Lungile Xhwantini's armpiece

Anglo American Platinum announced the winners of the 21st annual PlatAfrica jewellery design and manufacturing competition tonight as part of African Fashion International (AFI) Fashion Week Joburg, with models dressed by leading menswear brand Carducci.

Hosted annually by Anglo American Platinum in partnership with Metal Concentrators and Platinum Guild International (PGI) India, PlatAfrica aims to promote innovation and technical expertise in platinum jewellery design and manufacturing in South Africa and provide international exposure to jewellers, apprentices and students.

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Speaking at the awards ceremony, Natascha Viljoen, CEO of Anglo American Platinum, said:

“PlatAfrica is a shining example of our country’s best creative talent in action, and Anglo American Platinum is proud to have been able to support this tremendous competition since its inception.

Ross Kellerman’s kinetic armpiece of platinum and African blackwood

“As so often in times of crisis, our market development team, working with our partners, had to find some innovative ways this year for PlatAfrica to go ahead as COVID-19 significantly disrupted businesses and educational institutions.

“Our partnership with AFI is one example of the work we’ve been doing with our local industry and global partners to explore new and innovative ways to facilitate access to new markets and grow sustainable demand for South African produced jewellery and design.

“We believe there is a significant opportunity to develop and grow the local platinum jewellery industry, thereby contributing to job creation and economic growth.”

This year’s theme – Designed for Men of Platinum – was developed in consultation with PGI India and was inspired by consumer research that identifies men’s jewellery as a growing demand segment for platinum jewellery, but with a limited product offering.

In total, 130 entries were received, and the judges selected 20 finalists across the professional and student / apprentice categories.

The top four finalists in each category will receive a cash prize. Once it is safe to travel, the winners and runners-up from both categories will attend a weeklong workshop with PGI India and may eligible to participate in the design sourcing process for one of PGI India’s prestigious brands.

This year’s winners in the professional category are:

  • Lungile Xhwantini from The Platinum Incubator is the overall winner in this category for his exquisite armpiece of platinum.
  • Rob Burton, Emile Pitout & Abdullah Zayd from Platandia are the runners-up for their innovative ring design that consists of detachable components and inserts and can be worn in various ways.
  • Jane Merrifield from Tuesday’s Child Jewellery Design is in third place with a reversible double-finger ring.

The winners in the student/ apprentice category are:

  • Ross Kellerman from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology is the overall winner in this category for his kinetic armpiece of platinum and African blackwood.
  • Malefa Phoofolo from Tinsel is the runner-up for her brooch of platinum.
  • Ntsikelelo Shange from Akapo Jewels ranks third for her pendant containing platinum and cubic zirconia.
  • Malefa Phoofolo also won this year’s People Choice Award with her brooch, which was partly inspired by the Coronavirus. The award and cash prize, which is sponsored by Metal Concentrators, goes to the finalist with the highest number of votes from the public on Anglo American’s Facebook page.