Home BUSINESS BOX Getting to know Awonke Ntozini

Getting to know Awonke Ntozini

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Awonke is a 27 years old young woman who was born and bred in Mdantsane. She is the second of four children raised by a single parent. After matric in 2005, Awonke took a gap year before enrolling for her Law Degree at the University of Fort Hare, where she also took a part time job as waitress and a promoter. In 2008 she had to drop out due to financial constraints, but her passion for success never died as she pushed hard and she worked as a temporary data capturer at the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality then joined Old Mutual Finance in 2009 as a Client Relations Consultant.

Her hunger for education continued and in 2012 she decided to go back to school to finish her studies on a part time basis. Then received an employment opportunity from Transnet and she had to leave school once again because her new employment required her to undergo a three months training.

She states that her journey is not an easy one because some of the decisions were based on situations so as to cover economical needs and her studies suffered from that. I always knew that I have to finish my Law Degree and in 2013 I registered again so as to push my studies further – says Awonke.

What is your business background?

I woke up one day and decided to go into business… Hahahaha jokes! But on a serious note I wouldn’t say I have any since I never studied anything that deals with business and I did not grow up in a family that is into business.

What do you do at Transnet & what role do you play at Jaiva Diva?

I work for Transnet as a Train Driver’s Assistant. I’ve been with the company since April 2012 then Jaiva Diva is a vanity clothing brand that I co-own with a friend and a business partner Hlumela Qabo. The clothing brand was launched in 2012 and I am responsible for all its public related matters. As part of business aspirations I also co-own an events company called Selahqa Concepts with Hlumela Qabo.

As a corporate woman what does it take to keep going?

Being a young woman in business you need to be strong enough to pray and put in a lot of hard work. You have to find stability, perseverance and be disciplined not forgetting that you have to stay humble and focused all the time.

What are the challenges of running your own business & have an 8-4 job?

It is a bit exhausting and demanding considering that I have to juggle my studies in between but if you can manage your time wisely then it can definitely be done.

What is the greatest latest lesson you’ve learnt in your career?

Always stay humble!!!

Do you have a mentor?

I would not say that I have a mentor in my life since mentoring involves communication and relationship based. But there are quite a number of people that I look up to in the business sphere both locally and nationally.

What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

I love the thrill that comes with it, each day is different and you hardly deal with the same people so you need to be flexible at all times. You deal with people that have different characters and attitudes and being a people’s person who adapts easily helps.

What is in store for you this year?

I plan to finish my Law Degree this year and also focus more on Selahqa Concepts and Jaiva Diva. Selahqa Concepts wants us to focus more on corporate events and as for the clothing brand let’s just say we have more in store for ladies more than just t-shirts and vests.

What does love mean to you?

Love means respect; it means doing things you would not normally do for another person. It means giving people a chance being tolerant and accepting a person with all their faults and flaws. Love means being able to put someone else’s interests before your own. Should I go on?

How will you advise an aspiring business person?

The business world is tough; it needs someone with patience, determination and drive for it. Go into business because you know that is where you want to be and you have the zest for it. Go out, meet people and attend business related events. Life is short but it is full of endless possibilities that need to be explored by you!!!

My motto

“Whatever you see in your closet that you like, pick it up and wear it”. That goes for life aswell: “Whatever that catches your eye, pick it”.

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