When it came to choosing a career, Tatenda Tendayi knew from the start it had to be in law.
Tatenda, who specialises in tax, was right on the money.
“The decision to become a lawyer was one of necessity. I always felt awkward in science and other technical subjects but excelled at critical thinking and writing. The legal profession seemed a perfect fit for me and I made the decision a long time ago that it was either law or nothing else”.
Tatenda holds Bachelor of Social Science, Bachelor of Laws and Masters of Commerce in Taxation degrees from Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.
He gained his experience at an accounting, tax and advisory firm in Grahamstown and returned home to Zimbabwe. In 2018, he joined Manokore Attorneys - a partner of global law firm, DLA Piper Africa.
Commenting on his recent promotion, Tatenda said he was humbled to be recognised by the firm as a leader.
“The promotion comes as a great honour and I can only hope to live up to the expectations and responsibility placed upon me.”
The promotion means changing from “just being technically proficient” to having and showing a deeper understanding of the issues faced by clients in their businesses.
“This means evolving into being viewed by clients as more than just a lawyer but also a trusted business advisor.” Internally, the role entails taking a more active role in participating in the strategic decisions of the firm and mentoring and guiding the more junior lawyers.
Zimbabwe, like most developing countries, has challenges regarding the regulation of its business environment and attracting foreign investment. These include shortages in foreign currency and infrastructure gaps. However, what it lacks in policy, it makes up for in the myriad of opportunities it presents across a wide range of sectors.
This is where Tatenda steps in.
“My role is to assist foreign and domestic clients in navigating the landscape and using the broad, multi-disciplinary expertise within the firm to offer bespoke solutions to the unique challenges faced by our clients”.
His other duties include spending time briefing the core team he works with, allocating tasks and reviewing work done for partner approval.
After a long day, Tatenda unwinds by watching television and catching up on sports, news and anything interesting that takes his mind off work.
His advice to the youth who want to start a career in law, is to spend time exploring what the legal profession entails.
“Volunteering at law firms during vacation or semester breaks is a great way of acquiring an appreciation of the work involved in being a legal practitioner. If it turns out that the legal profession is what you want, then take your work seriously as your work ethic says more about who you are than you ever can.”
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