De Beers Group has announced a record number of winners of the 2018/2019 installment of its diamond Designer Initiative at the 2019 Shining Light Awards Banquet in Gaborone.
The jewellery design competition is open to students from De Beers Group’s diamond producing partner countries (Botswana, Canada, Namibia, and South Africa) currently enrolled in a jewellery design and manufacturing programme, or graduates from one of the related programmes in the last two years.
The 2018/2019 competition marks first-time participation of entrants from Canada, extending the competition’s reach and impact, and bringing the number of finalists to 12, the most ever awarded in a single competition.
The theme ‘Heroines and Heritage’ reflected De Beers Group’s commitment to standing with women and girls around the world.
When interpreting the theme, students needed to consider how to include design elements that nuanced inspirational women, evoked national pride and featured symbols of strength, heritage, wisdom and beauty.
Finalists from Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa were selected from more than 110 entries for their outstanding jewellery designs and unique interpretation of the theme. Following the final judging, the winners from each country are:
First place (Awarded a 12 month post graduate scholarship at Polytechnic di Milano in Milan Italy)
- Gaone Otsile (Botswana)
- Cara Fitzell (Canada)
- Isaak McAllan (Namibia)
- Malefa Phoofolo (South Africa)
First runners-up (Awarded a three months internship scholarship at the Forevermark Design and Innovation Centre in Milan, Italy)
- Victor Motlokwa (Botswana)
- Edna Milevsky (Canada)
- Jackson Vateleni ( Namibia)
- Michaela Fair ( South Africa)
Second runners-up (Awarded a 1-year jewellery skills development scholarship at a regional jewellery design institution.)
- Khumo Makwa (Botswana)
- Rana Mireskandari (Canada)
- Ikela T. Aksel (Namibia)
- Lesego Ragolane (South Africa)
Winning jewellery designs were brought to life at the red-carpet banquet, through the craftmanship of jewellery manufacturers from the producer countries, among them a 4-piece winning design from Botswana which was manufactured by KGK, a De Beers a Sightholder.
The jewellery was revealed to stakeholders from across the diamond value chain, including President of the Republic of Botswana Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, First Lady Ms Neo Jane Masisi and De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver.
Pat Dambe, Vice-President of Corporate Affairs and Government Relations, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales, says:
“We are committed to promoting youth skills development and participation within the diamond value chain, it is through initiatives of this calibre that their aspirations are realised.
“Directed by our reason of existence, which is to make life brilliant. At De Beers Group we use diamonds to make life brilliant in much deeper and more meaningful way for the people and places involved in this journey.”
The Shining Light Awards is a De Beers Group beneficiation programme to create opportunities for designers in its diamond producer partner countries by providing high-level exposure to the retail segment of the international diamond industry.
The Shining Light Awards have existed for over 22 years in South Africa, 11 years in Botswana and Namibia, and, for the time this year, in Canada.
In addition to attending the gala awards night, the finalists visited Orapa and Damtshaa Mines, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales facilities, the Global Diamond Academy and factory visit at Msuresh.
At the gala awards event, it was announced that Canada will host the 2020/2021 Shining Light Awards.
The host country for the awards rotates amongst De Beers Group’s diamond producer countries.