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South African sisters cut a niche in the diamond industry

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South African sisters cut a niche in the diamond industry

South African sisters cut a niche in the diamond industry

A love for diamonds and entrepreneurship drove two South African sisters to drop their careers as an investment banker and an optometrist.

They now run one of the few women-owned diamond polishing businesses in the world.

Serena Chaudhry reports.

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South African sisters cut a niche in the diamond industry

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JO MATHOLE, CO-FOUNDER, KWAME DIAMONDS, SAYING: "With the dawn of democracy in South Africa in the early 1990s, it was quite interesting that opportunities started opening, and mining was one of them, and we obviously decided to go for a more niche area rather than going to your normal platinum and gold, everybody was rushing that side." Jo Mathole is the co-founder of the South African company Kwame Diamonds.

One of the few women-owned diamond polishing businesses in the world.

She started the company with her sister, an optometrist by profession, 11 years ago.

Despite a global slump in the market for diamonds and a shrinking industry in South Africa, the sisters have managed to keep things shining.

Especially when it comes to developing new female talent in a male-dominated industry.

A trait much appreciated by clients like jewelery designer Noxolo Mseleko.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NOXOLO MSELEKO, JEWELRY DESIGNER, SAYING: "A women empowerment is keys, as we are a company that is women owned as well, so we prefer working with women because we , we never given a chance to actually express ourselves and be part of the economy, so, this is our chance now." The sisters hope Kwame Diamonds will one day be a global brand.

Their latest creation was a 67-facet diamond cut, to honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela and the 67 years he spent championing social justice.




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