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A 22-year-old Polokwane student has just become the first person in Limpopo to ever win an Emmy.


Polokwane, South Africa (25 November 2022) – 22-year-old Arlinka Viljoen from Polokwane has just become Limpopo’s first ever Emmy winner.

Viljoen earned her Emmy (Rocky Mountain Division) for Best Graphics in the American science fiction television series “Strange Places”. The Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards are a division of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The talented South African was awarded television’s highest honour at the Emmy awards in Phoenix, Arizona. Viljoen’s work was recognised in the Southwest United States region (Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Southern California) but was judged by television professionals from New York, Los Angeles, and around the USA.

“I was surprised and pleased that my work was recognised,” says Arlinka.

“As a graphics design person, it’s sometimes quiet work under intense pressure, and I was happy to be so honoured by my peers in America.”

Viljoen designed two creatures in the horror-tinged episode “An Improper Use of Shading”. The episode is about a gifted but troubled artist named Marie who is bullied by a classmate, Madison. Madison’s father is leaving the family and she takes her frustrations out on Marie.

Marie draws her best friend, Cassandra, into the conflict. Cassandra begins drawing hideous creatures (created by Viljoen) that come to life to torment Madison…but she doesn’t know why she did it. Cassandra confronts Marie and suspects Marie knows more than what we think. Marie admits she is drawing Cassandra drawing the creatures. Cassandra and Marie come to a shocking conclusion on how to fix the problem.

“Arlinka’s work was outstanding,” says Strange Places executive producer Andy Rodriguez McCradic, he himself nominated for a Best Director Emmy, “…without her input, the episode is less memorable. She made the creatures terrifying!”

Sources: Andy Rodriguez McCradic
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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