Elsabe was born in Cape Town and spent 10 years in Port Elizabeth where she attended the Andrew Rabie High School. She met her husband there. She matriculated at the DF Malan High School in Bellville and subsequently studied Drama and Secondary Education at The University of Stellenbosch. She was a passionate teacher at the then Tygerberg Commercial High School, where she taught her favourite subject – Afrikaans First Language. She was active in amateur theatre circles as a player and director. One of her one-act plays won a National Drama Competition. In 1976 she staged a hugely successful school production of ‘The King and I’, involving a cast of 135 learners and teachers.
She married her first love, Stephan in 1977, whereafter he joined the South African Foreign Service. Over a period of almost two decades, they had postings to London, New York, Windhoek and Washington DC. Their three children were born during these years. During the home postings to South Africa, she engaged in various occupations, amongst others as an estate agent and even paint contractor in Pretoria (‘Die Verfvrou’) with a staff complement of 18 painters. After Stephan retired from the Foreign Service, they relocated to the Boland area in the Western Cape. Stephan farmed with granadillas and resumed his legal career. She worked at The University of Stellenbosch and obtained a post-graduate diploma in Suggestopaedia, which she used to teach Basic Afrikaans to more than 200 visiting foreign lecturers and students.
The many invitations she received to perform as a speaker gave her the motivation to pursue her present career. She has been a full-time fun-talker, motivational consultant and trainer since 1999. She frequently acts as compère and performs as guest speaker. She organises and presents fun-filled weekend breakaways to allow people to delve more deeply into her themes of success and happiness. She reaches audiences from the corporate world to women, teenagers and couples. Since 2014 she has presented her Triumphant Teen Course to more than 18000 high school learners.
For a two year period, she was the Chairperson of the SA Council of Business Women in the Boland region.
She readily followed in the footsteps of her writer-mother and already produced six books of her own, with the top-selling book for teenagers Is jy cool of common? remaining popular amongst younger teens. Her latest book So sappig is in its third reprint and sells very well. She also has a DVD and various CD’s available at her performances. She started an informal friendship club for women in 2002 called the Succulent Friends of the Western Cape. She annually organises special club events where she and other speakers and artists perform. At these functions, the ladies make generous contributions to worthy causes/ charitable organisations. More than R260 000 has been donated thus far. On a personal note: She and Stephan recently celebrated 42 years of marriage. For the past four years, they have been residing in Sandbaai, Hermanus, where they have had a family beach house since the early 1980’s. Their grown children and extended family frequently visit. Stephan and Elsabe have a soft spot for the Karoo. They also enjoy travelling across our country and further afield to Namibia, and love to meet new people and build friendships.