Think that models are just pretty faces and toned bodies? Don’t believe the myth that there’s no brains behind the perfect smiles – ex-model-turned-mama Minki van der Westhuizen is super engaging as the host on her lifestyle chat show Minki. Stream Season 1 on Showmax and Seasons 3-4 on DStv Now.
“What separates Minki from other talkshows is that I’m not sitting down with celebrities or famous personalities to talk to them about their careers and what they are doing with their lives,” explains Minki. “My show is about my people, ordinary people with remarkable and inspiring stories.”
Earning her chops
You may think that Minki only got her show because she’s so well known as a former FHM and Sports Illustrated model, but there’s a lot more to her than that. She has been presenting lifestyle shows since she joined Afrikaans series Pasella in 2007 as well as Kwêla, plus she presented reality dating show Boer Soek ’n Vrou in 2007. She knows what she’s doing in front of the TV camera.
“We are not a niche show and I have used my experience over the years to create what I think is a complete, engaging series. Our goal is to attract a wide audience, a variety of viewers from all walks of life. It’s got fun content that is suitable for the whole family – something for everyone,” adds the 35-year-old Capetonian presenter.
“When I was approached by DStv channel VIA to present this show, my show, I was immediately onboard. It has been a dream to have my own programme and most importantly for me, the timing was right – I felt ready.”
“It has been a dream to have my own programme”
Minki isn’t just about sitting down and having a bland one-on-one interview-style chat. That would be boring. “We’ve got multiple guests – obviously a main guest that we will be chatting to first, followed by others. And I meet the guests before we film so that we’re comfortable and have a foundation for our chats on the couch,” explains the presenter.
US talkshow host Steve Harvey is notorious for refusing to meet his guests on any of his syndicated talkshows prior to filming because he claims that it makes the reactions and interaction more relatable when he first meets them on camera with his audience. It’s a little different for Minki because her show has a food element to it. “We have an adjacent kitchen set and we make a little dish or two during the episodes too,” says Minki.
“It’s about ordinary but talented, exceptional people with stories that need to be told.”
The hot seat
There may be one or two famous people who pop in for a chat, but as Minki makes clear, “It’s about ordinary but talented, exceptional people with stories that need to be told. We find out more about people like comedian Marion Holm (Dot in Vlug Na Egipte), world-champion windsurfer Karo van Tonder and Cape Town surfer Gustav Lilienfeld, whose brother was attacked and killed by a Great White shark in 2012 while they were in the water.”