After 20 years in the local entertainment industry – as a Disney channel host, the anchor of Hallmark’s The Biggest Loser Asia, actress, recording artist and radio announcer – Che Puan Sarimah Ibrahim is at the crossroads of realisation and re-invention.
Talking to Che Puan Sarimah about her journey and how she stays afloat in the demanding industry, we discover that she never put an expiry date on her abilities, hopes and dreams. She completed her degree in psychology in the span of 7 years, one module at a time, while working on movies, TV shows and an album. She’s also a certified English language teacher and pilates instructor.
“When I started, I was a host on the Disney channel and the world was innocent. I felt that people were only good and things would just happened. After some time, I realised I had to set goals, write them down, plan my schedule and really just go for it,” she recalls animatedly, as her husband Tunku Jamie Nadzimuddin looks on.
At the time of the interview, she had just finished hosting a local TV award show - Anugerah Skrin 2016, where she sang and put on a wacky show on stage. “It’s really great to go back to the Malay-speaking medium, after doing shows in English. I really feel the love from my fans!”
Che Puan Sarimah recently hosted TV3’s top rated Anugerah Juara Lagu -- a popular music awards show that really strikes a chord with the Malay masses -- on January 22 while her talkshow The Sarimah Show is going on air in March.
She sure got her hands full but no matter how busy she gets, she always finds the time to do the things she love like spending time with her family and hitting the gym religiously every morning before her tapings and meetings. She seems to have a good grip on life.
“One thing I’ve learned is that everything I achieve takes more than just my own efforts. So many people support what I do, from the makeup artist to production crew and media, but what’s more important is to appreciate and nurture that support.”
What does it take to survive an industry that expects one to look flawless, photo-perfect all the time?
You have to stay grounded and know who you really are because when you forget your family, culture and beliefs; then you can get easily be swept into that tide of celebrity-hood, she says. “The problem with that tide is that it goes up and down. When it goes down, many people find themselves lost or drowning. It’s so important to remain afloat and stay true to who you really are,” she ruminates.
Having said that, it’s always important to look the part. “I can’t live without the gym, I drink a lot of water and I eat a little bit of everything I want to eat. I don’t smoke, I stay away from situations where there’s a lot of smoke. The skin changes all the time, and I just embrace that change.”
She’s happy in her own skin. It's something that she has learned after spending many years in the entertainment industry. It’s been a busy few weeks for her and as we wind down our interview, she reminds me the importance to always be the best version of ourselves. “We owe it that much to ourselves,” she ends.
Video: SkyAd Productions
Makeup: Khaibaha using Lancôme
Hair: Florence Lee from Miko Galere using L’Oreal Professionnel
Special thanks: Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral