Alumni feature: Nontozamo “Ntozie” Hillie
Nontozamo “Ntozie” Hillie is an ambitious, creative and hard working entrepreneur. She is an Enactus ZA Alumnus from the Walter Sisulu University and founder of NtozieH Enterprise Pty Ltd. Her business changes ordinary materials into art, jewellery and proudly African Women Clothing.
“Don’t give up on your dreams. It’s never too late to start something new when you are passionate about it.”
Ntozie has dependably been innovative from an early age as she would make dresses and jewellery for her play dolls. During her high school years, she started selling sweets and chocolates just to make profit. Little did she know that this could be more than just a hobby and that it could be a means to earning an income. She has recently come to focus complete on this skill that comes natural to her.
Ntozie was pursuing her studies in Office Management and Technology when she was first introduced to Enactus in 2014. She was also volunteering at the student affairs office working with Mrs Mpambani, former Enactus Walter Sisulu University Faculty Advisor, who made her change her perspective on life. This is when she came to realize that the province of the Eastern Cape is full of possibilities. She says that “It was heart-warming to witness students tackling the socio-economic challenges that communities are faced with through the implementation of sustainable community development projects”.
She instantly fell deeply in love with the cause of the organisation and joined. She executed all her tasks within the team with passion and dedication, and was elected as Deputy President for the 2014-2015 Enactus academic year. At the end of her executive term, she started her career at the institution.
Realizing that the team lacked recognition and financial support, she took it upon her shoulders to be the team’s voice. Her role was to bridge the relationship between Enactus students and university management. She ensured that the teams concerns and requests were known and that they got the essential resources for effective execution of their projects.
The Enactus WSU team members felt comfortable in her presence and they became more like a family. No wonder they referred to her as “Mamzo” which means Mother. According to Ntozie they “still have strong ties”.
The hosting of the 2015 Enactus World Cup in South Africa was an experience that Ntozie will cherish forever. This because it was when she realized for the first time the depth and breadth of Enactus and its positive contribution to make the world a better place due to the impact it has on the communities it serves.
She is thankful that Enactus exposed her to a platform to meet and network with educators, renowned business leaders and students from other universities and fields of study that all take an entrepreneurial approach to empower communities and transform the world. “I met powerful women who are positive about life and one of them is the CEO and Country Leader of Enactus South Africa, Mrs Letitia de Wet”, she says. It is from amazing encounters like these that she learnt no matter what life throws at you, that you always need to put God first because He is able and His timing is always right.
Ntozie’s other proud memory is from the 2017 EnactusZA National Competition when their Faculty Advisor, Kanyisa Mbali from the Buffalo City Campus was awarded Faculty Advisor of the Year. She is also proud of the tremendous growth within the Enactus WSU team and their performance to effect positive change.
Her biggest skill attained through Enactus is the ability to look beyond the ordinary, seeing opportunity where others see challenges. Ntozie highlights a quote by Nathaniel Braden that says, “Most of us are capable of more than we believe”. Therefore, she believes in everyone’s ability to do great things irrespective of their circumstances or how they may view themselves. She also acquired leadership, presentation, administration and communication management skills.
She is the founder of NtozieH Enterprise Pty Ltd, that specialized in jewellery design and ndumi baking. Ntozie changes ordinary materials into art and into designer jewellery and proudly African woman clothes. She adds that Enactus equipped and groomed her with sufficient skills that laid a firm foundation for the launch of her business. These enterprising skills still play a significant role in her career success as she applies these daily in business.
As designer, she has an offer to all woman… “What you imagine to wear, I will create. I have finally found my calling to create designer outfits for any occasion for the young and old” says Ntozie.