Jada Pinkett Smith has it all – beauty, brains and success. We take a look at her remarkable life.

Not only does Jada have a thriving career and an equally successful husband but their two children, Jaden (19) and Willow (17) have also made their mark in Hollywood. Not many mothers can claim the same. Jada was once quoted as saying that ‘women can have it all – a loving man, devoted husband, loving children, a fabulous career,’ and she is living testimony to that.

Her career as an actress spans almost three decades and she has more than 40 projects under her belt including movies, stage productions and television shows. As though that’s not enough, she is a director, producer, songwriter and astute businesswoman.


Contrary to popular belief, the 46-year-old star doesn’t live a charmed life. She asserts that she’s learnt to survive and look on the bright side. ‘It’s all hard,’ she told the UK Independent. ‘I’m resilient because I haven’t had an easy ride from day one. I don’t complain and I don’t wallow in the difficulty because growing up, wallowing in the difficulty could get you killed.’

Jada was born in a rough neighbourhood in Baltimore, Maryland and her parents, Robsol Pinkett Jr and Adrienne Banfield, divorced after a few months of marriage. Her grandmother, Marion Martin Banfield, helped raise her. She believes that it’s paramount to put oneself first, ‘because when you stop taking care of yourself, you get out of balance and you really forget how to take care of others,’ she said on The Red Table Talk, a web series she started in 2012 to promote communication within families.


Jada and Will Smith celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary on 31 December 2017. In an emotional tribute, the 49-year-old actor took to social media to wish his wife a happy anniversary. ‘My Queen! I am forever devoted to nurturing your deepest truth,’ he captioned a picture of them on their wedding day in 1997. In the heartfelt post, he compared love to gardening and spoke of what he has learnt since walking down the aisle.

‘I’ve learnt to take pleasure in nourishing your dreams, rather than wrestling with you to fulfil my selfish needs and satiate my insecurities.’

Jada echoes his sentiments. ‘That’s what marriage is about; it’s work,’ she told Megyn Kelly on NBC Sunday Night. ‘You think you know the person you’re with for years, but that’s just not true. I’m just learning more about myself and so is he. That is what this is all about, learning and growing together.’

Will and Jada met in 1994 on the set of Will’s popular 90s sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She auditioned for the role of his girlfriend – which she didn’t get because she was considered too short – but the pair became friends and began dating the following year.

For many years the rumour mill has been buzzing with stories of their impending divorce, but the couple continues to rubbish the claims. Jada told the Independent that one needs to be able to love the person you are with during the good and the bad times. ‘That’s the truth,’ she said. ‘You have to be friends. Having that understanding allows me to look at Will as a man and to be able to walk with him hand in hand, and allows him to look at me in the same way. It takes a lot of love, depth, and friendship.’

They do not try to pretend that theirs is a perfect union. ‘We work very hard at being happy,’ she has said. Asked what their secret is, Jada maintains that ‘Finding magic in the mundane’, learning and growing together are key.

‘I definitely went through a period of time where I lost my female mojo while concentrating on my two beauties,’ she said in reference to her children. ‘You can always get it back and that’s the fun part!’


Since her breakthrough role in the sitcom, A Different World as Lena James, Jada has clinched many awards including Favourite Actress in a New TV Series at The People’s Choice Awards. Her Film roles are hugely diverse. She’s starred in comedies like Bad Moms, Magic Mike XXL, The Nutty Professor and her most recent Film, Girls Trip as well as more serious films like Ali and Matrix. She also starred in the popular TV series Gotham and made her directorial debut in 2008 in the drama, The Human Contract. She’s has said that dominating Hollywood was never on the cards for her – something she reveals her husband does not understand. ‘I never wanted that,’ she said. ‘I just feel blessed to be able to do what I love and to do it when it works for me.’

Of all her roles, Jada’s most important is that of a mother, not just to her two children Jaden and Willow but also to Will’s son Trey (25) from his first marriage.

“You think you know the person you’re with for years, but that’s just not true… That’s what this is all about, learning and growing together.”

She refers to her children as her saving grace. ‘I never thought that children would be my greatest contribution to the planet,’ she told The Guardian. ‘But they are. They are what I’m most proud of and what I cherish the most.’

Her advice to other parents is simple: remember that children are their own people. ‘Just support and nurture what they show you that they are, and not what you project upon them. Trust your kids enough to listen. It’s hard to do.’ That’s the biggest lesson she learnt from motherhood, and it’s a significant one indeed.


  • She considered studying towards a world religion degree
  • One of her favourite perfumes is the scent by Mary J Blige called My Life.
  • Black sweatpants paired with white sneakers are her go-to outfit. She likes writing and receiving letters.
  • Tupac and Mos Def are her favourite rappers.
By Koketso Mashika

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