By David Brough
Miriam Mimo Kamau, Africa Ambassador of coloured gemstone and jewellery digital trading platform Gembridge, has won an award recognising her work in the gemstone sector.
Miriam Mimo Kamau
Miriam won the accolade at the Pioneer Women in Extractive Awards (PWEA) 2022, held in January.
She received the “Africa Extractives Entrepreneur of the Year Award.”
PWEA is a Pan-African platform created to showcase and appreciate the remarkable female talent in Africa’s extractives industry: Mining, Energy, Oil and Gas.
The awards were set to celebrate and provide a platform for peer to peer learning for women in Extractives in Africa.
Miriam rose from an economically disadvantaged background in rural Kenya to become founder and director of gemstone supplier Mimo Gem Traders.
After graduating from high school in 1994, Miriam’s father died, forcing her into work to help her mother raise her siblings. She became passionate about gemstones when a U.S. gem dealer hired her as a receptionist in Nairobi.
Fascinated by the trade, Miriam’s employer increasingly involved her in the business and she obtained gemmology certificates from Kenya and South Africa in diamond and coloured gemstone identification, including processing from rough to cut polished minerals, cutting, sorting and marketing.
Miriam is one of the few female dealers and miners in the male-dominated Kenyan, indeed African, gemstone trade.
She often sets out on demanding journeys into the remote bush, risking encounters with wild animals, to source gemstones for her business.