15 Apr 2015 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 15 APR (NAMPA) - The eighth Shining Lights Awards were officially launched here on Wednesday by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC), Shihaleni Ndjaba.
The awards were founded by the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in 1996, and were extended to Namibia in 2008.
The objective of the awards is to showcase design skills and talent, and to nurture the southern African jewellery industry. It covers Namibia, South Africa, and Botswana.
Ndjaba said for the 18 years that the competition has been running, the event has seen the design and manufacturing of a number of jewellery pieces from local designers, as well as from Botswana and South Africa.
The event was initially conceived as a design competition with a vision to demonstrate the wealth of talent from Namibia, South Africa and Botswana to the world by creating a design platform and providing opportunities for designers to bring their designs to life by working with jewellery manufactures to develop unique pieces, he explained.
He said this year however, the awards will run under the De Beers Group of Companies brand with the aim of providing participants the opportunity to not only showcase their talent locally, but on a global scale.
Participants will also receive valuable business development skills in the areas of jewellery design, manufacturing, and the sales and marketing of their products.
The shift in focus is also to underscore the group of companies beneficiation strategy highlighted in the value chain opportunities within the business, Ndjaba stated.
This years event will be held under the theme 'The Promise', and the focus will encourage designers to move away from creating commercially viable jewellery.
Ndjaba said the competition has moved from discovering pure design talent to encouraging participants to not only showcase their talent but also their business skills, such as cost management and return on investment.
The designers will not only produce beautiful diamond jewellery but will also develop a strategy in order to make this commercially viable to consumers, he noted.
The awards are open to students and those who have completed their studies at a tertiary institution in the past two years.
Entries should be submitted by 30 April 2015, of which 12 entries from each participating country will be selected and put on display for the second phase of judging. Only four finalists from each country will make it to the final round of judging.
The final announcement of the top three winners will then take place in Johannesburg on 08 July 2015.