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Mokgatle wins Lucara’s jewellery designer competition

STAFF WRITER
Mpho Mokgatle PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Moshupa-born ambitious jewellery designer, Mpho Mokgatle was on Friday crowned the winner of Lucara Diamonds’ inaugural jewellery designer’s competition.

His authentically Botswana-inspired earring design of Botswana crafts, leselo and tlatlana won him the hearts and eyes of the adjudication panel comprised of Botswana fashion designer, Botho Chalebwa and jewellery counterpart, Boikhutso Kebakile.

The ambitious winner is no greenhorn to the world of jewelery designs. He was the winner of a similar competition by DeBeers in 2015, as well as having widely travelled and studied jewellery design in the fashion capital Italy in 2016.  Mokgatle also trained in South Africa previously, after attaining jewellery design training at Oodi School of Applied Arts.

He said he is looking forward to the day when his design that will be commercialised with the assistance of Lucara, would be worn by a celebrity model.

Lucara Diamonds, miners of the rarest quality diamonds finds at their Letlhakane mine, Karowe, announced that they will be involved all the way from turning the winning design into a finished product, to marketing it, and auctioning the jewellery.

Lucara CEO, Ms Eira Thomas said the

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proceeds from the jewellery auction would be ploughed back to Botswana to build a school at Letlhakane, as part of the diamond beneficiation commitment.

Thomas said the competition means so much to the company that currently employs 98% citizens.

She said being able to demonstrate and showcase Botswana’s artistic creation that will be decorated with diamonds from Lucara, means so much to Lucara.

Thomas also described the earring design by Mokgatle as truly representative of Botswana, its culture and people, and therefore authentic.

The Lucara jewellery designer unveiling event was graced by amongst others First Lady Neo Jane Masisi, the Jewellery Association of Botswana, and individual jewellers.

Lucara Botswana CEO, Ms Naseem Lahri described the competition as tough due to incredible talent.

The competition started in October with a call for entries that was open only to Batswana. Lahri said they were looking for an inspirational jewellery design about Botswana, which they will proudly take to the world with Lucara diamonds forming part of the design.



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