The secret to coaching pageant winners: 'I help them realise their own power'

When South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi was crowned as Miss Universe there was one person who was particularly thrilled because he'd had a hand in her journey to international success.

Werner Wessels is creative director of the Miss South Africa pageant, after years spent working as a pageant coach.

He's helped several beauty queen wannabes achieve their dream, starting with former schoolmate Melinda Bam and Miss South Africa 2011.

Talk Radio 702s Udo Carelse and Miss SA Melinda Bam at the Discovery 702 Walk the Talk race on 22 July, 2012. Picture: @702talkradio via Twitter

Wessels says his career journey "happened naturally", the culmination of the pageant queen dreams he shared with his school friend.

The fashion design graduate was quite happy to grow up in Pretoria with its "small town mentality" but always knew he was destined for something bigger.

I just knew it was going to be something on a global stage... I always knew that I loved fashion and that I loved women.

Werner Wessels, Creative director - Miss South Africa

I think that stems from women - girls - they were all my best friends and they loved me before I could love myself and before I knew my own power.

Werner Wessels, Creative director - Miss South Africa

The night that she [Melinda Bam] won I went up to to Rolene Strauss and I said, you need to come back and I'll train you.

Werner Wessels, Creative director - Miss South Africa

What is his secret to being such a successful pageant coach?

I've been very fortunate to work with these women and I think the greatest thing about it is that I had a hand [in their success]... The only thing that I actually do is I just make them realise their own power.

Werner Wessels, Creative director - Miss South Africa

I make them realise who they have already been their whole life and just give them the confidence to showcase that to the world because I think it's a scary thing when you have to put yourself on a platform. It's vulnerable and you open yourself up to a whole lot of of criticism and a lot of opinions

Werner Wessels, Creative director - Miss South Africa

I trained five Miss South Africa's before I officially became part of the competition.

Werner Wessels, Creative director - Miss South Africa

The 31-year-old is thrilled with his new role as Miss SA creative director:

It's a full-circle moment for me and I'm so happy that I get to have a say in all aspects of the pageant and this platform which I'm so passionate about.

Werner Wessels, Creative director - Miss South Africa

Listen to Wessels' insights into the beauty queen scene below:

Thumbnail image credit: Werner Wessels on Instagram


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Investigating SA's captive lion breeding industry and the lion bone trade

Investigating SA's captive lion breeding industry and the lion bone trade

Richard Peirce discusses his documentary 'Lions, Bones & Bullets', which follows the trade to the Far East.

'I think govt exists for the most vulnerable' - Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi

'I think govt exists for the most vulnerable' - Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi

Baloyi became SA's youngest mayor in 2013. He talks about 'being born into politics' and the principles that guide him.

Open day season: How to choose the best school for your child

Open day season: How to choose the best school for your child

Parenting expert Nikki Bush has valuable pointers on what to keep in mind when matching your child to a school.

[VIDEO] OR Tambo Int. erupts in celebration as SA's Miss Universe returns home

[VIDEO] OR Tambo Int. erupts in celebration as SA's Miss Universe returns home

Excited fans mobbed Zozibini Tunzi as she arrived on her first visit to Mzansi since she took the Miss Universe 2019 crown.

'As a man I have no right to tell women what they should do with their hair'

'As a man I have no right to tell women what they should do with their hair'

Africa Melane and callers weigh in on the win by Zozibini Tunzi in the world stage.

'The enormity of Zozibini's win can't be underestimated, representation matters'

'The enormity of Zozibini's win can't be underestimated, representation matters'

Broadcaster Doreen Morris weighs in on the significance of Tunzi's crowning glory.

Popular articles
Investigating SA's captive lion breeding industry and the lion bone trade

Investigating SA's captive lion breeding industry and the lion bone trade

Richard Peirce discusses his documentary 'Lions, Bones & Bullets', which follows the trade to the Far East.

'I think govt exists for the most vulnerable' - Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi

'I think govt exists for the most vulnerable' - Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi

Baloyi became SA's youngest mayor in 2013. He talks about 'being born into politics' and the principles that guide him.

No load shedding expected on Sunday says Eskom

No load shedding expected on Sunday says Eskom

Load shedding has been suspended for Sunday, but the system remains 'unpredictable'.

Open day season: How to choose the best school for your child

Open day season: How to choose the best school for your child

Parenting expert Nikki Bush has valuable pointers on what to keep in mind when matching your child to a school.

Zuma returns from Cuba, addresses 'hundreds' of supporters

Zuma returns from Cuba, addresses 'hundreds' of supporters

Former president Jacob Zuma arrived at OR Tambo International where supporters waited to give him a hero's welcome.

[WATCH LIVE] Joseph Shabalala's funeral service underway in Ladysmith

[WATCH LIVE] Joseph Shabalala's funeral service underway in Ladysmith

The music icon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder is being laid to rest in his home town in KwaZulu-Natal.

Load shedding to be suspended at 5pm, resumes on Sunday

Load shedding to be suspended at 5pm, resumes on Sunday

Eskom says 'improved generation system performance' will allow it to suspend load shedding at 5pm on Saturday.

[WATCH] Ndlovu Youth Choir's moving 'Homeless' tribute to Joseph Shabalala

[WATCH] Ndlovu Youth Choir's moving 'Homeless' tribute to Joseph Shabalala

The Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder will be laid to rest in Ladysmith on Saturday.

'High possibility' of load shedding continuing throughout Sunday

'High possibility' of load shedding continuing throughout Sunday

Stage 2 power cuts are scheduled until 6 am on Sunday, but Eskom says this could be extended.

 'When languages are being let go of in favour of English, we lose identity'

'When languages are being let go of in favour of English, we lose identity'

Joanne Joseph spoke to Play Africa founder and CEO Gretchen Wilson-Prangley on International Language Day.