Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe, born 6th of December, 1978 is a Tanzanian entrepreneur who is paving the way for herself in the furniture industry. She is one of AWLO’s extraordinary voices and we look at how she has been able to create a name for herself in an industry that is thought to be dominated by only men.

HER STORY

Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe is an interior designer and the founder and principal designer of Molocaho by Amorette, a furniture company that designs and manufactures quality made furniture. Jacqueline highlights how she has always loved designing and creating. She cites how even at a young age, she was always drawing and sketching things;

“I’m a creative at heart. For as long as I can remember, I have had a passion for interior and furniture design, fine art and fashion – and I have been an ardent student of design trends and history. As a kid, I was always drawing and sketching things. It’s one of the things I enjoyed doing the most.”

But of course, she wasn’t always into furniture design and manufacturing. She had a musical career and was also one-time Miss Tanzania. She highlights how when her musical career was at a standstill she decided to move forward and take a step towards her passion. She then eventually went to school in the UK to hone her creative skill.

Jacqueline has always loved furniture and could always been seen sketching furniture. She explains how she believes that an individual’s choice of furniture tells a lot about who that person is;

“I love furniture, maybe it’s because of my work in interior design, but also because I believe a person’s furniture tells a lot about who they are… “

She also talks about how she used to only sketch furniture just for the sake of it and also highlights her husband as her biggest supporter who pushed her to take her creativity more seriously and make something out of it;

“…At first, I would just sketch furniture ideas for the sake of it, but quite often, my husband would see some of my sketches and complement me. He’d say I was wasting a gift. He always asked me to take my artistry more seriously and create a company out of it.”

Her company has been able to make use of traditional craft techniques with a contemporary twist to create innovative and challenging pieces of furniture which are usually simple yet beautiful and profound. Her hopes for Molocaho is to make it a globally known company;

“Our plan is to build a globally-recognizable furniture brand right from Tanzania. It’ll definitely take some time to get there, but we are resolute”

EMPOWERING LOCAL ARTISTS

While she is designing and making furniture, Jacqueline recognizes the need to give back to the society and in this effect, she set up a mentorship program for the artisan community in Tanzania through her interior design company- Amorette. The mentorship program involves exposing the local artists to international workmanship by putting the trainees under the supervision of internationally recognized crafts persons. Its objective is to transfer technology and knowledge to the artists.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL CAUSE

Her company is also geared towards protecting and conserving the environment. Hence, Molocaho’s processes are geared towards reducing consumption and avoiding waste. The company reuses wood from various sources, recycles, and actively supports tree planting initiatives across Tanzania;

[Tweet “At the end of the day, businesses must not only be commercially viable, they must also be socially responsible to the communities in which they do business @JNtuyabaliwe”]

” At the end of the day, businesses must not only be commercially viable, they must also be socially responsible to the communities in which they do business”

Jacqueline isn’t just invested in the go green initiative, she is also the founder of the Dr Ntuyabaliwe foundation which is a charity organization that provides books and set up libraries for local primary schools. Jacqueline is a model of inspiration as she shows you can create and make a name for yourself in an industry that undermines women. As to her company and her future plans for it she says humorously in an interview;

“We’ve only just begun, but we’re going to build this baby into an empire someday. Just watch”

She is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe.