De Beers Group has announced the winners of the 2020-2021 De Beers Group Designers Initiative (DBGDI) Shining Light Awards.
The managing director of the De Beers Group managed operations, Nompumelelo Zikalala said through the initiative they can help the winners polish their talent and gain world-class skills to get a foothold in the jewellery design industry. “The award recipients are very much like the rough diamonds we recover that get turned into beautiful gemstones.
The SLA is a tangible representation of De Beers’ youth beneficiation strategy, designed to create an environment for growth, skills transfer, entrepreneurship, global experiences and mentorship in the jewellery design sector,” she said. On her part, the vice president of corporate affairs in Botswana, Otsile Mabeo said the programme is an important effort to create opportunities for young aspiring jewellery designers to develop their skills, gain valuable exposure, hone their talent, and create a positive impact in the diamond industry. “The SLA forms part of De Beers’ commitment and passion to ensure that every diamond discovered, creates a lasting positive impact for the people in the counties where they are sourced.
This focus ensures that De Beers creates equal opportunity for all by building a more inclusive workforce, supporting women in business and tech, and increasing diverse creative talent within the jewellery sector,” she said. Twelve finalists, three from each country, were chosen from a record 123 total entries. Each entry included designs for a full jewellery collection including a ring, necklace, earrings and bangle or bracelet.
The design was to include a one-carat polished diamond and pave embellishment was to be 0.05 carats or below. The four, who emerged winners, will get a 12-month graduate scholarship at Poli.Design-Polytechnic di Milano in Milan, Italy. The first-place winners include Laone Rahele from Botswana, Valerie Lamiel from Canada, Juliana Fredicks from Namibia and Tebogo Ledwaba from South Africa. In second positions are Yozikee Kariambahe from Botswana, Virginia Muralt from Canada, Gilliem Gurirab from Namibia, and Kgaugelo Mphela from South Africa, who will get a 12-month artisan hands-on jewellery manufacturing training.
Third places were scooped by Boitshoko Kebakile from Botswana, Emily Vander Vlugt from Canada, Delmeine Einbeck from Namibia and Roelien Geldenhuys from South Africa, who each got three-month internships at their country’s Business Unit. To be eligible, applicants must be between the age of 18 and 25. An international panel of judges representing the four countries was led by Professor Alba Cappillieri, Faculty Head of Poli.Design-Polytecnic di Milano.