These Are The 100 Women Changing The Wellness Scene

by | Nov 27, 2018 | Life

December 2018 marks our 100th issue, woohoo us! – and while the mag is jam-packed with tips on getting your best body ever, instant beauty upgrades and your sauciest sex questions answered – our WH Team has put their heads together and compiled the ultimate wellness inspo list…. Meet the 100 women in South Africa changing the wellness scene. You may already recognise a few faces but we’re confident you’ll find some fresh inspo here too. This is our tribute to all you kickass women, we’re proud to call our own!
Kicking things off with Takkies, are December cover star…


Through her brand, Rockingnheels, Nkateko Dinwiddy uses dance to build women’s confidence. Her message: “Love your beauty body as it is now, not how you want it to be in three months’ time.” It’s thanks to that uplifting attitude that Takkies is a permanent fixture on the bill at Fit Night Out and our December cover star. Plus, her classes are just so damn fun! And her daughter, Sana, is adorable.

Takkies’s moves are everything!

 Nombuleloh Mgabadeli

Nombulelo’s fitness journey was ignited while she was in her first year of varsity and battling with self-hate, depression and self-harm scars. ‘Joining the gym and going for walks, hikes and swimming lessions helped me to start over and love myself again,’ she says.


 Inge Bezuidenhout

Our WH Next Fitness Star 2017, Inge Bezuidenhout is a true powerhouse. Check out our December issue for Inge’s 30-minute total-body toner, which FYI is perfect for holiday time out of the gym. – Thanks Inge!

IngeMichelle Hayward

Pro kite surfer Michelle Hayward threw caution to the wind, quit her job and pursued an athletic career. It took guts and grit, but her gamble paid off. She’s able to leverage her social media savvy to make her attractive to sponsors, while she slays every competition, inspiring a new generation of female kite surfers in a male-dominated space.

Sunette Viljoen

Olympian javelinist Sunette Viljoen has more than enough fire to drive even the least motivated into battle. At the 2016 Olympics, she scooped one of only two medals for South Africa in the women’s tally. (The other medal went to Caster Semenya.) In the eighteenth year of her career, she’s showing no signs of giving up. “I never settle for second best and I will not stop before I get what I want,” she says.

Dayna Nienaber

Motocross racer Dayna Nienaber is a woman in a largely testosterone-fuelled space. But that hasn’t stopped her from racking up medals – even coming in second place racing against the guys at one race. That drive? It’s part of her DNA. “I can honestly say that competitiveness has always been a part of me. It’s not something I had to learn,” she says.


Hanneke Dannhauser

Hanneke Dannhauser, pro obstacle course racer, only discovered fitness in 2012. “It seemed impossible for someone like me to become a ‘fitness freak’,” she says.
But in two years, Hanneke went from a recreational competitor to a pro. She’s inspiring not just because of her fast succession but also her never-give-up attitude. Case in point: in one race, Hanneke walked over the finish line on her hands (!!) because her ankle had broken during the race.


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Warrior #3 Not in my strength I was weak in my strength When I fought hard to win But when I lost to my pride The victory began You saw me running Pushing towards the goal You taught me to surrender And in losing I became whole I remembered Your freedom As I rest in Your embrace It’s not the winning that’s important It’s giving my best in every race You said to look up When I’m falling You said to get up When I’m down You said to never give up darling The undeterred will win the crown It is not about the end prize Or the longing to win the world It is to be better than myself Through the grace of the Lord Now I’m lost in Your mercy And I know You already walked the course Therefore I will press forward in strength not in mine but in Yours. #LookUpGetUpNeverGiveUp @reebok_sa @besnapped @brightweights @eatfitchef

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Michelle Weber

Olympian Michelle Weber is the first South African in 13 years to win the women’s race of the world’s largest open-water event, the Midmar Mile. In 2016, she was the only woman swimmer in Team SA at the Olympics. This year, she won first place at the Daman Swim Fest in Dubai. She’s also giving back by creating Share-A-Lane, an initiative that connects professional swimmers with amateurs for free training sessions.

Lisa Raleigh

We have to credit Lisa as the first South African celebrity trainer – this trail blazer is now a fit mom, wellness lifestyle influencer and most exciting – bringing rebounder workout programmes to her fitsquad. Check out the bouncing brilliance on

Sam Beckbessinger

Author of Manage Your Money Like A F*cking Grownup, she’s the money whizz giving us all real financial tips and #goals. One of her top tips? Save up. ‘Savings are magical: they remove fear and let you be braver and try things you wouldn’t otherwise try,’ says Sam.


Robyn Smith

Founder of one of our fave online retail stores, – Robyn was an innovation consutlant in London, with a swanky job that saw her travelling business-class around the world. But she knew that the only next step was to become her own boss. ‘I was looking for more flow between my professional and personal values,’ she says. One day, it clicked. She’d been trying to find a night cream that had natural products – but couldn’t find a single one. ‘That’s what started my personal journey into ingredient integrity and natural products.’

Sinenhlanhla Ndela

Yo Coco, the popular dairy-free, sugar-free vegan ice cream brand, started off as a way of meeting Sinenhlanhle’s cravings. She was a new vegan and really wanted an ice cream she liked. Now, Yo Coco’s a growing brand that’s stocked in multiple stores around the country, and the appetite for vegan treats is growing with the trend. Case in point: they’re on-demand on Uber Eats, and do deliveries made to order thrice weekly.

Mariella Sawyer

Mariella is a trained dietitian who had always wanted to be an athlete, but never thought it could be a reality. She pursued it anyway. Starting small, she gathered second-hand equipment and tackled training sessions as hard as she could. This year, it paid off. She placed second in her division at the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Champs. In Durban, she won first place overall for the Ironman 70.3, and won first overall woman at the Cape Ultra.

Dr Nicole Kanaris

One of a few doctors qualified to perform the O-shot in South Africa, Dr Kanaris is passionate about aesthetic medicine and derives great fulfilment from helping her patients achieve their aesthetic goals. She founded MedAesthetique in Joburg in 2009 and regularly attends seminars, conferences and continuing education classes in order to stay at the top of her game.

Dr Natalia Novikova

With a special interest in endoscopic surgery, aesthetic gynaecology and urogynaecology, Dr Novikova is passionate about provision of high-level evidence-based care to women with gynaecological problems. She practices in Cape Town and Johannesburg and is the first certified aesthetic gynaecological surgeon in South Africa.

Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp

In the past year, Elana has garnered a hot new radio gig at Jacaranda FM, moved her family from Cape Town to Jozi, taken part in a TV series, Fynskrif, and run her first 10km in just over an hour. ‘Being a runner is new to my “being active” portfolio… This is “me” time. Time for me, me, me!’ she says. And it suits her – the effervescent star is full of energy and all-round good vibes.

Elana Van Zyl Meyer

You’ll rememeber Elana as the world champion runner who clinched silver in the 1992 Olympics. Today, she’s shifted her focus to others with her ENDUROCAD SA Endurance Academy, sharing her experience, knowledge and passion with young athletes. ‘Fitness and healthy living are still high priorities in my life – I’m still very fit – but my focus has now changed from running and it clears my head and gives me energy!’

Amanda du-Pont

An adidas ambassador, and a regular WH woman crush, not to mention an inspiration to a collective 3.2 million (and growing!) social media fans, Amanda takes it all on in her stride. ‘To me, wellness is all about listening to what your body needs… It could be anything from rest, to fresh air, exercise or nutritious food. I have been completely healed of epilepsy all because one day I chose to be healthier and fit and it’s done better for me than any medication ever did!’ she reveals.

Zuraida Jardine

If it’s empowering inspo you’re after, Zuraida is your girl. Once a radio DJ and TV personality, Zee now counts herself a body-positivity advocate, mom and full-time student. ‘Life can be short, but life can also be long. I knew that if I were blessed with a long life, I needed to make sure that the tapestry of my time continued to be enriched with growth, purposeful guidance and stories that never stopped.’

Hanli Prinsloo

Ever dreamt of being a mermaid? – This SA freediver-turned-conservationist’s feed will rekindle those childhood fantasies – and give you 1001 reasons to join the fight against ocean plastic pollution. Umlike more militant conservationists, Hanli’s message is one of hope and inspiration through her I Am Water Foundation, she travels the world, educating everyone from disadvantaged children to CEOs and flies the South African flag wherever she goes.

Marciel Hopkins

She slimmed down as a Miss South Africa finalist, but after not feeling like herself, Marciel is ridding the world of body shamers one by one. ‘Accepting my body for my natural size 14 after trying to fight it for so many years has been a difficult process. Once the pageant ended, I had to accept my curvy body because I couldn’t maintain the strict lifestyle. Embarking on a journey to self-love and body acceptance while becoming a body-positive activist is what I am most proud of – oh and my bum, it’s my money-maker!’

Tumi Morake

The comedian turned author is making waves in the self-love scene with her book, And Then Mama Said, inspiring us all to be true to ourselves. – ‘The proudest I have felt through my journey in wellness was when I showed myself that I could drop incredible amounts of weight, while enjoying it… I want to enjoy a great quality of life and if you’re unhealthy you can’t enjoy it, no matter how successful you are.’

Khethiwe Mlangeni

Since giving birth to her beautiful baby girl in March this year, Mama Khethi’s wellness journey has switched focus to building her new body. ‘When I’m in the middle of a boxing class and I’m feeling tired, I always tell myself that I’ve built a fit body before and I can do it again.’ She says. And it’s this combined vivacious energy and attitude that has led her to inspire thousands of women across South Africa as the co-founder of PopUpGym, a successful mobile workout that proves ‘you can turn into any space’ into an exercise arena.

Unathi Nkayi

Unathi has steadily been in the spotlight since 2001. That’s when she first became a presenter for a music lifestyle magazine show. She’s since outshone that light and is now one of our favourite judges on Idols SA. It’s her effervescent personality and determination that stick with you – she’s hard-working and a successful multitasker and this by no means is limited to her career. In our October 2018 issue she showed women that one can be fit at any age: she’s conquered Kilimanjaro, completed a Dusi Canoe Marathon and regularly tackles the Westcliff Stairs. She’s amazing, right?

Simidele Adeagbo

Earlier this year, Simi became Nigeria’s first Winter Olympian when she represented her country at the PyeongChang Games in skeleton, a sport she’d taken up just a year earlier – with the aim of going to the Winter Olympics (no jokes)! That next-level drive and the empowering work she does with school girls makes her #goals for us.

Cara-Lisa Sham

An entrepreneur and wellness coach, Cara-Lisa uses her social media platforms and her blog to educate and assist other women struggling with body issues. – ‘I was very insecure about my body when I was younger, and as a result I developed eating disorders which I struggled with for many years. Over the difficult road to recovery, I had to learn to re-programme my mind, unlearn my bad thought patterns and change my perception about food, exercise and my body. Overcoming my eating disorder and learning to love my body again is something that has taken years of hard work, but it’s something I’m truly proud of.’ – To that we say, bravo!


Lorna Maseko

As a self-proclaimed culinary princess, Lorna says her earliest foodie memory is growing up as a ballet dancer and enjoying some of the best salads in the world. ‘I love salads but I couldn’t eat a lot when I was dancing, so I’ve always tried to be quite creative.’ Lorna got into cooking thanks to her stint on Masterchef South Africa, which definitely opened a door for me. In 2019, she’s releasing a cookbook and, she says, ‘taking the Lorna Maseko brand to new heights from a business and global perspective.’

Melinda Bam

Forget any preconceptions you had about pageant queens – this former Miss SA and WH cover star is as tough as nails. Her mission is to empower women by helping them discover and tap into their inner strength. Her show, Wie’s Jou Poppie? On Via is a celebration of the fact that women can rock activities traditionally reserved for men. The strong, athletic body she built ahead of competing in SABC 3’s Tropika Island Of Treasure is testament to the physical strength women possess. And her style portrays her message that you can be feminine and strong – they’re not mutually exclusive.

Mapule Ndhlovu

Mapule won our first Next Fitness Star competition in 2016 and has taken the title quite literally, becoming one of SA;s biggest celebrity trainers in the space of just two years. Her superhero workouts, gym-floor dance moves and infectious smile have earned her an ever-growing legion of Instagram followers and regular appearances on TV, radio and the pages of newspapers and magazines across SA. It’s clear, at a glance, that Maps lives, breathes and loves fitness, which makes her our ultimate fitspiration.

Caster Semenya

Athlete extraordinaire, Caster has captured our hearts not only for her incredible ability to outrun all her competitors and break world records, but for her resilience in the face of prejudice. She embodies positivity and says that there is no space for negativity in her life. She is self-love personified. ‘You need to learn to understand yourself. You need to believe in yourself!’ And she’s a big believer in self-care: eating well, reading, educating herself and spending time with loved ones. What’s her biggest goal now? To impact others positively. ‘It’s about changing lives. It’s about motivating young ones.’ We could all take a leaf out of her book.

Letshego Zulu

The other half of PopUpGym, Letshego’s fave workout is totally on brand. ‘I love running because all you need are a pair of trainers, tights and a top. It can be done anywhere and it doesn’t have to take hours to have an effect.’ She says. ‘A 30 to 60 minute run can do the world of good and release some good endorphins.’ And when she’s not running? Letshego is bossing up the Mafadi peak (that’s the highest in South Africa, FYI), killing it at the Cape Epic, owning Mount Kilimanjaro and Comrades and even proving her mental strength on Survivor SA and Fear Factor.

Amanda Mbongwa

‘To me, wellness means a strong, healthy mind, emotional health and, of course, physical health. I am constantly striving to be my best self and training makes me feel strong and healthy.’ Amanda, trainer and entrepreneur, used her personal fitness transformation to change the lives of young men and women in the village of Loskop club, which has grown to more than 50 members, who have all committed to leading active and healthy lifestyles.

Tamaryn Green

‘So many of us don’t really understand that our mental health state is just as important as our physical health. As Miss South Africa, I’ve been careful to take better care of my mental health – maintaining the balance is very important.’ Says Tamaryn. Her fave way to recharge? – ‘A beautiful day out hiking because it’s not only a physical workout, it’s a great way to get some fresh air too!’


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Keeping cool, in Thailand with my beautiful @forevernew_sa kaftan. Can’t wait to go back in December ???

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Demi-Leigh Nel Peters

AKA Miss Universe, is the embodiment of beauty, poise and elegance. But spend time with her and you’ll discover a tough and tenacious woman with steely determination. ‘I think beauty pageants, especially Miss Universe, have adapted so much – they have really let me be who I am… They haven’t really tried to change the way I look,’ she says. ‘I will never tolerate being objectified as a woman. I feel that all women should be treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.’

Wenda Nel

The future of sport is female and nowhere is that clearer than with our track athletes. Wenda, a 400m hurdler, is rock-hard proof. Despite being smaller than the average hurdler (they’re usually tall with long legs), Wenda dominates. This year alone, she’s collected several gold medals and took home bronze at the Commonwealth Games. Aside from that – and her serious #fitspo – she’s on a mission to set an example for others. ‘I have a heart on fire to make a difference in the world through my achievements and talent, so in a way it is about way more than winning alone,’ she says.

Mali Ramara

A top ten finalist in our 2017 Next Fitness Star competition, Mali joined Instagram so she could enter the competition, even though she didn’t have a clue how it worked. Now the yoga teacher and personal trainer uses the platform like a boss, sharing her signature #actionyoga home workout videos and budget healthy meals. She also candidly shares stories of the reality of living with brain Lupus, an autoimmune disease, which she keeps in check with yoga and other alternative therapies.
The great thing about Mali’s food and fitness philosophy is that wellness should be accessible – you can totes do yoga in your kitchen!


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The purpose of practicing Yoga is not to master the asanas (poses) but to master the Mind, Body and Sprit no matter how old you are and no matter where you live?? and what is happening in your life. The benefits of backwards bend, – 1st pose and the camel pose – last pose Stimulate the respiratory system, kidneys, digestion, blood circulation. Stretches the abdomen, chest, hip flexor, thighs and deep core stabilizers Heal your Mind and heal your Body?? Have a happy Wednesday beautiful people ???? ________________________________________ @maliramara #mindbodynutritioncoach #yogatraining#yogaflex #actionyoga #yogaposes #yogatraining #hometraining #homeworkout #mindfulness #healthylowbudgetmeals #healthymind #healthybody #stretching #fitness #flexible

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Jessica Sepel

South-African born dietician and healthy foodie guru, Jess won our hearts when we first jumped on board as her media partners for her first book tour. While she’s been living in Aus for a humber of years, her SA following is strong! We love her 80-20 approach to food and life. Her philosophy on ditching diets and getting healthy for life – and her date balls –  have us tapping into her recipes constantly for healthy inspo.

Julia Anastasopoulos AKA Suzelle

Whether you know her as the local-is-lekker queen of DIY and braai pie or as the maddening bride-to-be with less-than-sage advice, Tali, the woman behind these characters and shows, Julia, is an incredibly talented actress and entrepreneur. She saw gaps in the market to create these kinds of truly South African comedic shows and has garnered major following, partnered with many company giants and has just released a cookbook, Recipes by SuzelleDIY. For a dose of laughter and feel-good vibes, visit her YouTube channel, follow her on Instagram and follow Tali on insta too!

Inè Reynierse

The goddess of low carb, Inè is a successful cookbook author and we love her most for creating gluten-free low-carb pastry, bread, pizza and cake recipes that we at WH HQ (with all our intolerances) can actually eat. We also just love that, besides the carb thing, her message is about creating healthy food for family.

Siba Mtongana

Our Food Network star, mama-to-four and judge on Chopped South Africa,Siba is the master of modernising African food and making it accessible for all palates. She used to be the food ed of DRUM magazine and after her first TV show: Drum Presents Cooking With Siba, her career developed like a good curry. From a humble background to foodie stardom, Siba has worked consistently to build her career, but also takes time to support organisations such as FoodBanks South Africa, which helps fight hunger and malnutrition.

Karen Dudley

Woodstock’s hipster chef, Karen became popular for her trendy, healthy Cape Town restaurant call The Kitchen, which offers fabulous salads, falafel, deli items and more. She has just launched another cookbook: Set A Table. Her philosophy is all about making things better for people and spreading the good vibes, from her famous Love Sandwich to her generous portion sizes.

Dr Yael Joffe

Yael Joffe started out as a dietitian but became disappointed by her education. “I felt that it really hadn’t given me the answers that I was hoping for,” she says. She wanted to know how to prevent disease and how nutrition could prevent cancer. Now, Joffe, Adjunct Professor of Nutrigenomics at Rutgers University and registered dietitian launched a gene-based clinic, 3X4 Clinics, the first of its kind in SA. They take a cheek swab, analyse your DNA and use it to create a nutrition plan that matches your genetics with your health goals. Soon, they’ll be as standard as regular clinics, and getting your genes tested could be essential.

Dr Heather Zar

Heather Zar’s work could be summarised in one word: groundbreaking. Combining science with social justice for child welfare, Zar’s created simple diagnostic tests for TB and pneumonia using just spit and nasal swab samples, which was integrated into the World Health Organization’s guidelines. Zar, a Professor and Chair in the Department of Paediatrics & Child Health at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, has also designed the simplest form of giving life-saving “spacers” to children with asthma by adapting plastic bottles. “Lung diseases as a whole are really the major causes of children under five dying in Africa and in the world,” says Zar.

Dr Smritee

Smritee Dabee’s work looks at one of the trendiest fields in biological science: inflammation. From golden milk to yoga, all sorts of things have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, one of the key precursors to disease. Dabee, postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Medical Virology and Clinical Laboratory Sciences at UCT, investigates how inflammation affects SA’s most pressing disease: HIV. Dabee’s research found that when the genital tract is inflamed (when an STD or bacterial imbalance is present), your risk of contracting HIV skyrockets. The implications are huge, showing that the level of inflammation in your body could have an impact on how you contract disease.

Jessica Kotlowitz

With a master’s degree in nutrition, Jessica is a registered dietician who is passionate about the use of plant-based diets for the treatment and prevention of obesity and chronic lifestyle diseases. Having lost 15kg since the beginning her own vegan journey, Jessica is the perfect advocate for a plant-based lifestyle. She is knowledgeable, compassionate and understanding and continues to research and evaluate emerging literature to make sure she stays at the top of her game.

Dr Nomphelo Gantsho

A registered dermatologist that focuses on ALL types of skin problems. We love her for her extensive experience acquired from public and private healthcare practice – and her frankness when it comes to sharing it. Seriously you guys, she’s our go-to expert for literally any skin concern!

Taryn Louch

A ray of positivity, Taryn Louch is the well-spoken, boss-babeing (defs a word) authentic voice of radio and of Little Miss Louch, her Insta handle. We love her for her commitment to keeping it real, but also delivering the goods – she has style in spades, a signature red lip, an amazing energy and a point of view, especially when it comes to women – owning your voice, empowering one another and being true to yourself.

Zizo Tshwete

She’s a radio and TV personality but so much more that as a fierce advocate for small business and entrepreneurial spirit. As the presenter of Standard Bank’s amazing My Fearless Next – a competition to turn your side hustle into your main business – she supports the go-getting spirit of South Africa and as a woman and a mom, she is fully supportive of the girl boss vibes too. Plus, she has a killer turn of phrase that is equal parts inspirational and entertaining.

Gin Mclellan

Ginnie is a blogger, vlogger and all-round badass who’s committed to helping women reconnect with themselves. She teaches self-defense classes with her husband, MMA fighter Garreth Soldierboy McLellan, and uses her platforms to inspire women to pursue the personal dreams many of them abandoned when becoming wives and moms. As a mom herself, Ginnie is proof that you can be a mom and a badass.

 Wendy Bergsteedt

It’s not that Wendy Bergsteedt is a great source of marketing how-how, inspiring young students and her posse of one-time interns to great heights, but also for her stellar life balance. Her mindful yoga practice, hunger for knowledge and amazing soulful energy, keep her top of mind for advice and inspiration. Plus she likes to say this: “Today is a good day to have a good day” and we love that.

Chantal Marx

As head of equity research at FNB Wealth and Investments, Chantal is your woman when it comes to markets and investments. One of the few women in her position in SA, she’s standing back for no one. But what we love most is her ability to explain complex financial matters in a way that doesn’t make your eyes glaze over – a rare talent indeed.

Noks Jada

Noks started out as a stage performer – the woman can sing! – but it was in her capacity as a yoga teacher that she joined the WH family. Her brand of yoga is accessible, sassy and fun – who doesn’t love a bit of a booty pop in their Garland Pose? When she’s not tearing down preconceptions of what a yogi “should” look like (#BodyPositivity), Noks is a teacher with Earthchild Project, an organisation that teaches yoga and meditation to underprivileged children as young as Grade R to give them a coping mechanism for their daily reality and teach them respect for themselves, their peers and the environment.

Natasha Fagri

Natasha is the director and co-owner of JML Consulting, the creators of Frost Popsicles – everyone’s favourite frozen summer treat. Natasha saw the gap in the SA market for an alcoholic popsicle and sacrificed everything to create a homegrown version. A year later Frost Popsicles released non-alcoholic popsicles and cemented Natasha’s position as the queen of summer.


Lulu Mthimkulu

“Ask anyone and they will tell you that beauty is my biggest passion point. I love making women feel beautiful, I think it’s my calling!” It stands to reason then that Lulu would open her very own Beauty Bar. With a resumé that includes head of marketing for Estée Lauder and Tom Ford, as well as starting her own PR and communication agency, it’s clear that Lulu has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and the will to succeed.

Carine Glass

After running her own corporate events business for more than a decade, entrepreneur Carine was inspired to start her own online jewellery store, Rafaela Leah, in 2016. She is adamant that her pieces offer women uncompromising quality at an affordable price and the store has gone from strength to strength and now has a retail kiosk in Cape Town.

Karin Orzol

She’s the creative visionary behind all our local cover shoots and the woman who takes layering, accessories and customizing to giddy new heights. Karin Orzol is a personal shopper and stylist who believes in the power of understanding your body, knowing what you feel good in and making it work for you again and again. Her fashion powers are boundless.


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ricordando i giorni trascorsi in italia! @ingridalicephotography

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Vesselina Pentcheva

As the designer behind the wedding dresses your wildest imagination didn’t even know you needed, Vesselina has made a career of making women’s dreams come true. Not dreams come true because marriage, but dreams come true because, thanks to Vess, you get to look embody the very best , most beautiful, most flattering, most heavenly version of you. She says her starting point is always to ask what is the part of your body that you love the most and then working with her talents and fabrics to create you most body confident focal point. Winning.


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Proteas and Daisy’s ??

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Melody Molale

After obtaining her degree in Corporate Communication, Melody worked in a public relations role for one of South Africa’s prominent music record labels, working with some the country’s biggest musicians. In this role she gained experience in fields such as artist management, events and media relations. She later joined Ogilvy Johannesburg, to work with brands such as Nike, SAP and Motorola doing communications, PR and brand management. Currently, Melody finds herself playing different roles in a field she is passionate about, fashion. A quick scroll through her feed and you’ll understand why her 137K followers keep checking in for her effortless yet on-trend style trips. She’s also one of the IT beauty faces to know RN, bagging a major campaign with Ponds no doubt because her complexion is as radiant as her energy!


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Azania Mosaka

Radio presenter, business woman, mother and MC – there’s very little Azania Mosaka can’t do. We’re especially thankful for her dedication to flawless complexions. Along with her own successful beauty parlour, Miss Salon London, Azania has created a mineral makeup range that is teaching us all to ‘treat our skin with the utmost respect.’ MSLONDON Mineral Cosmetics combines essential minerals into everyday makeup ensuring that our skin looks and feels good under the makeup we can’t leave the house without. – Hello flawless complexion!

Absie Panthswa

One of the coolest caterers to every walk the planet, Absie – with her signature bleached blonde hair – is the master of the second-act career. With a background in beauty, she literally threw in the towel and moved into events and hosting. She is now the owner of prestigious Fresh RSVP Guest Logistics Specialist, a 100-percent black woman owned and managed company. Her entrepreneurial spirit began as a child, selling oranges from her backyard orange tree and now she runs an events, food and logistics empire. Plus, we luuuurve her fashion.

Tumi Voster

Media personality and 5FM Radio Personality, we love the way Tumi has used her high profile platform for good. – She is the proud founder of the GrlPwr Series, which is a platform designed to empower and inspire young women through necessary dialogues that will bring about change and help them to build their own success stories.
Tumi V

Fiona Barford

Fairly new to our WH fitfam, Fiona recently introduced us to the benefits of plie’s and pulse movements. Her body barre classes are so effective that each class is always full to the erm, barre. She’s toning stars’ tushes – hey Taryn Louch! – and every Jozi girl that can line up along her barre. Want in? We thought you might… Well, Fiona will soon be launching an online training program. You heard it here first – woohoo!

Pabi Moloi

She’s often spotted in her Lorna Jane, hashtagging #fitmom on Insta, but in between all that mindful living, she is also a radio and TV presenter. Find her on the Power Weekend Breakfast and on Lifetime Channel for the reality series, Love At Second Swipe, where Pabi together with her team – aka a life coach, style expert and makeup guru –  makeover two people and set them up in the hope of finding love.


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… it’s a yes. ?

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Elna Rudolph

A medical doctor and sexologist working exclusively in sexual health, Elna is passionate about her field. She is also the clinical head of My Sexual Health – a multidisciplinary team of sexual health professionals in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town. She continues to improve her knowledge and skills by being involved in various organisations, conducting research and presenting and attending conferences, both local and international.

Sarah Graham

Zimbo-born conservation gal turned Cape Town blogger, Sarah’s foray into food started as a collection of recipes on her site, which ended up awarding her the first-ever cookbook contract with Random House to be given to a blogger. Now she’s a celebrity chef with TV shows such as Sarah Graham Cooks Cape Town and Sarah Graham’s Food Safari, to mention a couple. Her food: whole, free of refined sugar and processed foods. She has her own range of nourish balls and a 10 Day Body Reset ebook too.

Dudu Busani-Dube

If ever there was proof that blogging does work, it’s Dudu. She started off writing a novel in blog post instalments, then self-published them. They’ve been a huge hit – this year, Zulu Wedding topped the number one spot at Exclusive Books within days of its release.

Roushanna Gray

Roushanna Gray runs Cape Town-based Veld And Sea, a pioneering series of workshops in the indigenous foods movement, that introduces people to foraging and cooking with wild foods, is working to change the ignorance around the nutritionally dense and delicious foods growing freely around us.


Nompumelelo Mqwebu

Chef and author of award-winning cookbook, Through The Eyes Of An African Chef, is on a mission to reintroduce South Africans and the world to the indigenous superfoods growing in the country. “While training in 2005 I realised at the end of the year that we had not covered any indigenous recipes or food culture. I was quite disappointed as I thought it would be the core of our culinary training,” she says. “Later as I started private chef work, I battled to get indigenous crops or knowledge of when it would be available. I then made in roads to discover small producers who still grow and eat these crops and I never looked back.” Her cookbook deals with traditional foods like pap, amadumbe and baobab and uses them in both traditional and secular recipes, adding a much-needed dose of heritage and reverence to the South African plate.

Tegan Philips

After graduating from varsity, Tegan spent a year overseas, travelling on her bicycle with her family, and keeping up a comic blog of their adventures. While she was meant to become a lawyer, she felt the need to explore a more creative career. Now, she creates comics and sells them in the form of merch online. They’re also available overseas.


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at least the perception of spending a lot of time in coffee shops is pretty accurate ☕️

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Amanda Dlamini

Amanda Dlamini is a veteran of her sport, a two-time Olympian and is showing no signs of slowing down. She’s got more than 100 caps (meaning she’s represented SA in 100 games) and is giving back by founding the Amanda Dlamini Girls Foundation, empowering girls in rural and underprivileged areas to get opportunities in a sporting world where women are so often pushed off the field.

Raeesa Solwa

Raeesa a biokineticist, running coach, Asics frontrunner and top ten finalist in our 2016 Next Fitness Star competition. She’s also our go-to woman for all information around race-day conditioning and nutrition, running injury prevention and real-talk fit mom tips and info.
When baba becomes your gym equipment…how cute is this vid though?


Aneeka Buys

A top five finalist in our 2016 Next Fitness Star competition, Aneeka has become a well-known personality on the local fitness scene. She’s a master trainer at Virgin Active’s exclusive Silo Collection club in Cape Town, the face of the Virgin Active app and the brains behind the workouts in Shedding For The Wedding, a comprehensive weight-loss programme for brides-to-be and their bridesmaids. We love her positive energy and innovative functional workout videos.
Aneeka’s functional kettlebell workout to get you toned and strong…


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??KETTLEBELLS?? I’ve found that lots of you babes aren’t comfortable using kettlebells, so I decided to create this basic but also intense circuit for you to follow so you gain some confidence. ??? Here we go hunni’s: _ Exercise 1: Squat to Rotational Press × 20 Position feet just wider than hip width apart with you kettlebells at shoulder level. Squat, then twist and press forward as you come out of the squat. _ Exercise 2: 1 Legged Deadlift to Shoulder Press × 12 per side Hold the kettlebell in your left hand and stabilize your left leg. Swing your right leg back until your back is parallel with the floor. Come back to start and shoulder press. _ Exercise 3: Kettlebell Swing × 20 Drop the kettlebell between your legs, just pushing your hips back (not into a squat – just a micro movement). Using the momentum of your hips, squeeze into your glutes propelling the kettlebell forward. _ Exercise 4: Windmills × 12 per side Th trick here is keeping the kettlebell in the same position throughout. Separate your feet to wider than hip width apart. Holding the kettlebell overhead, slide the other hand down along the side of your leg. Pretend you’re stuck between 2 sheets of glass. _ Exercise 5: Renegade Row × 10 Get into an incline plank on a step. Keeping your hips stable, row, bringing the kettlebell to your torso. – Do 5 rounds with 1 minute’s rest between sets. So my babes, when you get into the gym tomorrow morning, do this one! It’s a great way to start a Monday! ?? – – – #personaltrainer #fitgirl #fitmom #fitgirlza #fitfluencer #fitnesscoach #gym #workout #girlswithabs #workout #mondayworkout

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Leanne Manas

As anchor on SABC 2’s Morning Live breakfast show, Leanne has started South Africans’ days for 14 years. But what we admire most is her determination and ability to stare fear in the face and carry on anyway – case in point: when she was invited to climb Kilimanjaro, Leanne felt enormously unprepared, but she said yes, trained her butt off and summited. #Goals!

Zinhle Ntshiks (team hlasela)

We first go to know Zee aka Team Hlasela when we featured her incredible weight-loss journey – she lost 50 kilos! We have since been inspired by her #Team5am fitness motivation, sweaty selfies and transformation pics. She works hard and has built a community of women who have jumped on the weight-loss wagon with her. She has since studied cheffing and has a second Instagram account called Chef_zie which showcases her recipes. Her resilience and no-BS attitude has motivated us to get our butts to gym more times than we can lift dumbbell in a SWEAT1000 class.


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Happiness looks good on me, don’t you think? #LiveMoreLife

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Tracey-Lee Lusty

Aka FitnessGirl has been on a weight-loss journey for the past two years, but also celebrates her curves. From lawyer to plus-size model, adidas and shield brand ambassador and body-positivity advocate, we are inspired by her confidence, radiant personality and no-fucks-given attitude. Keep doing you, gurrrl.


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? ANNOUNCEMENT ? I am SO EXCITED & BLESSED to finally announce that I have officially joined the @shieldza #FitSquad alongside my gals @takkies7 @queenfitnass @letshego.zulu & @tdkmacassette to bring you the COOLEST campaign!!! Remember that sneaky lil Jozi trip a couple weeks back? ✈️ This is what we were creating!!! EEEEK!! Guys be kind! I am no dancer (I legit did Scottish dancing for about 5 mins as a kid ⚔️ but that’s about it haha!) I had exactly 1 HOUR to learn my specific dance, and 2 HOURS to nail it on camera ? Thanks to @takkies7 for being such a PHENOM teacher! I think it turned out pretty good for a newbie dancer, right? Haha!!! – ? SO WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT? ? You guys know that I live a pretty crazy lifestyle. I’m always on the move, whether I’m at gym, F45, at work, hustling hard from meeting to meeting, travelling or just living my best life in gen✌?, so wetness and odour are honestly thee last things that I need holding me back ??‍♀️ Soooo, I’m putting the new @shieldza Fresh variant to the ultimate test and have heeded the call to take up the #UltimateChallenge. But this challenge is not just for me, IT’S FOR YOU GUYS TOO!!! ? Over the next few weeks I want you guys to get #ShieldReady and move with confidence (and ALL THE JIGGLE) as you take on my specific @shieldza Fresh challenge and put Shield to the ultimate test ?? – ? THIS IS AWESOME! HOW? ? Super super simple! All you have to do is post a video to showcase your power moves by recreating my Shield Fresh routine above, nominate a friend to do the same, and you could win yourself some RIDIC cool prizes ?? There will be a winner every week for the best video and you’ll win yourself a pretty shweeet Shield hamper… AND that winner will also go into a draw to win the ultimate prize of R15 000 CASH!! – Guys, if I can nail this little routine and prove to you that you DONT have to be a dancer to shake your booty and have FUN, then you can do it too!!! To kick off my challenge, I nominate @oyamabotha @sugarfreesundays & @jennaevelevy to show me their best moves!! And to everyone else, I can’t wait to see what you all come back with! Make it your own, let’s start a movement! ?

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Lesego Legobane, better known as ThickLeeyonce on social media, is a champion of self-love and body acceptance. The photographer, model and owner of clothing label Lee Bex makes it a point of captioning every Insta post with a message of body positivity – and we can’t get enough.


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… a diamond in the rough ? photographed by @tonymac23 dress from @lee_bex

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Tammy Fry

Tammy is a passionate advocate for a vegan lifestyle and shows that the diet is not a weakness. She is an athlete (she has a black belt in karate), a plant-based nutritionist and managing director of the Fry Family Food Co, which her father started after she convinced him to become vegetarian. She is an inspiring and encouraging figure in the vegan world.

  1. Brodie Meyer

As the managing director and owner of, Brodie aims to remove the stigma surrounding sex toys and provide customers with access to luxurious products. She believes in building people from the ground up and giving back to communities through social upliftment and empowerment-based solutions, which she strives to do within the Désir team.

Bridgette Pickering

As a designer who believes in the mantra of body positivity, Bridget Pickering’s Ruff Tung has leapt away from the idea of plus-size and moved into a space of design that flatters every shape and size with smart tailoring, killer prints, the odd knot, one-shoulder and sequin and a ton of attitude, both on and off the catwalk. Her fashion shows are legendary for her use of her fashion tribe rather than clothes horses and it makes the Ruff Tung message all the more power!
As seen in the Women’s Health office.


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Your excitement knows no bounds! Congratulations @takkies7 – December cover star! ???

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Roxy Davis

Pro Surfer Roxy Davis has taken her passion far beyond riding waves. She’s founded surf Emporium, one of the largest surf schools in the country where she champions surfing for everyone, including girls and adaptive surfers


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Looking into the weekend like… ? #saltwater #oceanlove #dancing #happiness #surfemporium #gopro @goproza

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Kass Naidoo

Kass has been a pioneer on the SA sports and media scene since becoming SA’s first female cricket commentator back in the days when cricket commentary was the almost exclusively domain of white men. She was also one of the pioneering supporters of women’s sport through her platform The gsport Trust, which makes her a hero in our eyes.
Kass, in her element, doing what she does best: supporting women’s sport and talking cricket


Jabu Gwala

This marketing powerhouse – with the good hair – has teamed up with Takkies and launched an afro chic athleisure label – look out for it – Siko Republik. The new collection, simply entitled Queen Nandi is equally parts primary coloured African print and new age technical specs, making it the best of both worlds.


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Fly baby, fly. ??#happythursday For pre-orders:

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Nneile Nkholise

Engineer Nneile Nkholise created a more affordable way for women to receive breast implants: 3D implants. While most implants start from R3000, Nkholise’s company, iMed Tech, offers customised breast implants starting from just R900. “We’ve created a way for people to buy products directly from us by building a team of people with expertise. It cuts the cost of the product, and also makes it more accessible to the patients,” she says. The company’s expanded to also offer 3D surgical planning models for doctors and dental aligners. They’re also looking into creating prosthetics for sport and other bioimplants. Watch this space:

Danielle Twilley

Plant scientist Danielle Twilley found a compound in a South African plant that’s particularly potent in destroying melanoma cells – the first of its kind. It’s combined with gold nanoparticles to deliver the extract to the melanoma cells. “There’s so much knowledge about South African plants that hasn’t been explored yet,” says Twilley. Her other work includes the patenting of another indigenous plant extract that boosts the SPF of sunscreen through its high antioxidant content.

Ntsiki Biwela

SA’s first black woman winemaker is stubborn in all the right ways. Her inspirational story of studying winemaking at a university far from her tiny home village in a language (Afrikaans) that she didn’t speak or understand is the definition of determination. Not content just to work for someone else, she went on to start Aslina Wines and is now bossing it up in an industry still largely dominated by white men. Her motto “the journey continues” is proof that there’s still so much more to come.
Ntsiki doing SA proud and taking Aslina Wines global…


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Day 2 at the Munich wine show, Aslina wines flying in Munich

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Bianca Hansen

Bianca’s brought award-winning Toast Ale to South Africa, spearheading a business that aims to cut back food waste while creating a product that gives back in a big way. In SA, 33% of food produced goes to waste before it reaches the consumer, according to Bianca. Toast Ale uses surplus bread from bakeries that’s used to brew a fresh, light craft ale. All the profits got to Soil For Life, a charity that targets hunger sustainably.

Sarah Kennan

The blonde bombshell Zimbo surfer girl, looks like someone you want to take boarding but she’s actually a fierce advocate of local is lekker vibes, particularly alcohol. As the founder of 100% Agave liqueur, Leonista.  Sarah and her team distill locally grown Agave plants from the Karoo. It’s more delicious than tequila and baosts the prettiest packaging on the shelf!  If she’s not drinking Leonista you’ll find her leading the pack at Secret Sunrise.

Hildegard Witbooi

She’s better known as the head of agriculture, horticulture and viticulture at Springfontein Wines but we know her better as @fynbosqueen on Instagram. A fabulous woman who is completing her PHD, while working side by side with her husband, the winemaker at Springfontein. Follow her for her green fingers, her incredible potato hustle (yes, it’s a thing) and her science wisdom, water efficiency and farm life. And if you’re in the hood, go and drink the wine.


  1. Farirai Sanyika

Farirai is a chemical engineer by day and a travel blogger by, ahem, night but what she also does is arrange group travel trips to African destinations if you’re not keen on solo travel. As she says via her site Gophari Travel: “Unexpected friendships are the best ones – travel together and discover them all… Social, authentic, travel experiences.” She spends most of her time holed up in Secunda, but for the rest can be found exploring and indulging in her passion for travel – and sharing it with all of us. How much do we love that? A lot.


Ayanda Thabethe

Ayanda is a dynamo – an actress, TV personality, entrepreneur and Pond’s ambassador, she is both beautiful and outspoken. We love her not for her glowing and seemingly effortless beauty routine, but for her great take on life for women in general. A classic case in point? This Insta caption: “The real secret to living a fabulous life is to live imperfectly with great delight.” Praise.


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The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

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Dr Judy Dlamini

A medical doctor, hugely successful businesswoman, philanthropist and author of the must-read “Equal But Different – Women Leaders’ Life Stories”, she was recently appointed chancellor of Wits University and is proof that a woman with a will can do anything she sets her mind on. She’s worked hard for every success and victory she’s achieved and has an abundance of wisdom to share with those of us who are still trying to find our way.
This book is all the inspiration you need the summer…
Hello, @book_capital is hoping to distribute 10 000 copies in 2018 of Equal But Different to the girl & boy child free of charge to schools in all provinces. We corporate fund raising for this noble initiative????
— Book Circle Capital ? (@book_capital) January 21, 2018

Dr Sindi van Zyl

It’s not often a doctor is not only active on social media but popular, too. Dr van Zyl rose to popularity as a candid voice on Twitter, delivering advice and educated thoughts on HIV and sexual health. She’s created an online community that allows everyone to have access to trusted advice in a way that’s not preachy – and we love her for it.

Dr Langa Mngoma

Doctor slash model, Dr Langa Mngoma is the epitome of beauty and brains. We love her for her unaplogetic attitude towards being who she was born to be. ‘I was 13 years old when I decided to have natural hair. At that stage, it was not popular. I was embracing being black in my own way. Until then I struggled with complexities about my complexion, my features and my hair texture. I had to do the inner work – I had to find it within myself to accept my natural kind of beauty. It then became a philosophical way of embracing myself.’ – Contine you to go forth and inspire, Langa. We love you for it!

Marie Rabie

“I think that from a young age I’ve had my fingers in a lot of pies – I’ve always been doing something.” This, in one sentence, sums up Mari Rabie, South African triathlete, businesswoman actuarial analyst, and now, professional mountain biker. Mari’s been a professional athlete since she turned 18, and since then, she’s been a Rhodes scholar, competed in the Olympics, become an actuarial analyst and (phew!) started the popular athleisure brand, Move Pretty.

Fikile Moeti

Mom, DJ, TV presenter, Lindt ambassador, sportswoman, motivational speaker and all-round girl boss, there seems to be nothing that Fix can’t or won’t do. She’s driven and focused and has worked hard for every success. She is an inspiration to women in South Africa and we love that she’s all about giving back – she founded the Fix Scholarship, which awards funds to worthy candidates with a focus on social entrepreneurship.


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Fix Scholarship 2019 loading ?? with @gibsbusinessschool

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Kirsten Goss

Kisten has been girlbossing as a jewellery queen since long before the rest of us rolled into Bree Street for First Thursday and – good grief – is she good at it! With a fringe as fierce as her unwavering eye, a killer sense of humour and sense of style and a contemporary take on jewellery that is packed with power, she is all kinds of cool. Check out her collections or follow her on Insta – she is loyal to local design and her own best brand ambassador.

Dane van Niekerk

The captain of the Proteas women’s team is a formidable all-rounder on the cricket field – ranked number three in the world on the ICC women’s all-rounder rankings (she also ranks number 12 for batting and 11 for bowling). We we were thrilled when, earlier this year, she married teammate Marizanne Kapp – herself ranked number 6 in the world as an all–rounder and number three in the bowling rankings. #CoupleGoals
Dane kicking ass and taking names…

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