Simmons Arrives in S. Africa to Promote Transparency

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RAPAPORT…  Diamond jewelry designer and famed Hip Hop artist Russell Simmons arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, November 27, on a tour to promote transparency in the diamond trade.

Simmons, 49, said upon his arrival that, “I am here because the most important and powerful Muslim preacher and the most important and powerful Jewish Rabbi I have met in my lifetime – The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Rabbi Marc Schnier – both, individually, told me to come here.”

The Diamond Information Center funded the journey in which Simmons is promoting industry integrity and conflict free diamonds. “I am on a fact-finding mission to learn how the diamond industry, in conjunction with Simmons Jewelry Company, can positively affect the lives of the black Africans here who are suffering from poverty, HIV and lack of high quality education.”

“I have heard from Ken Sunshine directly (Petra Nemcova and Leo DiCaprio’s publicist) that Petra is worried about the political and, possible, business ramifications of this trip and that she is awaiting her advisers to respond to decide whether she can join me on this trip,” he said. “I know her presence as a celebrity and the chairman of her Happy Hearts foundation will give added attention to this mission, which is much needed to make it a success. I pray that her advisers, including Ken Sunshine, and all other parties will advise her to accept this invitation, as planned.”

Simmons said it is his belief that by sending his message he enables more to mobilize in support of the mission of conflict free diamonds, “the greater chance we’ll have to help improve the lives of the African people. The more people talk about this mission, the more I can serve humanity.

“Further, I believe that I am protected by the one God that protects all of humanity,” he said.

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