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Kenya

Nigerian businesswoman: A cut above in macho world of diamonds

DIAMONDLONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 27 – Nigerian Thelma West is a rare gem in the diamond world as a woman in a male-dominated sector with few Africans, despite the continent being the main source of the precious rocks.

The first in her family to work in diamonds, West is used to being an outsider, having been raised in a Jewish family in a country where Jews number fewer than 50,000 out of a population of around 180 million.

“I’m the only Nigerian Jewish woman in the trade, and I don’t know of other African women in the business,” the 32-year-old told AFP at her London-based business as she greeted customers with a broad smile and sparkling diamonds on her hands and wrists.

Discretion and security are essential, with the anonymous-looking building guarded by an encrypted intercom system and a reinforced door, all under the gaze of a bank of security cameras.

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