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Youth sparkle in diamond contest

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Youth sparkle in diamond contest
IMPRESSED: Dambe

Talented youth in the region impress De Beers

Diamond jewellery design talent in Botswana and neighbouring countries, Namibia and South Africa has been seen to be a promising undertaking for the youth.

This has been realized by De Beers after an extensive search through the three countries that unearthed nine hopeful winners for the company’s ‘Shinning Light Awards’.

The awards provide a platform to nurture and develop emerging talent, while also highlighting the positive opportunities that exist along the diamond value chain.

The three local entrants are Gaone Otsile, Tshepo Dithebele and Mbako Baraedi, who will be competing with Namibians, Richardlee Shoombee, Frans Uunona and Taleni Udeiko as well as South Africans Omphile Sibanda, Gabrielle Lourens and Andile Mbeje.

Speaking about the competition, De Beers Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Government Relations, Pat Dambe, the Group is committed to ensuring the benefit of the youth, in the diamond sectors in the countries of De Beers diamond producer partners.

“We have been blown away by the level of talent across our partner countries, and the beautiful and creative designs that were developed by our nine finalists,” she said.

The Shining Light Awards are in their 20th year in South Africa and eighth year in Botswana and Namibia and support the development of participants’ business skills in the areas of jewellery design, manufacturing, and sales and marketing.

Forevermark Brand Strategy and Innovation Senior Vice-President, Costantino Papadimitriou, said Forevermark supports and nurtures emerging jewellery design talent in diamond producing countries while also providing valuable links with the industry.

“For this year’s competition, Forevermark set the design brief, which has been inspired by our brand’s values and promise of protecting nature’s beauty,” he said, adding that it has been fascinating to see the different responses to this brief and the innovative jewellery collections featuring one of Forevermark’s beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced diamonds at the heart.

The winners are to be announced at a red carpet event in Windhoek, Namibia, on 30 November 2017.

As a first since the competition’s inception, there will be prizes for first, second and third in each of the participating countries.

The overall winners will receive a one-year apprenticeship with Forevermark at its Design and Innovation Centre in Milan, Italy while the second prize winners will clinch a three-month internship with Forevermark at its Design and Innovation Centre.

The second prize winners will participate in a jewellery design skills development programme at a regional institution.