De Beers Salutes Budding Talent
De Beers Group declared the 2016/17 Shining Light Awardees in Namibia. The Shining Light Awards, now in its 20th year in South Africa and eighth year in Botswana and Namibia, are part of the De Beers Young Jewellery Designers Skills Development Initiative, designed to support beneficiation efforts in De Beers Group’s producer countries across southern Africa. The awards support the development of participants’ business skills in the areas of jewellery design, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
De Beers Group recently announced the winners of the 2016/17 Shining Light Awards that supports the De Beers Young Jewellery Designers Skills Development Initiative. The awards, which recognise and celebrate emerging jewellery designers in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, provide entrants with a valuable platform to build their careers in the jewellery design industry.
This time, the participants were required to design commercially-viable jewellery collections that demonstrated an artistic interpretation of this year’s theme, ‘Protecting Nature’s Beauty’. The theme was chosen by Forevermark, the diamond brand from De Beers Group, in recognition of the company’s commitment to biodiversity, conservation and sustainability. The focus of the awards has evolved over the recent years, moving away from designing and producing intricate artistic pieces to more commercial jewellery collections, which would appeal to a broader consumer market.
Finalists from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa were selected from more than 130 entries for their outstanding jewellery designs and unique interpretation of the theme. Following the final judging, the winners from each country are (in no particular order):
Mbako Baraedi (Botswana), Richardlee Shoombe (Namibia) and Andile Mbeje (South Africa) won the first place, and they will receive a 12-month apprenticeship at the Forevermark Design and Innovation Centre in Milan, Italy, where they will have the opportunity to work alongside jewellery designers at one of the world’s fastest growing diamond brands.
Pat Dambe, vice-president, corporate affairs and government relations, De Beers global sightholder sales, said: “We are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Shining Light Awards, which provide a fantastic platform for emerging jewellery designers in southern Africa to showcase their skills, and which play an important role in nurturing design talent in diamond producing countries. Each winner will now have the opportunity to further advance their skills through industry exposure and training, and we can’t wait to see where the future takes them.”
Stephen Lussier, executive vice-president, marketing, De Beers Group and CEO, Forevermark, said: “Through the Shining Light Awards, Forevermark is pleased to support the careers and learning experiences of emerging jewellery designers from southern Africa, and provide them with the opportunity to gain valuable insights into the global jewellery design industry by working alongside designers at one of the world’s fastest growing diamond brands.”
Mbako Baraedi (Botswana) Bracelet
Mbako Baraedi (Botswana) Ring
Mbako Baraedi (Botswana) Pendant
Mbako Baraedi (Botswana) Earrings