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Gert Johan Coetzee is a renowned South African fashion artist. He operates a fashion atelier in Linden, Johannesburg, and specializes in couture red carpet gowns and ready-to-wear collections. Gert is celebrated for dressing both South African and international celebrities for red-carpet events.

Since the bursary’s establishment in 2009, the acclaimed designer Gert-Johan Coetzee has been annually awarding a bursary at his alma mater, the internationally accredited North West School of Design. This generous bursary enables one fortunate recipient to undertake a three-year Fashion Design program. The 3-year fashion design program at North West School of Design aims to equip students with the technical skills and practical techniques needed to conceptualise ideas, create blueprint patterns, and construct apparel.

The bursary has proven to be instrumental in sculpting the careers of its recipients. Many have gone on to achieve success within the fashion industry, securing employment with renowned designers, launching their own fashion lines with a solid client base, or making their mark as stylists and bloggers. Their contributions are significantly influencing the dynamic and evolving landscape of South Africa’s fashion scene. Included in this bursary are full tuition fees, a Laptop and a Bernina sewing machine, amounting to a total value of R200,000.00.
The next recipient will begin their educational journey in January 2025 in Klerksdorp, North West.


To enter the bursary the following steps are to be taken:

1. Apply Online:

  • Visit our website at
  • Complete and submit the online application form.

2. Create a Video:

  • Dress in your favorite style and record a video of yourself.
  • Introduce yourself, mentioning your name and where you are from.
  • Describe your style and tell us where you got your clothes from.
  • Ensure the video is no longer than one minute.

3. Share on Social Media:

  • Upload your video to TikTok and Instagram.
  • Use the following hashtags: #nwsd, #gert, #gertbursary2024, #fashiondesign, #fashionbursary, #fashionschool.
  • Tag us using @nwsdfashion and @gertjohancoetzee.


  • Applicants should refer to the website to read through the fulltime course prospectus.
  • All applicants should be South African citizens.
  • Currently 18 years or older.
  • If applicants have successfully passed their Gr 12, they should be in possession of a Gr 12 certificate with diploma exemption.
  • Applicants that have studied in another field, are allowed to apply.
  • Applicants may re-enter if they entered competition previously.
  • Winner must be able to commence their studies in January 2025.
  • Winner must be able to read, speak, write and understand English.
  • Winner must be a South African citizen.


1. When does the bursary open?
The bursary will be launched on 15 July 2024.

2. When is the bursary closing?
Closing date for the competition is on 10 September 2024.
Five (5) finalists will be selected and notified on 20 September 2024 by the North West School of Design whereby arrangements must be made for the finalists to attend the North West School of Design OPEN DAY on 28 September 2024, where Gert-Johan Coetzee will announce the winner

3. How many years will you be studying?
The studies are a duration of 3 Years full-time.

4. When does the winner start?
The winner will commence their academic year at North West School of Design in January 2025.

5. What does the bursary include?

  • Tuition fees at NWSD, valued at R 176 000.00
  • Sewing Machine courtesy of Bernina at R 14 000.00
  • Laptop courtesy of Computer Shop Klerksdorp at R15 000.00
  • Winner will also be required to complete 2 internships per year at Gert-Johan Coetzee studios, whereby valuable knowledge, skill
    and know-how will be bestowed upon them.
  • NB! Excluded from the bursary is personal stationery, personal laptop, accommodation and meals, which the winner will have to provide for themselves.

6. How many finalists will be chosen.
Of all entries received, Gert-Johan Coetzee will choose five (5) finalists. From these five finalists, one winner will be selected.

7. Does the winner have to have fashion or creative background?
No, the winner will be trained in all aspects of fashion design at the North West School of Design and through the Gert-Johan Coetzee
mentorship programmes.

Past winners for the bursary of Gert-Johan Coetzee

Marumo Malepe

2022: 1st Year Guest Designer Finalist

“The Gert-Johan Coetzee bursary has helped me in the sense that I have an in depth knowledge of the fashion industry and all the different careers involved and getting a mentorship from an industry expert such as, Gert-Johan Coetzee. This will enable me, to gain valuable experience that I will be forever grateful for.”

Patrick Ferguson

2018: 1st Year Showstopper Award
2019: 2nd Year Designer of the Year
2020: 3rd Year Designer of the Year
2020: Bridal Challenge Winner

“After being lucky enough to receive the Gert-Johanne Coetzee Bursary at the end of 2017, I was able to grow my love for fashion design at North West School of Design. Winning the fashion design bursary I was able to grow my knowledge in the design side, from making patterns, to the principles of design and garment construction, as well as the business side, being given the fundamentals of running and starting your own business. Under the guidance and expertise of the lecturers I was able to develop my skills and achieve numerous awards throughout my years studying. After graduating and gaining much experience through NWSD and their Alumni, I was able to get a position as a Pattern maker at a factory located in Midrand, Gauteng, while also starting my own business part-time.”

Andrea Willow Beyers

2017: 1st Year Best Designer
2018: 2nd Year Showstopper Collection
2019: 3rd Year Designer of the Year

“It was interesting to me that with each passing year our understanding of fashion design and the industry was developed. I enjoyed the learning experience, and being surrounded by hard working and talented creatives.

Studying at NWSD provided me with the foundational knowledge I needed to break into the fashion industry and daily, I realise how relevant the syllabus at NWSD is to anyone who hopes to pursue fashion as a career. The bursary is an incredible opportunity to an aspiring fashion enthusiast.”