Social & Community News
07 June 2019

Potchefstroom – The creativity and innovation of Emile Coetzee, who has shot to international fame for winning first prize in the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum University Challenge, is a huge endorsement of the high standards of South Africa’s tertiary education. 

The prestigious competition, which took place recently in Frankfurt, Germany, created a platform for tourism students to express their talent by coming up with innovative ideas related to conference settings based on an imaginary concept. 

Emile’s captivating formula, entitled The (Not) Forbidden Fruit, focuses on the promotion of eco- friendly food process. Emile said her concept was partly inspired by the African culture.

“This year’s theme was centred on the concept of ‘food of the future’ and I thought about the tree of life, where it began and the notion of Adam and Eve,” said Emile. “Based on that, I decided to take the idea further to explore whether food production would be self-sufficient, like in the beginning of time or whether the impact of technology (food processing) will have a greater impact on the cost of nutrition.

I am inspired by our culture and heritage, especially when it comes to wild food and that inspired the setting of my conference. I imagined a conference on a boat with everything edible in it, where people could interact,” she added. 

The achievement of the 24-year old North West University (NWU) student has also put the province on the global map and she will certainly inspire other students to aim higher and achieve their dreams. 

As congratulatory messages continue to pour in, the North West Department of Tourism’s head of department, Neo Sephoti, added her voice. She described Emile’s achievement as a stamp of excellence that deserves to be celebrated.

“The Department of Tourism is extremely proud and excited by Emile’s achievements. She has done herself, the province of the North West and the country proud by winning this prestigious competition,” Neo said. 

Emile Coetzee has done herself and the North West province proud! 
Emile Coetzee celebrates her winning concept. 
Emile Coetzee holds her prize during her awards ceremony. 


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