Quinton Coetzee: “11 years ago, we made the move from Jo’burg to White River and never looked back. In no time at all we succumbed to the warmth and support which welcomed us to this town – one would be hard-pressed to find the social spirit, friendship and benevolence inherent in the White River community anywhere else.”
Warm words for White River from a man who is a national household name thanks to being an anchor for the popular and longest running programme on SABC – 50/50, and presenter of Veldfocus. And if you’re in the corporate world there is a good chance you might have been lucky enough to attend a conference either in South Africa or abroad at which Quinton was the guest speaker. He’s a powerful presenter, drawing on his extensive knowledge of wildlife and bushcraft to paint evocative images which get his message across to enthralled audiences.
It all began some 20 years ago when Quinton was Deputy Director of the Johannesburg Zoological Gardens. Addressing groups and audiences within the context of various wildlife and conservation topics was part of his job and his energetic presentation style and approach caught the attention of a Professional Speakers Agent who engaged Quinton to address an international business conference hosted by a top multinational company. There was only one catch – Quinton had to add a ‘business spin’ to his wildlife approach to satisfy the requirements of the seminar.
The man who’d confronted extremes of nature from early childhood suddenly discovered he had nerves after all when faced with the prospect of talking business to a room full of businessmen! Quinton put together a presentation that he hoped would do the trick, and discovered he was a resounding success. That was the beginning of a professional career in Platform Speaking that has seen him visit 38 countries.
Despite his crowded speaking schedule, Quinton not only remained prominent on 50/50, he expanded his TV commitments and became involved in several other TV programs such as Bushtalk, Aardwolf and international wildlife documentaries and began writing columns for publications and hosting radio shows.
The Coetzee family was based in Johannesburg at the time, but Quinton and his wife Kerri always yearned for the Lowveld so a move to White River ensued. Their daughter Keegan, a baby when they arrived, began her schooling at Uplands (and will finish there), while Quinton and Kerri rapidly and seamlessly merged into the fabric of the town they now proudly call “home”.
As a family, they love adventure, travelling and spending time the bush with friends. “What oxygen is to most people, fishing is to me!” Quinton declares. Their motto “It’s the journey, not the destination”, has touched the entire family with life-changing proportions, and Quinton proudly says that his sons, Benn and Clayton, are a testament to this.
All we can say is that We Are terrifically proud to have this dynamic family make White River their home base while Quinton strikes off across the world to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life or beam his familiar face into our lounge.