Originally launched in 1995, the SLA has grown to include submissions from new graduates of jewellery design programmes in Botswana, Canada, Namibia, and South Africa. For the 2020-2021 awards, twelve finalists, three from each country, were chosen from a record 123 entries.
Each entry included designs for a full jewellery collection – a ring, necklace, earrings, as well as bangles and bracelets. This year’s design theme, The Evolution of Love and Life, aimed to inspire young designers to create innovative and game-changing pieces showcasing their interpretation of the concept.
The pieces were versatile and included a combination of commerciality with red-carpet elegance, celebrated fresh thinking, showcased the beauty, strength, and sustainability of natural diamonds, and appealed to a millennial consumer anywhere in the world.
Mpumi Zikalala, Managing Director of De Beers Group Managed Operations, says: “The Shining Light Award recipients are very much like the rough diamonds we recover that get turned into beautiful gemstones. Through the program we are able to help the winners polish their talent and gain world-class skills to get a foothold in the jewellery design industry. We are proud of the fact that some of our previous winners have gone to establish their own businesses, while others are working in jewellery design houses. Critical to the success of the Awards has been the partnerships we continue to have with institutions of higher learning, industry organisations, and the Poli.Design and Polytecnic di Milano, in Italy.”
The judges for the competition were chosen by De Beers and included past winners, comprising many TUT alumni. This year, De Beers also launched a beneficiation project for past winners. They were invited to design a range of jewellery that will be sold. This project is called Tirisano Mmogo.
The five past winners that were invited to partake in this initiative are all TUT alumni:
- Lilja Hastie (winner 2014 -2015)
- Hunadi Thlomatsana (winner 2010-2012)
- Madeli Viljoen (runner-up 2014-2015)
- Malefa Phoofolo (winner 2018-2019)
- Bheki Ngema (winner 2008-2009)
In congratulating this year’s winners, Nina Newman, lecturer at the Jewellery Design and Manufacture programme, says: “I am so incredibly proud of my students’ achievements. They have worked very hard throughout the years, and now they can reap the rewards. Well done!”
For further information about De Beers Group, visit: www.debeersgroup.com