Nqobile Nkosi from Soweto joined the respected ranks of jewellery designers through an interesting turn of events which led him towards his professional destiny. While he had originally studied towards a national certificate in electrical engineering, due to a lack of finances, he was unable to complete the course. He heard about a two- year course in jewellery manufacturing and design at the Soweto Jewellery School and applied. After a month, Nq, as he is known, designed a wedding band. “And that changed my life,” he says. I knew then that this is what I wanted to do. Drawing and making jewellery. I could do it!” the path to establishing his own jewellery design company hasn’t been smooth but Nq is certain that the future is bright.
He registered hi company in 2007 and struggled to source funding to buy equipment. He eventually resorted to selling cakes and biscuits until he had saved enough money to get started. Subsequently, his potential and work ethic were recognised by Jerry Nkeli, the first black paraplegic individual to qualify as an attorney, the founder of jerry Nkeli & Associates law firm, and a director in several businesses. He invested in Nq and is Chairman of Nq’s company, and his mentor.
Nq’s success as a jewellery designer has seen his travelling fairly extensively, to the UK three times where he has been granted internship and to Hong Kong where he learned how to enhance his machinery and showcase his products at a trade show. He can now boast a reputation for designing and producing custom- made high-end jewellery that has received rave reviews in many quarters.
His jewellery is displayed in a range of outlets such as the Big 5 at OR Tambo airport and it is highly popular at his own store at the Brayanston Organic Market, open on Thursdays and Saturdays. NQ Jewellery Design Services is Soweto’s first jewellery manufacturing and retail business. It employs six people; all from Soweto, including two disabled inters who are being financially supported by the HopeFund in France.
Nq was introduced to Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs through the City of Joburg, at one of Tsogo Sun’s Supplier Showcases hosted at Gold Reef City last Year. He was selected to join the programme- and states that it has made a difference to him and to his business. “I have learned valuable skills such as accounting, and I am more confident about my business”
Tsogo Sun is working with Nq establish a more sustainable and consistent income stream, determining the feasibility of opening a jewellery outlet for his company at Gold Reef City and montecasino and assisting with other potential plans to grow market access. “I’d like to thank Tsogo Sun and encourage them to continue doing what they do. When people see that we are associated with Tsogo Sun, it gives them even more confidence in our businesses, “He says.