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The diamond Mogul of South Africa

The Diamond Mogul Of South Africa

“They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Today, I would like to introduce you to a woman who is making waves in the diamond industry in South Africa. She is not just any girl but a powerful woman who goes by the name of Thoko Zwane. She was born and raised in Newcastle in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. She is a mogul in the diamond industry and the owner of Thoko’s Diamonds, one of the leading diamond companies in South Africa. The country is known for its wealth of minerals; it is also where the largest diamond in the world was found.

Sis’Thoko reigns supreme in the country’s diamond industry, working with companies like De Beers. She has penetrated the international market with a storm by supplying countries like China with the finest rough and polished diamonds. She uses her position in the diamond industry to open doors and create opportunities for other young aspiring women who want to enter the industry.

Sis Thoko is an exemplary leader who is committed to empowering women. She has achieved an impressive feat by having over 75% of her staff composed of women from diverse ethnic groups, irrespective of their backgrounds, races, or beliefs; she trains them and aids them in earning and securing their places in the diamond industry. Her unwavering commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is commendable and inspiring.Sis’Thoko is making a positive impact by creating opportunities and spaces for women in the diamond industry that were never there before, thereby supporting them in the workforce.

Si’ Thoko entered the diamond industry by chance. While searching for a job in the textile industry, which she was familiar with, she stumbled upon a newspaper ad that piqued her interest with just the word “diamond,” which prompted her to apply. Despite lacking any prior education or experience in the field, luck was on her side, and she landed the job. Her odds were slim, but when an opportunity presented itself, she seized it and made the most of it. Sis’Thoko decided to learn more by taking courses relevant to her current job, which also helped her better understand and excel. As a Black woman in the male-dominated diamond industry, which large foreign companies overrule in a country plagued by a high rate of unemployment and poverty, all odds were against her. However, she pushed through with pure determination and the will to succeed.

Sis ‘Thoko encountered significant obstacles in achieving success due to the history of South Africa. The country’s people are not taught about the abundance of resources in their land, particularly the minerals. Although South Africa is known for its diamonds, gold, platinum, rhodium, iridium, and other minerals, its people are not involved in the industry, as it is considered foreign. So, when Sis’ Thoko entered the industry, she held the weight of her people on her shoulders to make it. She had to succeed to pave the way for other women to enter the industry, and she understood her position. The diamond industry called to her; it was a calling, not just a job. So, regardless of all the obstacles she faced, Sis Thoko remained focused and dedicated to improving her polishing skills, eventually gaining the trust and respect of her clients. She developed a loyal customer base, which allowed her to expand her offerings to include diamond sales. To establish her reputation in the market, she only sold diamonds that she had personally polished. She created her trademark of excellence at her workplace.

During her time as a polisher at a well-known cutting and polishing factory, Sis Thoko developed a passion for the diamond industry. In 2004, she decided to start her own company, but she needed money to buy rough diamonds, which are quite expensive. So, she used her savings to purchase her first rough diamond from Diamdel Inc. After polishing and selling it, she repeated the process and gradually established a fruitful relationship with Diamdel Inc., a subsidiary of DeBeers. By building a strong connection based on trust with Diamdel, she obtained rough diamonds on credit, which helped grow her business significantly. And that is how Thoko Diamonds was born.

As Thoko’s business continued to thrive, the State diamond traders recognized Thoko’s diamonds as their beneficiary client. This acknowledgment is given to historically disadvantaged businesses that are worthy of recognition. Today, Thoko Diamonds is a successful diamond company that focuses on polishing and cutting diamonds and has ventured further by creating and introducing its jewelry line, “Uthokozile,” named after Thoko herself. The company specializes in diamond, gold, and platinum jewelry and is known for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship, all thanks to Sis Thoko’s hard work and dedication.

After twenty years of unwavering dedication, constant innovation, and exceptional drive, she has become a powerful force in the diamond industry. She has rightfully earned her place among the elite, with companies such as Diamdel Inc., De Beers, and Anglo-Americans recognizing the potential of women in the industry. She also believes that there is still a gap and a need for more diamond companies owned by women, for women. In a country so rich in minerals, there is definitely space and opportunity for rising stars to shine.

Tholakele Mbonani

Tholakele Mbonani

I'm Tholakele Mbonani from South Africa, I am a journalist with a passion uplifting stories about hope and change.


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