Do you describe yourself as a natural leader?
Well I have been told I am, I would like to think I am but only if it serves the purpose of achieving something useful and purposeful. Looking back, since school I have always tried to take the lead in debates and public speaking and I was a monitor for a good part of school days too, plus constantly trying out for lead roles in school and university plays. I guess I have always been driven, I have been told I am a little bit of a perfectionist too which can be useful but at the same time stressful if not kept under control.
What do you feel most proud about?
Having full control of my own personal and financial independence since I was 18 years old, therefore helping remove some financial burden from my parents, building my career from scratch, starting with working at cafes in 1996 and having 2 jobs while studying, taking 15 years of full time entertainment work in TV Films and Radio all the while studying to complete my Psychology studies, and of course, becoming a mum at 41 which is my proudest achievement to date which I am so grateful for.
“I admire people who overcome challenges and adversity” - Che Puan Sarimah Ibrahim speaks about leadership challenges and balance.
Which is one of your most defining moments in life?
I have been fortunate to have many defining moments in my career and personal life; career wise perhaps it was Hosting the reality show “The Biggest Loser Asia” for the Hallmark Channel in 2010 which was aired all across Asia; releasing myself titled album; adventure wise : skydiving without tandem, scuba diving with 5 meter manta rays but overall the biggest most defining so far was delivering my daughter this July. That was the most amazing moment of my life, her latching on to me and our immediate bond. Nothing else can compare to that!
Who do you admire the most?
Too many people to list. I admire people who overcome challenges and adversity without becoming ‘helpless’ and playing victim. I admire people who are brave enough to stand up and speak out against travesties globally and take risks in order to seek out change for the better, I admire women and men who are working hard at being parents, providers and keeping families together. There are too many I admire to nail down.
What is your strongest personal quality?
I cannot say as all of us see ourselves quite differently to how to the world sees us. I can only say that I feel strongest when I am fit, healthy and speaking my truth. I am outspoken. Yet I am careful with my words as I know all of us can be triggered by our own personal journeys. Perhaps, my empathy and need for the truth.
Who inspired you to push through rough patches?
My belief in God and that faith which tells me everything has a reason. Even if it hurts- there is always a better day coming, nothing is permanent, change is constant.
What does a perfect day look like?
Simply put?: Being with my husband and my daughter Tunku Sofia and myself taking a long walk outdoors in cooling weather, eating Healthy good food, working out once a day and having a great sweat, deep breathing when there are any challenges, a feeling of gratefulness and love.
Would you like to share some thoughts with your followers?
The most important asset to have in life is our health. Health is something that cannot be bought or faked and only maintained. By making smart choices with our bodies. I always believe that It’s never too late to get healthy and stay healthy. Personally, I have been a fitness enthusiast for almost 20 years. I studied and practiced karate. For 5 years up until my 1st Dan Black belt and i only stopped After an injury that prevented me from returning to train and a schedule that clashed with a film shoot. Karate taught me discipline and self-control and ensured i kept fit as classes were twice a week for almost 3 hours long! I have also been practicing Pilates for 12 years now, focusing on strengthening the core and spine as these are The basis for all athletic performance and maintaining good health. Diet plays an important role but i don’t believe in extremes.. I eat what I like but in small portions and according to My needs each day- the amount depends on if i have worked out or not and what i need to do each day.. a longer busier day would require more carbohydrates and if i am doing less physically i eat more proteins to maintain muscle mass. I worked out throughout my entire pregnancy and have continued on my fitness schedule a month after delivery. Being fit has helped me be a happier more productive person, allowing me to enjoy being a wife and entrepreneur, perform better as an entertainer and have more energy to take care of our newborn baby!
How would you like to contribute to unite Asia?
Being of mixed heritage, i have been fortunate to have been raised in several cultures and been exposed to so many different religions and experiences throughout my life so far. This has given me so many perspectives on the behaviour and belief systems from both the Western And Asian sides. I would like to open a dialogue concerning the rights of women and children in Asian cultures- to achieve more support and understanding of the challenges women still face - socially politically and personally in their homes. Women make up more than half of the world population yet are subjugated to so many violent, repressing and damaging experiences that are deemed as ‘the norm’. I believe that a change in mindset regarding the treatment of women can only come with truthful, honest dialogue amongst women and men in Asia and that a positive change can and will lead to a more productive, efficient, thriving society - starting from the home. When women are no longer looked down upon and treated fairly and cared for, Everyone will benefit, especially the sons and daughters of the future.
Che Puan Sarimah Ibrahim
Founder, Thrill Cosmetics.