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PlatAfrica winners shine during PGI India visit

24 January 2023

PlatAfrica India Visit - L to R Lené Swartz, Fahmida Smith, Malefa Phoofolo, Samantha Vincent, Pallavi Sharma and Ross Kellerman

The winners of the prestigious annual PlatAfrica jewellery design and manufacturing competition are currently on an all-expenses-paid trip to India as part of their prize for winning the competition. The purpose of the trip is to further inspire the winners by exposing them to international trends and techniques, while also assisting them with skills development and networking in the world’s fastest-growing market for platinum jewellery products.

Hosted annually by Anglo American Platinum, Metal Concentrators and Platinum Guild International (PGI) India, PlatAfrica is aimed at showcasing South African jewellery manufacturing and design talent as well as building a local pipeline of talent in the industry. Professional artisans, apprentices and students are eligible to enter, compete and hone their skills.

The competition supports the local beneficiation of jewellery for global consumers through locally sourced quality platinum. PlatAfrica is a flagship market development initiative through which Anglo American Platinum contributes to the local downstream platinum jewellery industry by positioning it as a jewellery metal of choice.

Recent winners of PlatAfrica have created unique, once-off pieces inspired by themes such as #MenofPlatinum (2020), #Metamorphosis (2021) and #Hope (2022) during Covid-19-affected years. Finally able to travel to India, they are now collectively participating in a design workshop to learn more about the design and manufacturing of platinum jewellery. In addition, winners participate in a brand building workshop where they are taught the intricacies of promoting their designs within a global market.

This international exposure to innovation and technical expertise is a key attraction for those entering the PlatAfrica competition. Beyond that, the week-long tour includes opportunities for participants to present their winning designs to Indian jewellery manufacturers during factory visits and to take part in interviews with trade publications. The aim of these engagements are firstly, to expose the winning designers to commercial jeweller’s and secondly to identify opportunities for collaboration through a structured pairing process.

Fahmida Smith, Market Development Principal at Anglo American Platinum, said: “PlatAfrica is a demonstration of our commitment to re-imagine mining to improve people’s lives – in this case exposing the talented and dynamic selection of winners to much greater possibilities with their creative talents. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic prevented us from being able to provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of a visit to India for our winners, and I am glad that we can now revive the trip and the access to incredible learnings and opportunities that it will provide.”

Pallavi Sharma, business director at PGI International, said: “PlatAfrica is a great initiative for us, as it provides a platform for recognising and nurturing talent when it comes to design innovation in platinum jewellery. The technical calibre of the cohort of winners on this tour is an important reminder as to why such a platform is vital, and why we must do more to unearth the creative talent that exists within the jewellery design space. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring new thinking and ideas to platinum and gives a new perspective of working with the metal”

Ditebogo Sesana, student/apprentice runner up in 2022, said: ‘The opportunity to come to India – which is my first international trip – has been so exciting and eye-opening for me. I have learned so much, and I still have so much more to learn. I am excited to go home and bring all this inspiration to life with the future pieces that I will make!’

The PlatAfrica PGI India tour runs from the 20th to the 29th of January in Mumbai, India.

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