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Celebrating influential and exceptional women behind the scenes - Ferry Jele (The River Director)

26 August 2021
She not only excels in front of the screen but behind the scenes as well!
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The celebrations continue for the phenomenal women this women's month and not only the ones that are excelling in front of the screen but those who make the magic happen behind the scenes as well. 🔥

We had the amazing opportunity of asking the The River 's actress and director, Ferry Jele a few questions regarding her career and being a women in a tough industry, how she managed to not only pull it off being as an actress but also be extremely successful at working behind the scenes and this is what she had to say:


As a director in one of the biggest Telenovelas in the country what kind of challenges did you come across if any?

Working with obviously the big names and all experienced Actors in the country can be very daunting and where we would sometimes butt heads for not seeing eye to eye in terms of story interpretation or simply just refusing to take a note.


Was being a director always a goal for you?

It has always been, I knew from the very on set that some day,  that’s exactly where I am going to end up doing.


What's the best part of your job?

It is putting heads together with my technical crew, especially my DOP as well as the cast, bring all our A-game and we see the end product as envisioned.  That’s so heart fulfilling  and heart warming.


Do you think there are enough women in this field of work and why do you think so?

Quite honestly, I do not think there is, though it is slowly growing.  I am not sure whether it is from a lack of trust that women would if not could produce a quality of work worth for transmission as men would or that it is a matter timing.


Do you enjoy being in front of the camera, behind the scenes or both, and why?

No doubt, my first love is acting but seeing how Directing is always calling me, makes me enjoy both.  There’s ever so much responsibility in Directing though, that it can be really overwhelming.


What's the best thing about being a woman and being able to call yourself a director?

The best thing is that, when everybody else trusts that you can deliver, you gain a certain confidence in telling a story in a way only a woman’s touch can.


What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Having have to work for Tshedza Pictures and being trusted with some of their big storylines to direct and even act.  To top it all, be part of bringing those baby Golden Horns home.


Who do you look up to and why?

I look up to Portia Gumede, Natalie Haarhoff, Ilse Van Hermit, Sindi Dlathu for various reasons. For the role they have played in my career, especially ever since I got to be behind the scenes. There’s plenty more people I would mention to fill up this whole page.


Do you have any advice for young women who aspire to work behind the scenes as well?

You just need one person to believe in you, give that opportunity and put you on that pedestal, you are in.  just so long as you have what it takes.


Do you think today, women are celebrated enough in this amazing field of work?

Not enough to write home about.  It feels like, they are doing what they are expected to do and it ends there.


What is your superpower?