Minki van der Westhuizen doesn't like to be called an influencer, but she is certainly very influential. PHOTOS: Supplied
Model, mother and media entrepreneur, Minki van der Westhuizen wears her many different hats with ease.
One that suits her perfectly is that of talk-show host. For the past five seasons of MINKI on Via, she has entertained and delighted viewers while interviewing some of South-Africa's most unique personalities. The show also evolved from a 30-minute interview-based format to an hour-long talk-show featuring different guests and a popular recipe segment with Sarie food editor, Herman Lensing.
The sixth season, which is currently airing, is even more entertaining – with celeb guests, recipes to make you feel like a Nigella, surprises, laughs and tears are all part of the mix.
Minki started modelling when she was 16 and has become a household name.
She has been featured in campaigns for Guess, FHM, GQ and SA Sports Illustrated and graced many a catwalk here and abroad. She might be most famous for being voted the most popular pin-up by US troops in 2003. She has since become a mother and lives in Stellenbosch with her husband, former Saracens rugby player Ernst Joubert and their three daughters. Minki has also made a signature gin (with the Victoria Gin brand), and the limited-edition orange blossom and rosehip gin is just as bright and fresh as Minki's approach to life.
Looking at her Instagram feed, you get the whole 'Minki experience'. How she flits effortlessly between being mom, wife, celeb, talk-show host, stylish friend and brand ambassador, is mind-boggling, and something many aspire to.
Though she doesn't like being called an "influencer" in the modern sense of the word, she exudes a powerful influence – we see the dress she wears and immediately want one for ourselves. And when Minki eats or cooks with a particular product on her Instagram live video? We add to cart. She has sway and we love her for it.
Her success on MINKI has much to do with her honest, personable approach to life. Minki loves surprising her guests, and in this season, you'll see that even her eyes well up when emotional reunions take place. No topic is taboo – her guests talk about food, sex, family, health and wellness, without trying to shock or sensationalise. There is no copy-paste approach to interviews and she might as well have been sitting in your living room, chatting over a cuppa.
The format of the show, combined with her signature charm and graceful presence, make it noteworthy and a definite weekly date to keep.
Minki, the model-turned-mommy-in-media is a recipe that works, and six seasons on air show that we genuinely crave more of Minki!
- Catch MINKI every Wednesday on VIA (DStv 147) at 7.30pm