BaeWatch: Jena Dover, South African Actress and Lawyer

ICON

/ˈīˌkän/
noun
This South African woman has the world at her feet. Sophisticated, academic and beyond beautiful. Jena embodies the 21st century Woman with her gracefulness in conjunction with her resilient work ethic and unwavering belief in herself. Meet the Icon, Jena Dover.

1.Describe yourself in 3 words:

Generous, light hearted and protective

 

2.  From the Face of Pantene to acquiring an LLB degree at Wits, what motivated you to take on such an intense field of study? 

I’ve been acting since the age of 5 and when I turned 23, I just felt that in order to be a healthy and balanced adult, I needed to immerse myself in something other than the entertainment world. I was always an academic child and I wanted to spend some time in academia. I enrolled at Wits for law and completed my articles at Webber Wentzel while acting and modelling. They were difficult days for me from a time management perspective but the growth was immeasurable.

 

3. From LLB to the Hollywood walk of fame, were you always passionate about acting or did the opportunity present itself at the right time?

I was discovered by a photographer in a mall at age 5 and quickly secured an agent. After that it was countless auditions and jobs. In a way acting chose me. I was just lucky to be in the right time and the right place in a country where no one looked like me.

 

4. I’ve been following you on social media for a while and look up to you and your tenacious attitude and work ethic. Who would you say is your Icon/role model?

Thank you. Having been exposed to the negative aspects of being female in both corporate SA and the creative space, I really look up to women who are navigating those spaces elegantly, respectfully, stylishly and competently.

 

5. If you were stranded on a deserted Island and could only have 3 items with you, what would they be?

A solar powered radio (hopefully there is clear transmission). Sunblock (for obvious reasons). A pack of playing cards (for my mind). The health of my mind is what I would prioritize in a situation like this and not my physical appearance (ever seen cast away?). So unfortunately no lip-gloss on this trip!

 

6. Do you still Model and if so what challenges do you find in the modelling industry?

I still model but I am selective about my jobs. They are not typically local jobs as my look lends itself towards the European market. The challenge most models face now is the rise of the Instagram model as well as influencers. There are no longer height or body limitations which has democratized the fashion game. There is pressure on working models to drive their Instagram numbers as clients are looking for more exposure from models through their social streams. This has been particularly challenging for me as I have come out of a respected law firm and found it hard to justify the selfies and frivolous posts, however they really do drive follower counts up. There is a large debate waging inside my heart and mind in this regard.

 

7. Is there a quote that you live by and would you mind sharing it with us?

“You’re not tired your uninspired”. If you find yourself involved in something that drains you and continues to make you focus on pulling from your depleted energy stores, you’re in the wrong game. Anything you are passionate about has natural heart fuel and you won’t feel/ resent the effort that is required to engage in that “passion activity”. 

 

8. Your go to Outfit when running late for a lunch date/Casting?

Probably a pair of high waisted black skinny jeans, a black long sleeve T- shirt and some black ankle boots. Makeup and hair simple and fresh. If im really going in guns blazing Ill wear a green dress.

 

9. With fashion trends changing so often what is your favourite /signature look?

I prefer structured, tailored style with an edge rather than following trends. I’ve cleverly collected high quality pieces over the years that will stand the test of time. Eventually I want to have a minimalistic wardrobe that needs very little updating. I love Alexander Wang and Helmut Lang for exactly those reasons.

10. Any advice you can give to young girls aspiring to break into the fashion and film industry? 

Take control and create. Gone are the days where people are watching traditional content platforms. Social media has completely democratized the space. These platforms are how you will be recognized/ get your break going forward. Then there is the more traditional advice: be polite, work hard and illuminate what makes you unique (today the world loves different). 

 

11. You’ve been invited to attend a dinner function hosted by Michelle Obama celebrating Woman’s month, who would you like to be seated next to and why? 

Angela Merkel or Amal Clooney. Two hard working women who garner phenomenal professional respect, gravitas and are unwavering in their convictions. Also imagine the stories they could share (Mandatory for a dinner party guest). I’ve just finished Merkels authorized biography. What a woman if ever there was one. 

 

Keep up to date with Jena Dover by following her instagram page!

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