De Beers announces ‘Shining Lights’ in jewellery design

De Beers recently announced the winners of the 2016/17 Shining Light Awards.

Image credit: Debeers

The De Beers Young Jewellery Designers Skills Development Initiative were revealed at a red carpet event in Windhoek, Namibia.

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.

Entrants 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, in recognition of the company’s commitment to biodiversity, conservation and sustainability.

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.


Mbako Baraedi (Botswana)

Baraedi is a jewellery designer and manufacturer from Oodi College of Applied Arts and Technology in Botswana, who loves reading and doing research. He believes in the value of planning and being able to multitask. His collection, ‘Li-Phant’, was inspired by a lion’s paw print – symbolising power – and an elephant trunk, which curled around a diamond representing the bond between wildlife and diamonds, both of which are natural resources requiring careful management.

Richardlee Shoombe (Namibia)

Shoombe enrolled at the age of 12 at the Arts Performance Centre in the mining town Tsumeb, Namibia. He sees himself as a visual arts educator and loves learning. Richardlee’s collection, ‘It Begins with Us’, drew inspiration from the idea that human emotions can be a driving force for artistic expression and positive change, especially towards protecting nature.

Andile Mbeje (South Africa)

Mbeje is from Durban, South Africa, and studies at Tshwane University of Technology. He dreams of working as a jewellery designer for an international company and is keen to hone his skills in commercial jewellery design. Andile’s collection, ‘Crowning Glory’, is inspired by South Africa’s kudu, with its curled horns that is a highlight of its natural beauty.


Tshepo Dithebele (Botswana)
Frans Uunona (Namibia)
Omphile Sibanda (South Africa)


Gaone Caroline Otsile (Botswana)
Taleni Udeiko (Namibia)
Gabrielle Lourens (South Africa)

“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 a vital role in nurturing design talent in diamond producing countries,” says Pat Dambe, vice-president for corporate affairs and government relations, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales. She also adds that each winner will have the opportunity to further advance their skills through industry exposure and training. “We can’t wait to see where the future takes them.”

Stephen Lussier, executive vice-president for marketing at De Beers and Forevermark CEO, says, “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.”

First place winners 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.

The first runners-up receive a three-month internship at the same Forevermark Design and Innovation Centre, while second runners-up will be enrolled in a jewellery design skills development programme at a local university.



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