Grit and determination can take you a long way in life and Robert Muoka’s story is entirely based on his never-say-die attitude! A man who has acquired sage wisdom over his many years as an advocate and an entrepreneur, Robert remains humble in his quest to achieve even bigger things for the greater good of society.
For those who don’t know him, Robert is leading an award-winning team at My Shamba Digital. He is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Chairperson of the Blockchain Sub-Committee at the LSK Nairobi Branch ICT and IP Committee. When he can, he finds the time to mentor and he’s also the co-founder at Sheria Online!
In a chat with GLEAC, Robert shared the one learning of his professional journey that’s helped him along the way. Take a look!
GLEAC: Who do you have to thank for a decision that you made that got you where you are today?
Robert: The person that I would love to thank the most for a decision that I made that got me to where I am today is my mum. She not only pushed me to pursue my dream of founding My Shamba Digital, but she also invested in it. I remain forever grateful to her for that. My Shamba Digital is an innovative property technology startup built to make real estate transactions simpler. I founded My Shamba Digital in the early quarter of 2021 to help resolve land disputes and reduce incidents of land fraud. My Shamba Digital recently partnered with MegaHoot Technologies, Inc. to develop a series of real estate-related platforms. The platforms will incorporate enhanced blockchain technology systems utilizing the Pecu Novus Blockchain Network. The first in the series is geared towards land disputes in Kenya through the use of a unique blockchain-enabled land verification system.
GLEAC: If a future version of yourself had to thank you for something you are doing right now, what would it be for?
Robert: If I were to thank myself in the near future for something that I am currently doing, it would be my contribution to the adoption of Blockchain Technology and other Distributed Ledger Technologies in Kenya and Africa through My Shamba Digital. More specifically the adoption of Blockchain Technology in the global real estate sector to help resolve land disputes and reduce incidents of land fraud. Information becomes more traceable, transparent, and less siloed with Blockchain Technology.
GLEAC: What is your superpower soft skill? How do you use it in your job in your sector?
Robert: My superpower soft skill is that I am a team builder. I firmly believe that no one works in a silo, even if they are on a team of one. Teamwork is a core value at My Shamba Digital as it enables us to work harmoniously with stakeholders across projects.
GLEAC: What hard skills and soft skills are needed for your job?
Robert: Some of the hard skills required to become a lawyer are a Bachelor of Laws Degree certificate from a reputable university, basic computer literacy, and legal writing and drafting skills. Some soft skills required to become a lawyer are sound judgment and problem-solving. An efficient lawyer must be able to critically analyze a problematic and challenging situation, use his or her intelligence and problem-solving skills to come to possible conclusions, and mark out the best possible course of the argument. A lawyer must possess brilliant conversational and oratory skills to prove his argument in court, oppose the other party, and defend his client with the utmost gusto.
GLEAC: If you had to attract more talent to your team from another sector, who would you want, and with what skill sets?
Robert: If I were to attract more talent to our team at My Shamba Digital from another sector, then it would be to our marketing and branding team. A good marketing and branding campaign can help a startup establish an individual brand identity. A company’s brand is more than its logo, it is its entire personality. Some of the hard skill sets that I would be on the lookout for include branding, marketing, analytics, writing, and design. The most desirable soft skills are detail-oriented skills, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, conflict resolution, good communication, a positive attitude, listening skills, and empathy.
GLEAC: Which are the 3 must-have soft skills for newbies looking to enter your sector?
Robert: Verbal communication. Communication is key in most professions, and it is especially crucial in the legal world. Legal professionals perform better when they know how to communicate.
Time management. As a legal professional, you’ll probably always have more work than you have time to finish. Develop your time management skills so that you always have an advantage over other candidates who struggle to get things done.
Interpersonal Skills. In the legal industry, you may come across stressed-out people, people going through personal issues, and an array of difficult clients, attorneys, judges, and vendors. Your goal is to be ready to handle anything coming your way in a calm, understanding manner.
GLEAC: Which skills will those belonging to your sector have to acquire to become indispensable?
Robert: I believe to become indispensable in the legal sector one has to acquire technical skills. Never underestimate how important being familiar with technology is these days. This is because the more courts, organizations, and law firms start to adopt legal technology, the more there is to learn. But the more we learn, the better our work becomes. There will always be a new system, a new process, or a new regulation. By being open to innovation, you will always be at the top of your game and at the top of the list for promotions or new positions.
GLEAC: What is the one learning of your professional journey you would like to share with the world?
Robert: The one teaching that I would love to share with the world is that life is a learning process. To quote C. JoyBell, “Anything that you learn becomes your wealth, a wealth that cannot be taken away from you; whether you learn it in a building called school or in the school of life. To learn something new is a timeless pleasure and a valuable treasure. And not all things that you learn are taught to you, but many things that you learn you realize you have taught yourself.”
GLEAC: Every career has its pros and cons. What are the good and bad aspects of your career?
Robert: One advantage of being a lawyer is that you can make really good money from your profession. You can also build a strong business network. Being a lawyer essentially entails providing legal and consulting services to businesses, wealthy and influential people, and government institutions, and chances are that one is able to build a strong business network. Consequently, over time, you will get in contact with many powerful people who could potentially employ you in leading positions later on in your life. One of the biggest downsides of being a lawyer is the lack of downtime. Many attorneys work long hours throughout the week in order to keep up with the demands of their clients. There are reports of some professionals working up to 90 hours per week. A poor work/life balance is something many people struggle with, as many end up having to sacrifice their personal time in order to ensure their practice stays competitive in the current market.
GLEAC: Work in your sector can get rigorous. How do you keep up the mojo?
Robert: I keep up my mojo by regularly exercising and listening to music. Exercising regularly helps improve our mood, increase self-esteem and self-confidence, and reduce anxiety and mild depression. Exercise when used as a coping mechanism can be the difference between us learning to cope and us not coping at all, but we should be careful because doing too much exercise means we may become hooked. The power of music to reduce stress and improve mental health has been recognized for some time. Scientists say music distracts us from our worries, while a study by the Queen Mary University of London demonstrated that playing music during and after medical operations calmed patients and even reduced their pain.
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