Reagan Soko, Sociologist Social Worker Technician with working experience in Malawi
What industry do you work in?
My line of work is Social/Community and Research analysis.
What are your strengths?
Time management- I am motivated by a time frame within a particular priority;
Innovative- I like bringing new ideas;
Communication Skills- I adapt with all kinds of people;
Negotiation Skills- I have brought desired results before even when different delegation failed. I like the basic needs and rights based approaches to development.
What inspired you to get into this sort of industry?
I am motivated by the desire to lender my help to society and that’s what inspired me to join such an industry. I use the motto, ‘Society is my concern’.
What is the most challenging aspect within your field of work?
There are different rules and ways in different projects. Projects target different areas and in these areas we meet different people. Most of the times the methodology given on paper may not always work to ensure desired results.
The people. This profession you deal with people. People cannot be handled like machines. People have brains and they know when things are not right.
Weather and climatic conditions of different places is an additional challenge.
How do you manage and overcome these challenges?
One needs to be innovative to make sure that they understand that current situation. Sometimes even different methodologies are created in line with the aggregate methodology and policy so that we meet a specific situation.
One need to be so committed and so true to understand the situation of people. In most cases a specialist in this field ends up discovering some negative aspects of themselves which they need to constantly look at in order to improve.
People in this profession are always advised to love their duty stations because it takes time for them to leave such places and mostly they are emotionally attached to these places.
What has been the highlight of your career?
The highlight of my career is when I am engaged in a project which involves me to ensure there is a good relationship among the stakeholders (for example government, Companies, Non-governmental organisations, Traditional Leaders and the local communities) and I managed to achieve this. It’s a challenge because you are the link between the stakeholders and you stand to take the blame for any of the them. For instance, the local communities may complain to government but they do complain to you as a means through which that complaint may be taken. In return you complain to government of their behalf and are the agent through which the solution is taken. This is the most beautiful part because you gain a lot. You are the only ones who interact with all stakeholders. You earn more knowledge that everyone else in the project.
If somebody starts as a trainee / beginner within your line of work, what could they earn in salary?
The below figures are estimates:
Salary: Gross Amount of $720.00 a month
Food Allowance: $450.00 a month
Night Allowance: $40.00 a night (depends on whether they will sleep or not)
What can this person expect to earn after 10 years of experience?
The below figures are estimates:
Salary: Gross Amount of >$10,000.00 a month
Food Allowance: $600.00 a month
Accommodation allowance: $600.00 a month
Night Allowance: $140.00 a night (depending if they spend a night in field)
Travel Allowance: $200 a day (depending if they work outside duty station)
What advice can you offer people who are in the same industry as you?
The key to become successful in this profession is to understand that you are working with people and people are not machines. When one is working with people there are two things they should expect; discovering other people and discovering yourself. Whatever the case we need to know that every person must face the practical realities of life and whether they become master or victims of circumstances it all depends on how they prepared. This is to say that every day is a learning day in this profession.
If you had to describe yourself in FIVE WORDS, what would they be?
Where in Africa have you worked before?
I have worked in Malawi.
As you know, numerous African countries are being invested in due to their rich minerals. Which country within Africa do you think will be the next hot spot and why?
Malawi. The geology of Malawi shows that there are a lot of minerals but exploration of minerals has not been a concern for Malawi in the name of preserving non-renewable resources. Over the past few years we have experience major mining companies like Paladin (Africa) Limited and Vale which are investing in Malawi. I think there may be many more interested as the minerals of Malawi are said to be of high quality.
CA Global is a big believer in Africa, why do YOU believe in Africa?
Africa is the place with a variety of people and different indigenous knowledge which I think given a good exposure would come up with something extraordinary. I believe in Africa and Africans.