Jessica Haines was born in 1978 in Umtata in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. She went to boarding school at Epworth in Kwa-Zulu Natal in 1990. From a young age she had a love of the stage and did classical ballet and contemporary dance. She featured in a range of school arts programmes and participated as lead roles in musicals such as Brigadoon, Oklahoma and Fame. She won an arts scholarship in 1993 to carry on her studies at Epworth and In 1997 she was the first girl at Epworth to win her cultural honours blazer. In 1998 she left Natal to complete a degree at the University of Cape Town where she first studied English Literature, Drama and Social Anthropology. The following year she auditioned for a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Performance at U.C.T and qualified at the end of 2001. Jessica's professional career started in 2002. She is married to Richard Ancrum Walker, they have two children. After living in North Africa, Tunisia, for two years they are now based in Kenya.