They say dynamite comes in small packages; this statement definitely rings true when Ilke Smith comes to mind. Despite her sporty exterior, she is one of the most genuine and humble individuals, KDT Comms have had the pleasure of getting to know over the years. Not only as Kwagga Smith’s wife, but as a fun, athletic, homebody, adventurous and supportive woman, with her own personal goals and dreams.
KDT Comms, a women-owned and run business, embodies the ethos of “Women supporting Women”, therefore adopted a unique take on this interview by aligning one of our empowered female clients as the interviewee. Introducing Sasha-Lee Taylor.
Sasha-Lee Taylor is not only a model and author of a children’s educational book, but recently became the director of ACE Models International West Rand. The agency focuses on building self-confidence and self-esteem within their work model, which we felt would be a great alignment with Ilke Smith as a wife of a Professional Rugby player, a title which she so confidently embodies.
Here’s what they had to say…
Sasha: Do you feel pressure to be a certain way or do certain things as a wife to a successful sportsman?
Ilke: No, not at all. Maybe it’s just my personality, but being married to a successful sportsman doesn’t change the way I do stuff or who I am. We are both very laid back.
Sasha: What life advice would you give to young girls who look up to you?
Ilke: To just be yourself and to know who you are is more than enough. I think social media has such a big impact on the youth these days, and not necessarily a good one at that and it’s easy to forget who YOU are. You do not have to compete with anyone else, just be the best version of yourself. Instagram is not the real world or a true reflection of anyone’s life.
Sasha: What do you do to deal with the negative criticism in the media as part of the WAG lifestyle?
Ilke: I don’t read through comments on social media, whether they’re good/bad comments, ever. The first person to “hero you” is the first one to “zero you”… it’s usually someone that’s very passionate about sport and gets emotional and I do understand that, or usually, someone who is “brave” behind a screen wanting a reaction from you. People often ask me “did you see what they said” etc. My good friends know that I’m not into the media scene and they know who I truly am. It’s important to remember it’s “one individual’s opinion” that someone has, and that’s why it is important you don’t listen to all the voices out there.
Sasha: As a “WAG” how do you plan on using “your platform” to influence the youth in a positive way?
Ilke: To just stay true to myself and be who I am! (Not in an “influencer manner” haha, but I’m running my first marathon in April and hope to inspire one or two kids, to set goals and reach them. And if the Marathon goes according to plan I want to set a goal to run the Comrades this year, in hopes of raising money for farmers, the DROUGHT has been harsh this year) but let’s see how it goes and take it step by step.
Sasha: What kind of role model do you aspire to be, as you are in the spotlight, and why?
Ilke: To show people you do not have to conform to the “social media” standards. I don’t want to change who I am, for anything or anyone. Stay true to your core values and ideals. The world is lucky to have a “YOU” in it!
Sasha: Why do you think it’s important to have positive self-esteem and how do you maintain it?
Ilke: I truly believe life is 90% what happens to you and 10% how you react to it. Being positive changes your life in so many aspects, I’m considering myself very lucky because both I and Kwagga are very positive people and we are blessed to have the same beliefs.
Sasha: In your daily lifestyle, how do you maintain a positive outlook on life, be it with exercise, catching up with friends, etc?
Ilke: I definitely love exercising and being outdoors as well as adore spending quality time with my mom and aunt. Catching up with friends and a big passion of ours is to play golf together.
Sasha: How do you deal with the competitive nature between the other “WAGS”?
Ilke: Bwahahaaha, I don’t get involved. Each to their own.
Sasha: How do you maintain positive relationships despite the difficulties that come with being a “WAG”, such as moving abroad to a foreign country?
Ilke: Wow, this is a difficult one. The honest answer, I guess it’s a keep your head above water kind of situation. And you support each other daily!
Sasha: If you could be remembered for one thing, what would you want it to be?
Ilke: I love Kwagga so much and don’t mind being called “Kwagga’s wife”, but I’m my own person. I would first and foremost like to be remembered as Ilke, an individual. I remembered running a farm race last year and winning and they actually said: “in first place Kwagga’s wife” haha, but I love the “boere oompies” and it’s for a good cause, so I’ll be “Kwagga’s wife” this year again, I don’t mind lol! So I guess I want to be remembered as someone who stood up for wanting to be known as my own person!
KDT Comms Quick Fire Questions
- Your nickname for Kwagga: Smithie/Kwags
- How long have you been married for: 2 years, 3 months
- Your favourite date night restaurant: Lupa
- Who is more romantic: Kwagga
- Kwagga’s best attribute: His passion
- Your most cherished gift: Mmmmm, My dogs if that counts
- First to apologise after a disagreement: Kwagga
- Who will win a 100m sprint between you two: Haha, I hate to say it, but Kwagga. Anything further than 3km’s and I’ll win.
- What you love most about your relationship: Doing everything together, golfing, fishing, farming, shopping, it all!
- Who made the first move: Kwagga