Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Winning Women: Aisha Taib

 This is the first winning women post of 2017 and in the few posts i have done, i have grown to love this segment more and more each day. It is so fascinating to see other women's point of view of life, their experiences and their aspirations. I hope it inspires you as much or maybe even more than it inspires me. Today's winning woman is Lawyer (LLM) Aisha Taib. So grateful she allowed this interview that has left me nothing short of inspired. Here's what we talked about;



Aisha at her LLB graduation



1.Tell us a little about yourself, who is Aisha? 
I was born and raised in Mombasa but I've been living in Nairobi for the past 9 years. I studied Law at Keele University in the UK graduating with an LLB (hons) and an award for the top grade in Gender, Law and Sexuality. I then went on to do my LLM in International Law and Human Rights also at Keele University. During my time there I was part of the team that set up the first official Pro Palestine student society at Keele known as Keele Friends of Palestine , in which I served as the Vice President and later President. I worked as an intern at the Kenya National Commission of Human Rights, Beele and Company a London law firm and Anjarwalla, Collins and Haidermota a Dubai based law firm. I moved back to Kenya after completing my studies and have been working at Taib A Taib Advocates since September 2014.

2.Have you always wanted to be a lawyer?
For as long as I can remember whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be I would always say a lawyer. There was never any other option in my mind, every decision I made in regards to my studies and hobbies was geared towards my future career as a lawyer. The treatment of women in our Muslim communities and the role they were expected to play fuelled my desire to be a lawyer even more and made me more determined to see it through.

3.What’s the hardest and the best part about being a lawyer?
As clich√© as this sounds one of the best parts of being a lawyer is being able to help people. It's such a gratifying career and a very empowering one. I see law as a profession that will allow me to advocate for change. As a woman it's crucial  to know that your independent and self sufficient and law allows me to be just that.

 4.Aside from law, I noticed you do photography, tell us more about that?
It's one of those things that just happened over time. I bought a digital cameras when I went away to university so I could have pictures of my university experience and I just loved it. It stopped being about taking pictures when I went somewhere or did something, instead I'd start going to a particular places so I could take a particular photo or just going for a walk and taking pictures of whatever I wanted. Now it's a way for me to explore, learn and just unwind from work. I still have so much to learn about photography and inshallah I hope to get better.

 5.In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
I always turn to prayer when I face any difficulties and tackle the issue before me rather than ignore it. In short keep the faith and be pro active.

6. What does success mean to you?
Success to me is being independent and this can only truly happen when you are financially independent. By that I don't mean being rich, but being able to live comfortably and never be wanting of anything or anyone. This could be different for every individual. It's so important for me to able to build my own life and not depend on anyone to provide me with the life I want. It's such a shame to see women  wait for men to provide them with the life they want instead of doing it themselves.

 7.What quote or saying or book do you live by or rather inspires you?
There are so many inspiring texts and books I've read but I always find myself going back to two particular quotes from the Quran. The first is from Al-Rad, "...Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves." This reminds me that to be successful and achieve the goals you want you have to remain steadfast in your faith- and not only that, you need to be pro active because prayer alone is not the solution. The second is from Ash-Sharah, "Verily, with every hardship comes ease"- this reminds us that life isn't perfect and we will all face hardships throughout life but there is always an end to that, always.
 8.Which of your traits are you most proud of, why?
I'd say my ability to remain objective in situations, this allows me to act or react appropriately without letting my emotions get in the way. Also anyone who knows me would know I'm a stickler for order and organisation, everything has to be a certain way and there's a system for everything, which must be followed.

9.What characteristic do you most admire in other women, career women or otherwise?
Working hard, staying humble and supporting your fellow women because as Madeline Albright said "There's a special place in hell for women who do not help other women."

 10.What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received in your life and what advice would you give to girls who want to be a lawyer like you?

My parents would always tell me not to let anyone tell me that I can't do what I want to do or be who I want to be, set you goal and go for it with all that you've got. That mindset and attitude made me who I am today. My advice to all girls who want to be lawyers or anything else is just go for it, do not let anything hold you back especially not culture or tradition because there is no need for a culture or tradition that oppresses. NEVER COMPROMISE ON THE HAPPINESS THAT YOU WANT AND DESERVE.

Some of  the beautiful pictures Aisha takes



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