Valeni Dour is a 24 year old model, actress and upcoming designer. She plays the role of Monde in the Zambezi Magic hit series “fever”. Her main goal is to motivate the younger generation to be bold, so that they can make a difference.
KAPA187: Most people know you as Monde from the hit TV series ‘fever’. How did you get into acting?
Valeni Dour: My first time acting for an audience professionally was during the Dettol “hand wash” campaign, two years ago. It was such a fun experience. I got to play ‘Germy Jane’ in a short skit meant to teach children the importance of washing hands. We did the skit for 30 different schools. The kids loved it and from that point I knew I wanted to entertain.
KAPA187: Tell us about the character, Monde, and how you got the role?
Valeni Dour: Monde, who is Taonga’s wife in the show; she is an honest character I feel. Not much goes right for her. The fairytale she wishes for doesn’t come to reality. She really does go through an emotional roller-coaster. Becky (the director of ‘fever’) once told me that it was my eyes, that’s what got the role. The ability to show emotion through my eyes.
KAPA187: How have you and the rest of the cast and crew of ‘Fever’, felt about the overwhelmingly positive response the series is getting from the viewers?
Valeni Dour: It’s been amazing hearing from the public and listening to what they think of the show. It really is motivating. It’s given us the drive to do better in season two.
KAPA187: The season finale of ‘fever’ ended with a cliff hanger. Many fans of the series are excitedly waiting for season 2. When could we get to see the new season?
Valeni Dour: I can’t make any promises on when season 2 will air. But I promise we will be back, bigger, better and with more drama. It will be worth the wait!
KAPA187: The Zambian film industry is still in its infancy, what in your opinion, needs to be done to take it to the next level?
Valeni Dour: Firstly we in the industry need to support each other and work together, our only competition should be with other countries not each other. Secondly our goals should be to create quality not quantity. And lastly established artist need to start giving back, so that the communities can value and appreciate our trade.
KAPA187: Is there anything you learnt about yourself whilst working on ‘Fever’?
Valeni Dour: I never knew that I could have another family outside my own. ‘Fever’ has blessed me with a special kind of family, full of crazy, fun and creative beings. I’ve learnt so much from them. I never knew I could open up to a bunch of strangers as easily as I did with the Fever cast and crew. The reason being they are all so awesome it makes it easy.
KAPA187: Apart from being an actress, you are also a model. What inspired you to get into modeling?
Valeni Dour: My older cousin Melissa used to model in pageants, I always looked up to her. My Aunty Beauty would always dress us the same, everywhere she went I went. I was her personal mini me, ironically we share the same birthday. So it wasn’t really a surprise when I follow down the same path.
KAPA187: Do you feel it is better for models to work with an agency or freelance?
Valeni Dour: I think it really doesn’t matter. If you don’t know you’re self-value, don’t have the passion, the drive or the work ethic you won’t go far. You just have to remember, when it comes to agencies, you’re not the only one. Being in an agency is a constant competition; you have to be at your best always so that you get ahead of everyone else. Being freelance means you have to put in twice the work. Meaning you have to look for your own gigs and also find time to maintain yourself. No time to sit and relax. It all depends on you; can you trust someone else to make your dreams come true?
KAPA187: In Zambia, non-traditional jobs such as acting and modeling are at times, not taken seriously. Whereas in the western world people are able to make a comfortable living with them. Why do you think that is the case and what can be done to change the perception?
Valeni Dour: It really comes down to lack of knowledge. If you don’t know much about something, you won’t understand it and all you’ll do is assume. There are a lot of people living comfortably on non-traditional jobs it’s just not publicized as much. Non-traditional jobs are just the same as traditional jobs, the harder you work the farther you go. The only way you can change this perception is by educating people. What would your life be without Music, TV, fashionable clothing, and entertainment places to go to on the weekend? Do you know the amount of work that goes into making it all possible?
KAPA187: You are also an upcoming designer tell us more about that, and where you see yourself in the next 5 years.
Valeni Dour: I love to create and I love fashion, I’m slowly perfecting the art of putting a garment together, I’ve done a few pieces, for example the black and red dress I wore for the “Fever’ premier. In the next 5 years I want to be on an international level. I want to be even closer to God, to be married, happy and financially stable enough to give back to my community.
KAPA187: What advice would you give to a younger person who wishes to have a career in the film industry or fashion industry?
Valeni Dour: I would say, be daring, be bold, be unique and be fearless, that’s when you will get noticed. But always remember to be humble and grateful to the people around you, that’s when you will be appreciated.
KAPA187: Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know.
Valeni Dour: I get excited every time I see an Audi, it doesn’t matter the make. Zein thinks it’s the funniest thing.
KAPA187: Any last words …
Valeni Dour: To all the creative people out there don’t be afraid to use your God given talents to change the world in some way for the better. And always remember to give back.
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