14 Feb People of Jozi – Liezel van der Westhuizen
Although Liezel is technically not from Joburg, we kind of feel like she could be, she spends so much time here with us.
What an amazing opportunity to catch up with the former MNet Idols Presenter, MC, Voice Over artist and television presenter, Liezel van der Westhuizen and find out more about this incredibly tall Capetonian beauty…
Liezel, you have been in the public eye for a long time now – how did all of this come about for you?
I started out as an announcer on the floor of a big retail store, and was approached by the progamming manager of Jacaranda to come for an audition. He happened to be shopping that day.
What was your ‘big break’ – and in what way did it shape your future?
As only the second woman in the world to present Idols, it launched my career, and showing young women in South Africa that anything is possible.
What has been one of the biggest challenges in your career thus far – and how has it changed you?
When I started in the industry, it was very male dominated industry but with the help of incredible female mentors, its moulded me and allowed me to grow and blossom within the industry,
You MC and host a number of events – what has been the most fun event that you have ever hosted?
I am very blessed to travel overseas a couple of times a year to host various events, one of my favourite local events was The Ironman Triathlon and breaking the mould to become the first female presenter on the Ironman finish line in the world. This year I have been invited to present a talk in LA on personal Branding and will be jetting off to Italy as the MC at an International conference in Venice.
You recently cycled some incredible distance over the Himalaya’s – what was that all about?
I entered an event in India organised by a company called Adventures beyond barriers, which pairs blind athletes with sighted ones to cycle across the Himalayas on a tandem bicycle. I used this event to raise funds for ONE SIGHT and OPERATION SMILE.
I am an ambassador for Operation Smile, It also gave me the opportunity to see how an event of this magnitude was organised so we can start doing the same in SA and in Africa. Giving Blind athletes the opportunity to achieve something they never thought possible.
Fast Fun Facts with Liezel…
My nickname is…THE GIRAFFE
My shoe size is…8
My one bad habit is…my chocolate addiciton
One thing that not many people know about me is…I cannot Braai or make a fire.
Bucket list holiday destination…Uganda
Fave movie of all time…The Wizard of Oz
Find out more about Liezel on her website here…