Small town to big city lights

Elsene Janse continues to impress with her skills and devotion towards the arts.

11 May 2021 | Youth

Elizabeth Joseph

Born and raised in Keetmanshoop, Elsene Janse shares her passion for the performing arts and modelling with My Zone.

After moving all over the South, Janse finally settled back in Keetmanshoop where she finished school at PK de Villiers last year.

She says she was raised in a very small and loving family, and that is what helped mould her into the woman she is today.

"Since I was young I've always been very passionate about beauty and fashion. I love movies and I think that's where I fell in love with acting.

“How you can be whoever you want and be able to make the viewers feel whatever emotion you're displaying at that moment is a powerful act of art," she says.

Apart from movies, Janse further had a desire to be on camera, which came from watching local TV shows like ‘Sunshine Club’. She says she has always wanted to be a part of local television shows.

Janse took part in a talent showcase in September 2019 in South Africa where she received a call-back to audition at the biggest talent-scout platform in the world, The International Talent Convention, which will be hosted in Hollywood in July 2021.

Janse was scouted and invited by Joey Hunters, who is the international talent scout and director of the New York Film Academy, and acting director Rhavynn Drummer from the Tyler Perry Studios.

A letter to the //Karas regional council describes Janse as driven and optimistic.

"Just on the 10th of December 2019, my daughter got another call-back from the New York Film Academy which invited her to a closed acting audition for her outstanding performance, where they wanted her with a few other actors that were selected, to audition for a partial scholarship. She then received the scholarship." the letter reads.

Janse is the perfect example of never giving up on your dreams. She was granted a Talent Based Award which qualifies her to study at the New York Film Academy.

She will resume studies in Acting for Film at the New York Film Academy, starting September 2021, if she manages to settle all the fees as the scholarship covers only N$15 000.

No ups without downs

As a single parent, Janse's mother, Imelda, has asked for financial assistance from the //Karas regional council and the entire region to make her daughter's dream a reality.

" I need your financial assistance for my daughter's trip to the States as I am unable to pay for it. She is the only Namibian who was granted this scholarship. Not only will she study in New York, but will get the chance to perform in the presence of well-known international TV shows/studios, among them will be Tyler Perry, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel. At this convention she can get a possible contract that will allow her to start her career immediately," she said.

Janse's trip costs a total of N$75 980. They hope to be able to raise enough funds before July this year.

Feelings of excitement

"Knowing that this was my first attempt at acting, I should have felt more nervous but I was quite confident and excited because I have been waiting and praying for a chance like this my whole life," Janse confesses.

Her short-term goals include raising enough funds to be able to pay the remaining fee of N$60 000, allowing her to take part and showcase her talent at IMTA in July. Furthermore, she wants to perfect and hone her craft and make sure she gets several call-backs.

Janse may be young, but she is ready to spread her wings and show the world what she's made of. She wants to encourage young people to not let their circumstances limit them.

"The only limits that exist are the ones in your mind. Go after your dreams, fight for them and never give up!

“You need to live a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear, continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you," she says.

Her favourite quote is: “Fear is a desolate boneyard where dreams go to desiccate in the hot sun.” - Elizabeth Gilber, Big Magic.


-Janse is very interested in fashion designing and styling.

-She's trypophobic

-She has been a devout Christian for most of her life.

-She loves writing

-Her favourite actor is Will Smith, because of his ability to express emotion and how he connects with the viewers.

-She is the first person from the south of Namibia to receive a Talent Based Partial Scholarship at the New Film Academy.

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