Krijay Govender is a South African actress, director and stand-up comedienne best known for her role as Hemali, a legal aid attorney and Gita Moodliar's older sister, in the SABC3 soapie Isidingo.
She also played the role of publisher Jenna, Strini Pillai's former love interest, in SABC1's soapie Generations; and the role of Shaneez in the SABC1 drama series Zero Tolerance.
Govender is also a former Miss India SA (1994) and was runner-up in Miss India Worldwide (New York, USA 1996). She won three of the four special awards: Most Talented, Miss Congeniality and Miss Beautiful Smile.
Govender graduated with a BA Arts from the University of Natal in 1997. She majored in politics and drama, achieving a Masters degree for both. She is currently working on a second Masters degree, in politics.
In 1998 she took a Media Management & Arts Admin course, also at the University of Natal.
She began working as a stand-up comic in 1993, but first made an impression on the South African comedy circuit in 2001. Her comedy career received a major boost when she performed a routine on the SABC2 women's talk show Motswako: The Mix, and since then she has been a regular performer with the likes of Barry Hilton.
She is one of six comedians to appear in the 2010 film Outrageous, described as "South Africa's first standup comedy film".
She was nominated for the Mzansi’s top comedian award at the Mzansi awards and was rated one of the top three MCs in South Africa in Gwen Gill's column in the Sunday Times.
In 2001 she was cast as glamorous fashion designer Shereen in the e.tv soapie Backstage and the following year appeared as a roving reporter on the SABC2 Indian-themed magazine show Eastern Mosaic.
In December 2003, Govender hosted the Miss India Worldwide pageant for Sony Entertainment Television, with a worldwide viewership of 2-billion.
In the same year she also hosted the Red Bull Box Cart Race, the MIH Long Service Awards and South Africa's premiere advertising awards, the Loeries.
In 2004 her television acting career took off with a role as publisher Jenna in the SABC1 soapie Generations, South Africa's most-watched television show.
She also landed supporting roles in the e.tv sitcom Fishy Feshuns and the SABC2 drama series Zero Tolerance II.
In the same year she was asked to audition for the SABC3 soapie Isidingo after Ilse van Hemert, the creative producer of Isidingo at the time, spotted her in the stage production Coolie Odyssey at the Grahamstown Festival of the Arts.
The role of legal aid attorney Hemali Moodliar was created for her on Isidingo. She played the role for three seasons, after which she made recurring appearances. She has subsequently become a frequent director of Isidingo episodes.
After directing Isidingo and the SABC1 series Ubizo, Govender currently directs the e.tv soapie Rhythm City. She also wrote the stage play Women in Brown.
In 2007 Govender was cast as neurotic perfectionist Layla in the SABC3 sitcom FONT, which premiered on 11 October.
Govender has also worked as a journalist for Independent Newspapers (three newspapers), the Independent on Saturday, the Daily News and the Post Weekend.
Her radio work includes Durban Youth Radio & Lotus FM (national).
She married her boyfriend of 16 years, Praveen Govender, in September 2004.