Issued by:  Art Source South Africa

For:            Thuthuka Development Programme

Date:          October 2013

Angle:        Thuthuka Jewellery Development Programme winners announced!


2013 Thuthuka Jewellery Winners announced!

Excellence at the Thuthuka Jewellery Gala Awards Ceremony on 10 October 2013

The winners of the Thuthuka Jewellery Development Programme Award 2013 were announced at a Gala Ceremony at the University of Johannesburg FADA Gallery on 10 October 2013. The prizes include jewellery making equipment sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture and the Jewellery Council of South Africa.

Thuthuka focuses on talented aspirant young jewellery design students and provides inspiration and support for creative hands and minds.

Thuthuka Jewellery Development Programme has been a Department of Arts and Culture supported project for the past six years. It is a partnership between tertiary education institutions, community jewellery schools, and independent designers. Its aim is to identify and develop the design abilities of young talented designers planning to enter the jewellery trade in South Africa.

“Jewellery is a plausible way of making art with economic viability. It poses creative and conceptual challenges, and has an immediate market,” says Carola Ross, Founder and Director of Thuthuka Jewellery Development Programme.

The Thuthuka Jewellery Development Programme provides support for the students assisting them make a meaningful contribution to the economy. However, creativity also needs practicality and hard work to yield tangible results; and talent needs the skills and tools to develop a sustainable career and livelihood.

“At Thuthuka we take a practical approach to jewellery skills development, combining focused one-to-one mentoring while encouraging critical and analytical thinking, key to the development of any good design. This equips aspiring jewellers with the tools they need to be successful in the trade”.

The Programme is rolled out via ongoing intensive workshops and training sessions for the participating students, which facilitate rapid learning exchange, and empowers students wanting to design contemporary jewellery, with competitive design skills. In order to ensure a competitive edge in the students the programme also challenges them to think ‘outside the box’ by transforming original jewellery design into various home ware items which have both design merit and functional applications.  Every year the entrants are given a theme to inform their creative process and final pieces.  This year the students were tasked with creatively reconfiguring, in a contemporary manner, the African Bead, which has had a strong cultural connection with the continent for centuries.

Additionally, the project is about youth empowerment in the sector. This year a new development was the introduction of young graduates acting as mentors to younger student jewellers.  “While creative professionals mentored aspirant jewellery designers on this project in the past, we have launched a new innovative project this year with the full endorsement of our partnering sponsor, The Department of Arts and Culture.

Post-graduate students have been matched with community jewellery students who provide them with hands-on teaching and mentorship from their peers.”

“These ‘twinnings’ have begun a whole new era for the Thuthuka Jewellery Development Programme – experienced and in some cases qualified youth assisting in the development of other youth who are not yet qualified. The young mentors have been keen and enthusiastic about transferring their skills to their under-graduate mentees. The mentoring sessions have been intensely focused and inspiring for everyone involved. The feedback has been so positive and we are encouraged to continue this teamwork in the future.”

These exhibiting students have been working under the mentorship of the 2013 Young Mentors to develop products against a brief that they need to interpret conceptually and practically to produce pieces of jewellery. The Young Mentors for the 2013 programme are: Lincoln Mokoena – 2012 & 2013 Thuthuka Jewellery Award Winner for Excellence and trainer from Ekurhuleni Jewellery Project, Taryn Coleman and Bongi Tshabalala from the Velobala group KZN, Cailin Els from the University of Johannesburg, Nikiwe Mathebula-graduate and past Thuthuka category winner from University of Johannesburg, Koketso Mohala- Atteridgeville Jewellery Project Graduate and Thuthuka facilitator, Siphelele Manqele  a past recipient of a Highly Commended Award of the Thuthuka Jewellery Awards, Trainer at the SEDA  LIMPOPO Jewellery Incubator and Argyris Papageorgiou the 2009Thuthuka Winner, UJ Graduate and Young mentor at the SEDA  LIMPOPO Jewellery Incubator.

Under Koketso Mohals’s guidance and supervision, two hearing disabled students, Phumodzo Sadike and Kholofelo Mampshika were inspired to produce prize-winning work for this year’s competition. Pivotal to the success of these two students is twenty year old Lebohang Butje, a first-year jewellery student at AJP who had learning problems as child. They are the first hearing impaired participants in the project. While studying, Lebohang, voluntarily take on the additional task of sign language interpreter, acting as a go-between for the class and the hearing-impaired students. “My fellow learners are great because they’re very helpful and always open to discovering how to interact with each other. They’ve learned not to all talk at the same time and to speak slowly and very clearly in order for me to translate for both sides.” says Lebohang. “The disabled are an economically marginalised group in South Africa. In sponsoring this project, one of the visions of the Department of Art and Culture and the Thuthuka Jewellery Development Programme is to assist disabled students in making a meaningful contribution to the economy”, says Ross.

Phumudzo and Kholofelo won the Thuthuka Highly Commended Students 2013 (Technique).


The 2013 Award winners are:



Nora Kovats from the University of Stellenbosch


Runner ups in this category:

Danni Chen, University of Stellenbosch

Shavonne Borain, University of Stellenbosch



Nonhle Mzobe, University of Johannesburg

Ayanda Myeza, Durban University of Technology


Innovation Award (2nd year students)

Milda Motshegwa from the University of Johannesburg


Runner up in this category:

Dane Nell, University of Stellenbosch


New Talent Award (1st year students)

Petrus Chauke from the Central University of Johannesburg


Runner up in this category:

Thomas Vencatasawmy, Durban University of Technology



Zadie Becker, University of Johannesburg



Zukiswa Xulu, Durban University of Technology



‘Master’ Trainer Lincoln Mokoena, Ekurhuleni Jewellery Project.


The 2013 Thuthuka Jewellery Exhibition opens on 11 October 2013 and runs until 22 October 2013 at the FADA Gallery, Bunting Road Campus, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park.


For media queries please contact:

Nkosingiphile Khumalo

011 447 2855


For project queries please contact:

Carola Ross

Carola Ross and Associates

011 726 2502