Ntombi Margaret Koloti, 42, is the founder and marketing director of Uhuru School Shoes, which has enjoyed widespread success in its drive to ensure that no child misses out on school because they don’t have a pair of strong, good-looking and affordable shoes.
Uhuru School Shoes has collaborated with established mining companies, legal firms, the Temo Foundation, churches, influential individuals and municipalities to buy school shoes. Ntombi has a broad network of women and youth empowerment groups and has assisted many people to develop their brands.
A parliamentary director in the North West Office of the Premier, Ntombi is also on the Dr Kenneth Kaunda mayoral committee responsible for economic development, as well as a board member of the North West Development Corporation. She mentors young women in institutions of learning on their chosen career path and has intiated numerous sanitary pad drives.
In 2022, she won the Ms Mosito title in the Women in Manufacturing category. Ntombi cares about helping young people’s rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol abuse and helps them to focus on completeting matric. “Youngsters must be taught basic skills so that they can be employable. We also teach young mothers how to look after their children to open more possibilities for the new generation,” she says. Having a resilient black woman from a rural, disadvantaged province reaching extraordinary heights sets Ntombi apart as a smart, hard-working role model.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Remain focused and never change your story line by copying from the blindness of others.
Our theme this year is Accelerating Equality & Empowerment in Women. How do you empower yourself and women around you?
By offering mentorship to young women in institutions of learning and on their chosen career path. By providing sanitary pads during our school drives. Last year, I won the Ms Mosito title in the Women in Manufacturing category.
If you could change or achieve one thing for South Africa today, what would it be?
Strive to help young people be rehabilitated from drugs and alcohol abuse and complete matric. Youngsters must be taught basic skills so that they can be employable. We also teach young mothers how to look after their children to open more possibilities for them.