The De Beers Group of Companies presents the De Beers Young Jewellery Designers Initiative formerly known as Shining Light Awards, in Cape Town, South Africa at the 2017 Cape Town Jazz Festival. The initiative, forms part of De Beers Beneficiation efforts focused on the youth, giving them an opportunity to become part of the diamond value chain and develop within competitive markets. It accords youth sustainable job creation prospects through skills development in jewellery design across three countries – Botswana, South Africa and Namibia.
This year’s theme is Protecting Nature’s Beauty, a poignant reminder of the need to take care of the world’s finite natural resources, including diamonds. The initiative is open to all aspiring young jewellery designers across Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Finalists walk away not only with awards and accolades, but more importantly with valuable craftsmanship and business development skills in the areas of jewellery design, manufacturing, sales and marketing, consumer demands thus fostering competitiveness.
Mpumi Zikalala, Senior Vice President De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa said “The youth are our future in so many aspects. For us at De Beers, the youth are part of our pipeline for future markets, they are our future employees and our future buyers and through this prospect we aim to take them beyond just jewellery design. Across the region, we aspire to be a corporate citizen of all the three countries respectively and aim to contribute towards achieving the individual country National Agendas and Development Plans around youth skills development and job creation” she added.
“As host country, Namibia has been involved in Shining Lights since 2008 and is looking forward to hosting the grand finale of the 2017 initiative” said Brent Eiseb, Senior Manager Sales & Marketing for Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC). He added that “It is also perfectly positioned to support the Namibian Government’s recently announced Prosperity Plan’s pillars on improving vocational training as well as youth development and skills development.”
Pat Dambe, Vice President Corporate Affairs and Government Relations, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales (DBGSS) said, “The initiative has grown and developed significantly over the past 20 years, with previous winners having had the opportunity to spend time in Milan at one of the De Beers jewellery design centres, Forevermark INC. working with the finest trade artisans in the world, while country finalists receive higher learning programme with partner design schools.”
“Forevermark is proud to support the De Beers Young Jewellery Designers Initiative, nurturing talent and developing the creativity of the new generation growing up in the countries from where our most beautiful diamonds come from” said Stephen Lussier, Executive Vice President: Marketing, External & Corporate Affairs – Forevermark INC.
In past years, the initiative has been widely regarded as a gateway opportunity for young designers to gain access to the global market. In 2015 it moved away from creation of gregarious pieces to commercially viable pieces and was streamlined to become regional. It has offered young designers a platform which gives them an opportunity to showcase their talent locally and receive valuable recognition regionally.