Since winning the 2013 Diamond Trading Company Shining Light Awards, Banyana Montsho has not looked back. Without any academic practice in jewellery design, 26 –year-old Montsho won the competition and took every opportunity it afforded her and ran with it.
Sivana Diamonds, a diamond jewellery manufacturer based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Israel and Miami recently launched their latest jewellery ranges themed Earth and the other Summer, a collection Montsho also helped create.
Montsho currently works at Sivana Diamonds as a jewellery designer, under the mentorship of renowned designer Keith White, in partnership with Sivana Diamonds. White has worked for international premium jewellery brands such as Graaff and Cartier. “I was involved at the conceptualisation stage of designing the collection,” she said in an interview with Time Out.
She is grateful for the opportunities that the Shining Light Awards has created and even though she secured the Sivana Diamonds job all by herself, she says that, “I wouldn’t have been where I am today because it is through the competition that I got to meet people such as Keith White who helped me. He took me in and invited me to his workshops in Johannesburg and I learnt a lot from him.”
“I’m happy because every day is a new learning experience. The company is based in an office park with other related companies, so I get to meet people and learn as well as get exposed to a wider world of jewellery industry and related industries,” she said.
Montsho’s aspirations are brighter than the diamonds she deals with. She says that she is working on establishing a diamond jewellery manufacturing company in Botswana with a business partner, plans which she is currently working at seeing through in the coming year.