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A mom of all trades

Boksburg’s Jacqui Fernandez is a philanthropist, interior decorator, photographer and model and lately she’s also wearing the actress hat. But first and foremost she is a mother!

Jacqui (45) lives with her husband Michael and their son Kyle in Libradene, Boksburg, from where she runs her businesses.

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“Kyle was the best Mother’s Day present I could have ever asked for. He was supposed to be born on June 19, but he decided to arrive on Mother’s Day and is turning 12 this month,” she says.

“Bringing up a well-balanced child today is a challenge with the fast pace life he leads with school, sports and all the technology that life offers him.

“We encourage him to do as much as he can, but we also encourage him to have fun and spend time with family.

“Kyle is competitive so it is important to teach him that he needs to win gracefully as well as lose gracefully. Good manners are the most important thing we teach our son.

“I believe that if you have good manners and respect for others you will always be remembered and it will get you far in life. We have also taught him to never underestimate himself based on others opinions, to always tell the truth and not to ever think that he is better than anyone else.

“A typical Mother’s Day in my house is like a birthday to me. I always get spoilt with breakfast in bed and flowers and I always get my favourite perfume,” says Jacqui.

* Photo: Juané Venter (www.juaneventer.com)

Jacqui kicked her career off as a model for TV and magazine advertising campaigns and has featured on billboards many times.

In 2015 she entered the Mrs South Africa pageant and became a top 25 contestant, winning the People’s Choice Award on the night of the finals.

Her latest performance in front of the camera is as an actress in the Afrikaans film Blouwyn which will be released this month.

Blouwyn is a drama comedy set against the beautiful backdrop of the quaint town of Philadelphia in the Western Cape.

The film is about the lives of seven people of various ages that intersect, and it challenges the traditional thoughts and understanding of love, intimacy and the ‘until death do us part’ syndrome.

“It’s my first movie. I was so excited when I got the part,” she beams.

Jacqui’s other passion is to be behind the camera. She studied photography 15 years ago.

“I do modelling portfolios as I am so familiar with it and I also enjoy taking photos of children,” she says.

One of her most memorable shoots was shooting a calendar with her mom and 11 other ladies as a fundraiser for Cansa.

Another memorable shoot was when she took photographs of children at an orphanage so that they could have photos of themselves for their memory boxes.

Interior decorating is something that she has a love and feel for and she has started doing house make overs for people who don’t have a huge budget, but want to have a fresh new home.

“I do a before and after photoshoot and I’m glad to say that they are all happy with their new space,” she says.

Although Jacqui leads a busy life she always make time to give of herself to the underprivileged and especially persons who are caught in the spiral of drug addiction.

Her brother is a rehabilitated drug addict and now runs an outpatient program for addicts.

“As a family we are fortunate to be able to help other families that are going through a drug addiction crisis. We are able to support and give guidance. I feel very strongly about drug addiction and education towards this subject.

She also runs a sandwich club where sandwiches are distributed among the poor street children and others that are needy.

With the help of members of the community, Jacqui would like to empower the underprivileged by helping them to become self-sufficient.

“We are working on goal and would love as many people to get involved to make a positive difference in these people’s lives,” she pleads.

What did you learn from the lock down period?

The lockdown period has taught me that we need to let go and let God.

What do you still need to tick off your bucket list?

I want to go on a Heart of Italy Food Tour.

Do you have more goals for the future?

I would love to learn how to play golf.

Details: Instagram: perceptions by Jacqui; Facebook: Perceptions Photography.

* Text: Ina Gouws. Photo: Kevin Mark Pass Photographer.

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