bravery under stress” is indeed well deserving.
Born and bred in Bulawayo, Maseko enrolled at the University of Zimbabwe around 2004 after which he joined Sawyer and Mukushi. His desire to grow led him to opening his own law firm.
“I respect Sawyer and Mukushi because that is where I learnt to grow and do things properly under their good tutelage and mentorship. After about six or seven years with them that is when I took the decision to grow by opening my law firm,” Maseko said.
“I have always been a good speaker and strong in my Arts when I was still in High School where I would articulate myself very well in debate competitions so I thought I would try my hand at being a lawyer so this is how I eventually enrolled with the University of Zimbabwe.”
Commenting on the stress that comes with acquiring a Law Degree, Maseko highlighted that patience is key.
“The important thing is to be patient in what you do and it is even easier when you like what you so it is not difficult to continue. It is the main motivation for spending long nights and early mornings. I am not saying Law is not hard but it helps you reason and construct your arguments effectively.”
Family life has not deterred the 38 year old man who is determined to take his law firm to a greater level.
His wife a mining engineer in her own right is supportive and they both make time for their two toddlers despite their busy schedules.
“The bottom line about being a legal practitioner is that it is the client that comes to you with their matter. The fact that you want a good reputation you represent them in the best of your ability. The issue of scandals, politics and otherwise depends on the opinion of the public but you advise your clients accordingly.
The important thing is also to know your rules above all else. What is your moral code because life is about choices and choices have consequences negative and positive. As for me, I choose to follow the right path in terms of the rules before me.”
There is no profession without its hurdles but for Maseko remaining resolute has kept his law firm going.
“The law fraternity is very complex but I have kept resolute and thanks to the team I have that has continued to instill in me the resolution to remain upright and do the right thing.”
Maseko’s firm is known for its reputation of solving cases amicably either through out of court settlements or litigation.
Speaking about the recognition, Maseko noted that it came as a shock.
“I was very humbled and quite surprised because we are a fairly small firm and there are other law firms bigger than us who have even in the industry for longer. I am very grateful to have been considered because it is testament to the fact that our reputation and sacrifices over the years is well earned and that we endeavour to continue on the same path,” Maseko said.
“I attribute my success to an organisation called Juniour Chamber International whose mission is for the development of opportunities that empower young people to positive change and a lot of my Corporate Social Responsibility is spent there.”
With an 85 to 90 percent case winning ratio, Maseko looks to forging the firm to greater heights.
By Margaret Kamba