b'Designer Caiphas Oth- by diamonds. My grandfather omile, founder of La Calla[who worked at Jwaneng] Jewellery, is a three-timewould tell us stories about di-winner of De Beers Shiningamonds, so Ive been intrigued Light Awards, part of the Defrom a very young age.Beers Group Designers Initiative,Earrings fromAfter graduating from high which aims to cultivate and recog- Khumo Makwasschool, Makwa was chosen to study Two Hearts Beat nize design talent in diamond-produc- as One collection accounting at the University of Botswa-ing countries.na but quickly realized it left her creative Othomile didnt grow up thinking hed be- side unfulfilled. come a jewelry designer. Jewelry, in his mind, was something peopleShe pivoted to studying jewelry in South Africa. She knew she wore only for special occasions like weddings; it wasnt a career path.loved fashion but didnt want to become a fashion designer, and the But he always had a talent for art, drawing in particular.idea of being a diamond grader was boring, so Makwa landed on the His work has a fluidity and grace to it, and Othomile says he findsidea of designing jewelry. inspiration in the world around him.It is a way for her to express her love for art and diamonds at the In designing the crown for the Miss Botswana pageant in 2022,same time and, like Othomile, she uses her jewelry to tell stories Othomile looked to sorghum, another natural resource that played aabout Botswana.big role in the development of Botswana.She says her Okavango Delta Collection pays homage to the These are the stories I want to tell, even internationally. I wantnatural wonder, noting that one time, when President Masisi spoke to do something that is a contemporary piece that even someoneabout the Delta, he said, Its like God just left yesterday. outside the country can relate to, he says.The collection was meant to convey not only the beauty of the Another Shining Light Award winner, Khumo Makwa, founder ofarea but also to reflect the interconnectedness of life and the delicate 89 Carat Street, also did not necessarily envision becoming a jewelrybalance of nature found there. designer, though she had some early exposure to diamonds.The collection also, she says, serves as a call to the heart, a remind-She explains, Ever since I was a little girl growing up iner of the importance of preserving the area for future generations.Jwaneng, which is a diamond mining town, Ive been intriguedThe Delta is a world marvel, Makwa says. It is our nations pulse. JOIN TODAYIt just makes cents .EARN CASH DIVIDENDS.Were RJO, the premier jewelers cooperative,founded by and for jewelers to achieve greater success.For over half a century, weve put millions of dollars into the hands of our retail members/owners through cash back rebates on their inventory and business purchases. But the savings dont end there. RJO members also have access to free seminars, hosted foreign buying trips and low, pre-negotiated vendor prices. Visit our website to learn all the benefits of RJO and how to join. PROUD VENDOR PARTNERS:1.800.241.1774 rjomembers.comNATIONAL JEWELER 67'