From working in a shack to becoming a top jewelry maker in SA. It all happened by accident

Abu Mubarik March 10, 2022
Nqobile Nkosi. Photo credit:

It is usually difficult for Blacks in South Africa to emerge as one of the top players in the mining industry in the southern African country. However, one Black jewelry manufacturer, Nqobile Nkosi, has emerged as a model to be celebrated.

Nkosi has honed his skills and capacity to become one of the top players in South Africa’s jewelry industry. And the trailblazer is not keeping this knowledge all to himself but impacting others with his acquired skills.

It all began for him when he applied for a bursary to study electrical engineering but his application was turned down because there was no funding. Instead, jewelry manufacturing was suggested to him as there was funding for it, and he decided to give it a chance, according to Independent Online (IOL)

After completing his studies in the area, he fell in love with it and even had an opportunity to further hone his skills in the United Kingdom. It was upon his return to South Africa that he launched NQ Jewellery in 2007, and worked with his brother in a shack.

“NQ Jewellery works with up-and-coming SMMEs to … coach them in terms of compliance, to make sure they are in line with the South African Jewellery Council and can get their licence,” he told IOL.

A year after establishing NQ, he was awarded the Jet Community Awards Vuka Uzenzele, and that helped build his career.

In 2013, he went to the Gemological Institute of America to study diamond essentials, in a bid to enhance his skills. This was after he had been invited to showcase his jewelry at the Spring Fair International in Birmingham the previous year.

“Diamond essentials is a programme that taught me how to put value behind diamonds and know which one is of good quality. It’s an overall study of diamonds,” Nkosi said. He was subsequently recruited by the Refinery to locate his brand at the Jewellery Village.

At the Jewellery Village, Nkosi spent time manufacturing jewelry and mentoring new jewelry makers. In addition, the South African works with universities to teach and enhance the skills of students, particularly pertaining to the real work environment.

“NQ Jewellery is also part of the graduate development programme where graduates from the universities get work experience as I did in the UK. Students need to enhance their skills because the university and the real world are not the same. They need to enhance their skills and learn how to produce products,” the jewelry manufacturer said.

Nkosi is excited he is giving others the chance to succeed in life by sharing his knowledge and skills.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 11, 2022


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