Minki celebrates 40 with a new love for life


Model, presenter, glamorous personality and jewelery designer – Minki van der Westhuizen has worn many hats on her head. Yet she knows that each of these titles is only worldly and that it is her role as mother and wife that gives her life meaning.

Minki celebrated a milestone birthday, her 40th, in February this year. It is a year of sensations, a year that she dedicates to standing still and celebrating life, she tells RNews.

“I can’t say that there was this substantial shift in my heart when I turned 40, but I realized that getting older puts a magnifying glass on your life.

“It shows you the preciousness and defenselessness of our lives. Time goes by so fast.”

It’s her big dream to get back to the little pleasures in life, and yes, that includes sometimes putting her phone away and entering into conversations with awareness.

She remembers how her eldest son, who is now in grade 5, looked at her one day and simply said: “Mommy, I look up to Mommy.”

These words stunned her. She realized that her children are growing up, and although she is not yet ready for the day when they have to leave the nest, it is a belt under her heart to see how they grow.

She and her husband, Ernst Joubert, have three little girls: an 11-year-old, a 10-year-old and a 5-year-old. And look, she is a busy woman who has quite a few glass balls in the air at all times. Still, it is important for her to be an example of balance for her daughters.

“I work hard, and they know it, but I want them to see that you can work hard and play hard in life.”

This is precisely why Minki is particularly picky about how their family spends weekends. Her family is her priority above all.

When you think of Minki, you see the shining personality in your mind’s eye. Every picture ever taken of her. Every show she’s ever appeared on.

Still, Minki is just mother and wife. She and her family go to church every Sunday, come home, light a fire and spend the day like every other South African.

“Without my family I am nothing. Without them, everything else I have could be taken away in the blink of an eye. It is important to spend time together and to make conscious decisions about your family and priorities.”

She confesses that she already knew early in her life that she wanted to be a mother, but dreams about being a mother and model were knocking on her door at the same time. She still remembers well how, as a young woman, she told her mother that she saw this image in her mind’s eye of children clinging to her skirts.

She has a good relationship with her parents, something she likes to use as a foundation for the relationship with her children. It is precisely from these strong family ties and memories that her jewelery series sprang from.

This series was started under the Minki brand and represents one of Minki’s great childhood loves. She remembers how as a young girl she was already crazy about jewels, a love that remains with her to this day.

“I noticed how fine people look and how often I am asked on social media about the jewels I wear myself. For me, memories are incredibly important – those special moments with your loved ones.

“Jewelry brings everything together. Nothing makes you feel like new, beautiful jewelry. There are so many beautiful moments locked up in it.”

Minki designed all the jewels in her product line herself. It was especially important to her to create affordable jewelry that people could share with their loved ones.

Of course she also wears these jewels, because “how can I sell something I’m not crazy about myself?” Every bracelet, pendant and set of earrings is cut out by Minki, and it is wonderful for her to be able to share it with people.

When she is described as an “inspiration” for other women, she sees it in two ways: It is a huge responsibility, but also a special compliment. She is a people-driven person who yearns to forge heart bonds with others.

When someone in a shopping center or coffee shop notices her and comes to say hello, it is wonderful for her.

“People have to see me as a friend. They have to have that boldness to come to me.”

It is also lovely for her to be guests on her VIA talk show, Minki and friends, to welcome and make you feel at ease. Sometimes there are guests who are really not comfortable in front of a camera, she says, and it is a nice challenge for her to make that person feel at home on her sofa.

It still amazes her today that she scrubbed a place for herself on the box. After all, as a young woman she never dreamed of becoming a television personality, on the contrary: “It was just the Lord’s plan for my life,” she says.

When she thinks about her early years in the industry, she is grateful that social media did not play a role in her life then. Social media, a place where she is active and already has more than 200,000 followers, can sometimes be powerful, she says, and not always in the best ways.

It can be an uplifting space, but also one that is filled with negative comments. She admits she struggled with some commentary bits a few years ago, but now it’s like water off a duck’s back for her.

In this new year of life, she plans to expand on her jewelry line, spend precious family time and most of all, celebrate each day as it comes.

“Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. We have to live in the moment, for today.”