Growing up, Aziza wanted to become a teacher, just like her parents. She chanced into law and liked it.
After joining the University of Nairobi for her law degree, her grandmother started calling her ‘judge’. One day, the senior resident magistrate, who is also a High Court deputy Registrar in Kericho, says she will become a judge.
She was admitted to the Bar as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya in 2012 and joined Nairobi-based Taibjee and Bhalla Advocates as an associate in the Department of Conveyancing.
She later moved to the county government of Kakamega as the county legal officer before joining the Judiciary as a magistrate.
"I played a key role in establishing the Mediation Registry for the Kericho Law Courts, which is rated among the top registries in Kenya. Cases that had been in court for years on end have been resolved within 60 days of referral and this has greatly reduced the case backlog in my station."
She believes that most cases that end up in court can easily be solved through mediation.
“I played a key role in establishing the Mediation Registry for the Kericho Law Courts, which is rated among the top registries in Kenya. Cases that had been in court for years on end have been resolved within 60 days of referral and this has greatly reduced case backlog in my station,” she says.
Aziza also participated in the International Association of Women Judges, Kenya Chapter, where she played a role in developing the Judicial Bench Book on Labour Trafficking.
“Through the same organisation, I have also facilitated training in my region for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Victims.” Beyond the judicial circles, the magistrate has supported and mentored children in schools across the county through the Rotary Club.
She and her friends run a school feeding programme for children from informal settlements in Kericho and provide examination materials to candidates for their national exams.
Dealing with sexual gender-based violence cases is some of her lowest moments. “When I encounter victims of SGBV, especially children, who are deeply traumatised. In such situations, I often ask myself if there is more that I can do to ease their suffering,” she says.
Aziza draws inspiration from Lee Kuan Yew, a lawyer, politician, and statesman who served as the inaugural Prime Minister of Singapore. “I am hugely inspired by Lee Kuan Yew’s ability to influence the public sector, which is where I work.”