A graduate in biomedical technology, the 39-year old entrepreneur chose to leave the pharmaceutical industry to promote African artists in France.
Born in Ngqeleni - which means "cold" in Xhosa - a little village in the Eastern Cape 32km south of Umtata, Nongqunga Coupez was the third child in a family of five.
"I remember the landscapes, the rivers, the forest, the small huts with animals everywhere. I remember the rain on the zinc rooftop and the beautiful sound it made... I remember my loving grandparents... I remember going to pick up wood with other women in the nearby forest, or going to the river with the other young girls to fetch water, or just waking up early in the morning to pick up fresh cow dung to clean the house. Being in France now, I realise how lucky I was to have such a beautiful childhood."
After studying biomedical technology at the Central University of Technology in Free State, she went on to work in private laboratories and for the pharmaceutical industry for a few years. At 28, Nongqunga Coupez moved to France with her husband, and settled in Mandelieu-la-Napoule, a town situated on the banks of the Mediterranean...