Charismatic and passionate is what describes DUT’s Anke van der Linden who was recently crowned the winner of the PlatAfrica 2017 Design and Manufacturing Competition. The final year student in the jewellery and manufacture programme walked away with the Student and Apprentice Category. The student who hails from Gauteng province was bestowed the winning status for her “Bold Minimalism” design which was the competition’s theme.
Van der Linden edged other hopefuls from other universities in South Africa and emerged victorious. The concept of the competition was targeted at Indian millennials. For winning the competition, she will jet – off to India as part of Anglo American Platinum and Platinum Guild International (PGI) India where she is invited to participate in the India’s design outsourcing process geared towards growing the Indian jewellery market.
Sandile Motha the interim Media Officer interviewed the artistry and entrepreneurial van der Linden.
Sandile Motha: Could you please take me back to how you came to know about the Annual PlatAfrica Competition?
Anke Van der Linden: Every year the jewellery design students enter the competition as it gives us the chance to work in platinum. Anglo American loans us platinum which we then get to work with and have the opportunity to experience the unique properties of platinum.
Sandile Motha: Who motivated you to take part in the competition?
Anke Van der Linden: My lecturers motivated and helped me throughout the competition.
Sandile Motha: Was there an elimination round and how many participants did you compete against in your category?
Anke Van der Linden: There were over a hundred entries in the student category, which then the top ten were chosen and finally, I was chosen as the overall winner.
Sandile Motha: Have you ever won any jewelry design competition before?
Anke Van der Linden: I was a finalist in the 2016 Thuthuka awards for using innovative materials.
Sandile Motha: What does winning this accolade mean for you and your career aspirations?
Anke Van der Linden: This is absolutely great! This gives me the opportunity to get my name out there and it gives me the fuel to start my own business.
Sandile Motha: Are you involved in any projects, community or student centered?
Anke Van der Linden: I am involved with the I Heart market in Durban where I sell some of my jewellery pieces while representing DUT.
Sandile Motha: Have you always wanted to study jewellery design?
Anke Van der Linden: I was always torn between studying medicine and design, but fortunately my artistic side was screaming louder and I chose jewellery design.
Sandile Motha: What prize did you get with for winning the Student Apprentice Category?
Anke Van der Linden: I am walking away with a generous cash prize and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to India.
Sandile Motha: Have you thought of your next career path after graduating?
Anke Van der Linden: I am planning on doing my B-Tech at DUT and then I want to open my own business.
Sandile Motha: Are there vast opportunities in the jewellery designing business in South Africa?
Anke Van der Linden: Yes, I believe there are plenty of business opportunities in South Africa especially for jewelers who create hand made products. People are buying handmade local products as opposed to mass produced imported goods.
Pictured: ANke Van der Linden’s winning design.