Mosibudi Khomotso
Home African CEOs Interviews Visionaries Mosibudi Jo Mathole and Khomotso Ramodipa: the Sisters Disrupting the Male-Dominated Diamond Industry in South Africa
Visionaries - April 24, 2022

Mosibudi Jo Mathole and Khomotso Ramodipa: the Sisters Disrupting the Male-Dominated Diamond Industry in South Africa

Despite a global decline in polished diamond profit margins, Mosibudi Jo Mathole and Khomotso Ramodipa have earned their reputation in the patriarchal diamond industry.

As a result of their enthusiasm and passion for the profession, they have displayed extraordinary abilities in cutting and polishing world-renowned De Beers Group branded diamonds.

According to Ernie Blom, head of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the sibling has managed to survive in the market and establish a reputation for innovation.

Mosibudi Jo Mathole and Khomotso: The Kwame Diamonds

Mosibudi Jo Mathole and Khomotso Ramodipa began their entrepreneurial journey when they quit their jobs as investment bankers and optometrists. 

To ensure the business was built on the proper foundation, Mosibudi Jo Mathole attended the Henry Oppenheimer Diamond College. In 2006, she became a licensed diamond sorting and valuation course.

She said, “I travelled through Africa to learn more about the industry and teamed up with an Indian company to help them set up South Africa-based diamond cutting works”.My partner Khomotso Ramodipa and I started Kwame Diamonds later”.

She learned to recognise high-value stones through her extensive manufacturing and continental travel expertise. Due to her exceptional leadership skill, DeBeers promoted the company to Sightholder status.


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Mosibudi Jo Mathole is a certified polished diamond grader. She was certified by the International Institute of Diamond Grading (IIDGR) in Belgium. 

Khomotso Ramodipa is a skilled sorter and valuator with over 20 years of company management expertise.

She is presently a raw and polished diamond dealer, and with her extensive network, she organises worldwide polished and industrial diamond purchasers who attend monthly diamond tenders in South Africa. She is in charge of the operations and financial sections of the Kwame diamonds.

The sisters aim to make Kwame Diamonds a global brand that stands for quality and perfection and establish Kwame Diamonds as a light for good change, creating a lasting impression on the lives of others.

Kwame diamonds: Challenges

Mosibudi Khomotso

Kwame diamonds were no exception to the rule that every new firm needed funding to get off the ground. According to the founder and director, Mosibudi Jo Mathole, “The main barrier, in the beginning, was finance. When I approached a financial institution for help, they laughed at me. 

Also, this is a close-knit industry, so you need someone to vouch for you and develop contacts and alliances.

Getting into the diamond business was no walk in the park, mainly for two women. To Mosibudi Jo Mathole, “The barriers to entry go beyond just being a woman or being a man.

The difficulty boils down to having an outfit like this; you need a proper capital outlay. And for women, it becomes a bit tricky because this has always been a very male-dominated industry”.

On the other hand, the sisters did not become discouraged since they regarded the difficulties as possibilities. As a result, the sisters carved their way into the diamond business, offering only responsibly sourced, certified stones purchased from South African mining businesses.

Through this, the sisters carved out a niche for their brand, Kwame Diamonds. They work with exquisite and tailor-cut diamonds, cutting and polishing them.

Khomotso Ramodipa, one of the sisters, co-founder and director, said, “To be able to produce a Forevermark diamond, which according to them, it’s 1% of the world’s diamonds that are produced…If you can polish that kind of diamond, you are among the best.”

Also, based on their outstanding reputation, Ernie Blom, the president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, attested, saying, “They’re looking at the diamond industry from a different perspective. 

They’re thinking out of the box. And maybe they’re ticking all the right boxes that give them the success they have. And perhaps that’s what a lot of the older diamond industry can learn”.

Even though the South African diamond industry shrank from 4,500 polishers 25 years ago to 250 polishers, Mosibudi Jo Mathole believes otherwise for her company. She said, “How you approach the business will set you apart. Yes, it is shrinking, but we are here not to shrink. We are here to make sure that we expand”.

To make the industry accessible to other women and expand, Mathole and Ramodipa create opportunities. The sisters employ and empower women in the diamond industry and help develop their skills.


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