In a remarkable achievement on November 17, 2023, Michelle Coetzee, a 31-year-old Chartered Accountant (SA) and a distinguished CIMA lecturer, clinched the 1st Runner-Up title at the 2023 Supreme Queen Global Earth Africa (SQGEA) competition. Founded by Cartier Lebatie, a qualified lawyer and Masters (LLM) candidate, SQGEA provides a leadership platform for women aged 21 to 55, fostering social change within the Sub-Saharan African business and societal landscape.
Motivated by her personal experiences and the alarming statistic that one in three South African women falls victim to gender-based violence (GBV), Michelle embarked on the SQGEA journey to create safer spaces for women in her country. As a GBV survivor herself, Michelle's Tamar Project, which offers support to survivors through care packages and educational empowerment, became the focal point of her SQGEA participation.
Throughout the rigorous 9-month competition, the eight judges appreciated Michelle's authenticity, humility, grace, resilience, and commitment to the Tamar Project. Her on-stage performance and the global hashtag campaign she launched (#GoPurple) advocating against GBV solidified her 1st Runner-Up position.
Michelle's victory included winning the social media sponsor challenge, where her "A Pencil Today, A Princess Tomorrow" initiative, symbolized by a pencil crown designed with her father, promoted education and aided the "Helping Those in Need" non-profit organization.
Michelle Coetzee's triumph is a testament to her resilience, transcending circumstances, and serving as a beacon of hope. As the 2023 1st Runner-Up, Michelle is steadfast in her commitment to advocate against GBV, fostering sensitive conversations and striving to make the world safer for all. Beyond her achievements, Michelle enjoys baking, digital content creation, and spending time with family and pets.