Biography

Keith White was born with the passion for a new South Africa in his blood, and his life and memories are steeped in facets of the country's historical change.

During the apartheid era his family actively fought to banish perceptions about colour. His mother, of Jewish-Lithuanian descent, was heavily involved in the freedom struggle, even recruiting Joe Slovo to the cause. Her excessive visits to her comrades in jail ultimately saw her banned from visiting South Africa until 1994, when she was invited by the office of Nelson Mandela — who was a friend of hers — to attend his presidential inauguration.

Like his mother, Keith has chosen to dedicate his time to fighting a struggle, albeit a new one: rectifying the past.

In South Africa, where there is a wealth of mineral resources, Keith realised that there are very few black jewellers who stand on par with the world's best. Accordingly, he founded the Black & White Apprenticeship Programme in January 2010. It develops and refines the talent of previously disadvantaged individuals who show the tenacity, perseverance and purity of spirit needed to become truly exceptional.

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