Mia de Klerk returns

Mia de Klerk

Former Miss Namibia 2000, television (TV) host Mia de Klerk is officially back in the country after living in Dubai for four years, and this time, she says it’s for good.

De Klerk recently chatted to The Namibian about being back home and the opportunities she explored while outside the country.

De Klerk moved at the end of 2019, when her husband had a promising career opportunity as a lawyer in Dubai.

“At the time, we felt it was the right move for our family. My family all live in Namibia, so any move was always going to be temporary. I lived in Dubai for four years, from 2019 to 2023. It’s been a wonderful journey and coming back home felt like the perfect decision for me and my family,” she said.

De Klerk said being in Dubai was an exciting period in her life, one filled with loads of opportunity, personal growth and exploration.

She described spending time outside the country as an adventure that widened her horizons as she explored various new opportunities.

“Dubai was a remarkable place with incredible opportunities for me. I pursued my master’s degree in marketing communications there, focusing specifically on luxury brands entering new and emerging markets. Dubai provided the perfect backdrop for this study, and I had the privilege of spending time and learning from world-renowned brands such as Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Mont Blanc,” De Klerk said.

She added that she and her family are pleased to be back home, and she believes there is no place like Namibia. She’s particularly happy to be able to raise her daughter in the Land of the Brave.

“I’m happily married. My husband and I are soon celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary. We are happy about this and also number 13 is his lucky number. We have a beautiful daughter who just turned 11. Raising her in Namibia, surrounded by the natural beauty and warmth of our country and our people, is a blessing beyond words. While we love travelling and have explored many countries together, there’s truly no place like home,” she said.

De Klerk said Namibia has been wonderful since their return, offering a safe, nurturing environment, with loads of potential and growth, which she values tremendously.

Since her return, De Klerk has continued offering services and coaching through her marketing communications consultancy to corporates and well-known brands, which she said has offered her a deep understanding of the potential and innovation in Namibia.

“While being away for some time highlights the changes in the country, it’s been heartening to see positive developments. As the world continues to evolve, I made sure I stayed ahead of the curve, enriching my knowledge with an executive education in digital marketing and innovation from the prestigious London Business School. My passion for leadership, corporate strategy, and enhancing customer experiences continues to fuel my professional journey and I am very fortunate to use my experience and skills to add value to the rapidly evolving Namibian corporate and media landscape,” she said.

De Klerk is also a presenter of the TV game show ‘Winna Mariba’, which recently returned to TV.

De Klerk is once again hosting the show with Neville Basson. This comeback follows the signing of a five-year agreement between the national broadcaster and the Trustco Group, paving the way for a series of engaging programmes.

Other productions De Klerk has been involved in include the dance reality show, ‘Dans, dans, dans’ for kykNET, appearances in the South African soapie, ‘Egoli’, and ‘Beleef Namibia’ for the programme ‘Ontbytsake’ on kykNET.

She also had the privilege of hosting the Miss Namibia pageant for a Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) live broadcast.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with my roots and contribute to the entertainment landscape of Namibia. ‘Winna Mariba’ holds a special place in my heart and I’m thrilled to be part of its revival. Initially, I felt a mix of nostalgia, excitement and a hint of apprehension when approached to present ‘Winna Mariba’ again. It’s been many years since the show’s original format aired, and reviving it felt like a significant responsibility. However, the decision was easy, especially with Neville Basson as my co-host, whom I’ve known for many years. Together with the production team, we’re determined to create a show that resonates with our audience across all platforms, not just television,” De Klerk said.

De Klerk said her return to the ‘Winna Mariba’ spotlight is more than just a blast from the past, but a chance to reconnect with audiences old and new, to entertain, engage and perhaps even change lives.

“Walking in the same shoes from years back is both nostalgic and exhilarating. ‘Winna Mariba’ was the very first game show to air on NBC TV, and being part of its revival holds immense significance for me. While the world of television and media has evolved, the essence of the show remains unchanged – to entertain, engage and change lives. It’s a privilege to continue this journey and connect with both old and new audiences,” she said.

The premiere of the brand new season of ‘Winna Mariba’ took place on 6 March.

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