Speaker From

South Africa



State | County | Province


Speaker Bio

Vanessa Goosen is a motivational speaker from Joahnnesburg, author of Drug Muled and her inspiring story of 18 years in a Thai jail after being framed.

Vanessa has been the Key Note ▪️ Motivational Speaker at numerous corporate engagements sharing her story and journey; bringing to these events great success and leaving those who hear it motivated, encouraged and with determination to pursue the greatness and excellence they are well-able to achieve.

She is an Author, Former Miss SA Semi-Finalist, Entrepreneur, a Counsellor, has appeared on numerous National and International Radio and TV Talk Shows and actively runs various Community Empowerment Projects.

She too is a very enterprising Motivational and Inspirational Speaker who has left a significant mark on the thousands she has engaged with on a Corporate, Social, Individual or Spiritual  level at events.

Vanessa has been hosted on TV & Radio Talk Shows which include Club 700, Carte Blanche, Against All Odds, I am A Woman, Botswana TV, Wat Mense Sê, Verander Dinge; Newzroom Afrika, ENCA, Radio 2000 FM, Tygerberg, Good Hope, Bay FM, Kingfisher FM, East Coast Radio, Power FM, Jacaranda, Chai FM and Kaya FM.

She has been featured in various magazines both Locally and Internationally; which include amongst others Oprah, You, Drum, Huisgenoot, Sarie, Rooi Rose, Vroue Keur and Women Of Faith.

Her story featured in countries to the likes of Sweden, Hungary and the UK; She received A Global Award from England for her Story.

Her book Drug Muled: Sixteen Years In A Thai Prison has sold thousands of copies, hitting Number One after a few weeks of release, as per the Nielson Rating and has received world-wide excellent ratings.


Vanessa was born in the Eastern Cape and  raised in a very close-knit family and community. She moved to Johannesburg at the age of eleven to complete her tertiary education.

With a good academic ability and  natural leadership skill and style, she was elected for various leadership roles. A

t this tender age she already stood out as an individual who is able to exert influence and impact peers and large groups with her drive, great sense of humour, definitive decision making ability, tenacity and hunger for success.

Amidst various other talents and passions, Vanessa always had a flare for the fashion industry.

This love and passion ultimately led to her achieving great success at the Miss South Africa Beauty Pageant; reaching the Semi-Finals in 1993 when Jacqui Mofokeng, the first Black South African was crowned Miss South Africa.

This significant milestone was achieved despite Vanessa facing many challenges and with the odds stacked against her.

Competing at such a high level with success, tremendously grew her determination and confidence, bringing her to the perspective stance that “anything is achievable and possible, when pursued with heart, passion and  perseverance.

Before the age of 20, the natural entrepreneurial drive and ability within Vanessa had already kicked in with her pursuing her first major business venture.

She opened and co-owned an exclusive man’s fashion boutique in the thriving and sought-after Carlton Centre.

Vanessa actively managed a manufacturing line as the backbone to compliment the fashion trendsetting creativity she brought to the market; growing her retail outlet with fresh design and quality.

With the boutique’s clientele growing and with the desire to keep being consistently innovative, Vanessa set on a business trip to Thailand in 1994 to acquire fashion apparel and to import quality  fabric.

Vanessa Goosen

It was with this business trip that things went awry for Vanessa. Caught up in every traveller’s nightmare, Vanessa was duped into unknowingly carrying books with heroin hidden in its covers.

This led to her arrest and being sentenced to death. She was pregnant at the time of her arrest, leading to her sentence  being postponed until after her giving birth.

Giving birth in prison was both a physically painful and an emotionally traumatic experience. There were no proper medical facilities and Vanessa had no family to guide and strengthen her through this process.

She was forced to give up her daughter when she reached the age of three years.

This in itself was very painful; it tore Vanessa apart and traumatically affected both herself and her daughter.

Hurt, anger, hatred, betrayal, unforgiveness, pain, broken-hearted, abandoned, loneliness and fear plagued Vanessa as she battled anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts and depression.


Vanessa returned to South Africa after being imprisoned for more than sixteen years, suffering through many ordeals and having overcome life threatening challenges and obstacles.

Her release was and still is a miracle for Vanessa, having become grounded in GOD  through this journey.

This horrific experience is a life changing must hear! Vanessa has spoken at companies from the likes of Clover, Anglo American, IBM, Engersol, Grindrod Bank, Cipla, EOH, Pick & Pay, Universities, Law Firms and various other Institutions.

Having overcome many challenges, obstacles,  life-threatening conditions and situations, Vanessa has emerged a stronger person who has now embedded within her much personal experience and expertise, which adds value on an individual as well as a team level to sectors such as Corporate Companies, Small & Medium Enterprises , Universities, Schools as well as the Fashion Sector.

Vanessa Goosen

Vanessa hosts Workshops using the experiences and obstacles she encountered in prison, bringing to the fore principles and mechanisms used to overcome it in relation to topics such as:

  • Survival-Flexibility-Choices
  • Hope In The Midst Of  Hopelessness
  • Dealing With Opposition
  • Shifting Focus – Enjoy The Journey
  • Face Your Fears–Learn From Others
  • What Is In Your Hands-Take Control
  • Your Worth – Your Value
  • Go Back To Go Forward
  • The Process-Positioning-Stance


Vanessa also brings great expertise to Women targeted Events and Functions.

This very traumatic and challenging journey has taught Vanessa many real-life lessons and first-hand experiences.

One of these is her realization that a Women should not deal with challenges and turmoil in isolation. It is when being build  and encouraged by other women’s experiences and victories, that Women overcome and move forward with the momentum of confidence, hope and self-believe being evoked.

It is from this perspective and understanding Vanessa shares with Women the life lessons learned from her traumatic journey experiences, both whilst  imprisoned and the challenges she encountered after being released.

Vanessa offers Life Skill Programmes to Schools and School Leavers. With this platform, Vanessa motivates, encourages, teaches and equips students with practical tools to use obstacles as stepping stones.

These programmes are geared to build the confidence of students, to activate their potential, their talents and to help them break out of the boundaries of limitation which society, poor choices, circumstances and the like, tend to weave around the younger generation.

Counselling is another area which Vanessa actively engages in. She counsels Women, Scholars, School Leavers and also extends this service to the Corporate Arena (Individuals, Groups as well as entire Departments).

Counselling is a mechanism which disarms  areas which halts productivity and growth; such as depression, wrong perceptions, low self-esteem, misunderstandings,  abuse and the like.

Vanessa too has embarked on  MC and Hosting Services for Corporate, Church and Social events; adding to it much value from her experience of the above mentioned journey she has travelled.


Motivational▪️Key Note Speaker

  • Corporate Events
  • Women Events
  • Charity Events
  • Church Events
  • Universities
  •  Schools


  • Companies
  • Small Medium Enterprises
  • Universities
  • Schools

Life Skill Programmes     

  • Schools
  • School Leavers


  • Companies
  • Universities
  • Schools
  • Churches

MC & Event Hosting Services

  • Corporate Events
  • Woman Events
  • Social Events
  • Church Events
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