Nqobile Nkosi who was once a sex worker now one of the top jewelry maker in South Africa’s jewelry industry.
He is not keeping this knowledge all to himself but also impacting others with his skills.
It all began when he applied for a bursary to study electrical engineering but his application was turned down because there was no funding option . But jewelry manufacturing was suggested to him as there was funding available for it, and he decided to give it a try
After completing his studies in the jewelry area, he developed interest in it and even had an opportunity to further hone his skills in the United Kingdom. Upon his return to South Africa he launched NQ Jewellery in 2007, and worked with his brother.
“NQ Jewellery works with up-and-coming SMMEs to educate them in terms of compliance, to make sure they are in line with the South African Jewellery Council and can get their licence,” he said
A year after establishing NQ, he was awarded the Jet Community Awards Vuka Uzenzele, and that helped him 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.
Nkosi said, Diamond essentials is a programme that taught him how to put value behind diamonds and know which one is of good quality. It’s an overall study of diamonds. He was hired 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.