Jo-Ann Strauss Biography: Family, Career, Love, Wedding And Fashion

Former beauty queen living a glamourous life

By  | Dec 04, 2019, 01:30 PM

Jo-Ann Strauss became famous overnight when she was crowned Miss South Africa 2000, at just 19-years-old.

Since then, she’s conquered the business world and placed the spotlight firmly on her career, which includes being a TV presenter, MC, public speaker and businesswoman.

This is her biography.

Jo-Ann’s Family Life 


Jo-Ann was born in Cape Town on 3 February to her parents Ingrid and Johan. She also has a younger brother Heinrich.

Her close-knit family has also been supportive of Jo-Ann, and education was a big deal for her father.

An A-student throughout her schooling career, Jo-Ann was also the head girl in her matric year at the Hottentots-Holland High School in Somerset West.

Before matriculating, Jo-Ann applied to study medicine at Stellenbosch University. She was accepted but decided to focus on commerce and enrolled for a BComm Law degree.

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It was while she was studying toward this degree, that Jo-Ann entered and was crowned Miss South Africa. Her father was adamant that she complete her studies, and Jo-Ann did just that.

Jo-Ann is a hard worker, and very smart – she was invited to join the International Golden Key Honour Society.

She multi-tasked her studies, her reign as Miss South Africa (which saw her rank sixth in the Miss World pageant in 2001) and her first job as a TV presenter for Pasella.

Jo-Ann’s Career


During her reign as Miss South Africa 2000, Jo-Ann started her glamorous career as a TV presenter.

Fluent in English, Afrikaans, German and isiXhosa, Jo-Ann was cast as one of the Afrikaans presenters for the lifestyle TV programme, Pasella.

She travelled all over South Africa, interviewing Mzansi’s biggest stars and sometimes eating, or doing, some crazy adventure activity. After a four-year stint on Pasella, Jo-Ann stepped into her designer heels and moved to a different TV channel to host Top Billing.

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This move saw Jo-Ann travel the world, interviewing the biggest stars in music, acting and royalty. Jo-Ann interviewed Elton John, Sir Richard Branson, Donatella Versace, and South Africa’s Academy Award winner Charlize Theron and Mzansi’s very own Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco.

Jo-Ann’s platform as a beauty queen and Top Billing presenter opened so many doors for her. She starred in the music video for the Irish boy band Westlife’s chart topper When You’re Looking Like That. Naomi Campbell invited her to join the iconic supermodel and Kate Moss on the catwalk in Barcelona, in a fundraising event for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

In 2008, Jo-Ann launched the Princess Project – a venture where she helps underprivileged South African matriculants have a memorable Matric Dance. Through the Princess Project, Jo-Ann receives donations from the country’s celebrities, donating their designer gowns, shoes to give these learners so they too can attend their last school dance.

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She was also a member of the presenting panel for the German TV network ZDF, presenting the opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup, all in German.

As a businesswoman, Jo-Ann is a director of the venture capitalist company Partnership Investments, and she sits on the board of several businesses including Media 24, Village n Life, Western Cape Board of Ubuntu Botho, Stellenbosch University Graduate School of Business and the marketing agency M&C Saatchi Abel

Hosting events around the world, Jo-Ann also hosted a charitable fundraiser in Monaco, alongside the principality’s royal family.

She’s also been named as brand ambassador for Lufthansa, Samsung and BMW, and is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

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In 2019, with her growing family, Jo-Ann showed off her customised BMX X5 to her social media following. She traded in her BMW X4 for a seven-seater car, just before welcoming her third child.

And when she’s not busy with work, one can say she relaxes with her blog Modern Mommy. This is where she gives fans a glimpse into her life as a mother, and how she navigates family life.

Jo-Ann Finds Love And Says I-Do


In 2005, Jo-Ann met a German orthopedic surgeon Michael Held in Cape Town. She made the first move by approaching him with a pick-up line, and the rest as they say is history.

Very private about their relationship, the couple married in a private and intimate ceremony in 2012 at the Camps Bay Retreat Boutique Hotel with only 31 guests.

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Dressed by renowned South African designer Gideon, Jo-Ann looked absolutely beautiful in her ceremony and reception dresses.

The couple hosted additional celebration parties after their intimate wedding, celebrating with more of their loved ones.

Jo-Ann’s Growing Family


 In 2016, Jo-Ann and her husband welcomed their first child, a boy. Since then their family expanded with two girls, and in 2019 her family had three children under four-years-old.

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The young family are already well-travelled, as they spent the 2018 festive season skiing on the slopes of the French Alps.

Jo-Ann, who lives in the affluent Cape Town suburb Tamboerskloof with her family, also shared snaps of their other family vacation moments, including travelling to Germany and their island adventures in Mauritius.

Jo-Ann’s Fashionable Moments


Jo-Ann has had a ton of fashionable moments – from the catwalk and red-carpet events to her everyday life – she always puts the right foot forward.

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And whether she’s all dressed up, or just chilling with her friends or family, South Africa’s biggest magazines have noticed.

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She often makes the list of South Africa’s most stylish personalities, and the magazines Rooi Rose, Elle, People and Glamour have all announced her as a style icon.

Always busy with new projects and her growing family, we’re excited to find out what Jo-Ann has planned next.

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Main image credit: SA411