Lifestyle, People of Joburg

7 minutes with Michelle and Riaan Garforth-Venter

March 15, 2017, Author: Bianca Spinner

This is the power couple we all strive to be like. Michelle was a Top Billing presenter and the host of several environmental shows, while Riaan is one of SA’s best loved television personalities.

How did each of you find your life’s work?

We think we’ve been pretty lucky in that we have both known what our talents and skills are from an early age. Michelle knew at 12 years old that she was going to be an in-front of camera person, and Riaan has been building and woodworking from the age of 8.

It’s a long-road to get to the top of your game, and it takes a focused mind, often to the exclusion of family and other life experiences. This is what is so nice about our relationship – we had our son when we are a little older, and can really focus on him and our family time together.

You’re now based in Atlanta. What do you miss about South Africa?

Michelle says she misses the multi-cultural melting pot of passionate people, Marmite and her wonderful Father, Gus Garforth.

Riaan misses his lovely daughters and his 90-year old Mother, Ouma Suzie. And of course, Mrs. Ball’s Chutney. We miss our humour from back-home, we miss the Acacia trees and the sounds of the cicadas in the evening, we miss the Highveld thunderstorms you can set your watch by and the stormy Cape Town weather – we miss so much.

Reading a novel or on kindle?

Michelle is an avid reader. Riaan is not! He prefers researching stuff on google like cars, machines, woodworking tips. But Michelle reads non-stop; she’s a member of the Atlanta Public Library, as buying books just got way too expensive.


He sang in the choir at University.

He’s terrified of snakes – he can’t even look at a photo of one!

He’s ambidextrous with power tools, equally as good on the left or right.


She got her SA National Colours at age 12 for Ice-Skating.

She’s interviewed all the members of the Rolling Stones.

She was a trained dancer in modern, jazz, tap and classical ballet.

T: Michelle – @EcoJourno

T: Riaan – @DIYmetRiaan

FB: Michelle Garforth Venter

FB: Riaan Garforth-Venter

Bianca Spinner is the Lifestyle Editor at Hello Joburg Magazine. Bianca is taking strides as in independent woman in the workforce and combined with her deep seated passion and love for her community, she is sure to increase her insatiable appetite for success.

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