Friday November 4, 2011
Swinging with Sarimah
Between her radio deejay job and writing a book on mental health, Sarimah Ibrahim is loving her new career challenges.
Popular TV personality Sarimah Ibrahim has a boyfriend and this bubbly actress is serious about this new person in her life.
Apparently, she has been dating this mystery man for a while now and admits they are a couple and have great chemistry together.
For certain, Sarimah doesn’t allow her past failed relationship to affect her new one.
The versatile celebrity, who was married for three years (after a nine-year relationship), said she is taking things in her stride.
“After my divorce (in 2009), I got my heart broken real bad. It was difficult for me to move on and start dating all over again because I don’t believe in dating,” said the 33-year-old who refused to reveal the identity of her new partner.
Apart from her new found love, Sarimah’s latest mission seems to be her deejay role at Era FM where she has teamed up with deejays Ray, Hanif and Dina.
“I’m having so much fun. I hope to have my own radio talk show one day ... in the mould of Tyra Banks. That would be cool,” said the former host of the popular TV programmes Fail Sulit Akademi Fantasia and The Biggest Loser Asia.
Currently, Sarimah is also busy working on a book about mental health, with help and guidance from her lecturer, Prof Dr Goh Chee Leong.
“Ever since I embarked on psychology study on mental health 10 years ago, I’ve been wanting to write a book on the subject. I’ve started writing about it and compiling illustrations to go with it,” revealed Sarimah who recently completed her degree in psychology from HELP University.
According to this actress, who was born in Dublin, Ireland, and is of Malaysian-Irish parentage, the issue of mental illness is something that needs to be addressed. “If your mental state is not healthy, you can’t go ahead doing anything.
“But in some cases, the mental problems can be fixed. It’s not the end and there is a way out.”
As a singer, Sarimah admits she is less adventurous these days.
“My (career) focus has changed but given a chance I would do a ‘girl power’ kind of song ... something in the mould of Lady Gaga. I’m not a Kylie Minogue type singer, no strutting about in corset to sing. I think I’d rather listen to local singers like Yuna.
More than 10 years have passed since Sarimah first made her entry in the music scene. She was also the winner of the Best New Artiste category at the Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) in 2001. She doesn’t miss the spotlight.
“If I can’t give my best, I won’t commit. But I would love to re-release Dia from my debut album. Though Kini Kau Tiada and Damai were the popular numbers from my self-titled debut album done in 2000, I think Dia is just as beautiful because it has gamelan elements with an R&B feel to it,” she said.
As much as she is considered a “veteran” in the pop scene, Sarimah is still a well loved personality. She will also be one of the presenters to brighten up the upcoming AIM 2011 awards night on Nov 12 at Putra Indoor Stadium, Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur.
“I am happy we still have an AIM and that our artistes still create and try to keep our industry alive. As small as it is, it makes me proud to hear local songs. Yes, there will always be room for improvement and it’s sad that some categories have been taken out but if it encourages better recordings from the music industry, then that is great.”
So who is Sarimah keeping an eye out for at the upcoming AIM awards?
“I’m supporting Yuna. She is great and unique. Yuna has brought her name so far and has opened up a world of dreams for so many Malaysian girls – it’s amazing. Najwa (Mahiaddin) is also a sweet girl and has so much potential.”
The adventurous and sporty entertainer is also excited about an offer made by Egyptian-born, US-based funnyman Ahmed Ahmed.
With her natural sense of humour, Sarimah was the host for Ahmed Ahmed’s The LOL Comedy Stars Series showcase in late September in Kuala Lumpur. “It was quite an experience doing stand-up comedy in front of 1,000 people. Ahmed Ahmed seemed to like what I did and offered me the opening act role for his upcoming shows.
“It’s an honour to get the offer, after all, he is an international act and has starred in films like Iron Man and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan. But to do that, I would have to drop everything and sacrifice what I have achieved. I don’t think I am able to do that,” said Sarimah, who has more than 15 years of experience in TV hosting, acting and singing.
The quick-witted celebrity started her career in 1995, at the tender age of 17. Her movie credits include Puteri Impian 2, Janji Diana, MX3, Spinning Gasing, Gerak Khas III and Apokalips, which will premiere next year.
“I truly love acting but I also love the stage. Theatre acting is very inspiring and challenging but I’m in a dilemma because I can’t fit into the punishing schedule. Theatre acting is so time consuming,” she added.
Sarimah was last seen in theatre productions like Mak Dara Nyonya and Tun Mahathir The Musical.
If anything, Sarimah is thankful that she has been able to look after her career and reputation well.
“Each time you leave your house, you have to look after your reputation. When you don’t mingle with a certain crowd, you are perceived as being selective. At times, you can be misinterpreted as being a difficult person,” said Sarimah, who has had her life scrutinised by the tabloid media. But she remains positive and upbeat, choosing to focus on her career and fans.
Popularity is hardly an issue. She commands a following of 15,000 on Twitter and has 48,000 fans on Facebook.
When asked about her professional life and quirks, she added, “Despite what has been said and written about me, I’m actually not a demanding person. I’m a perfectionist which has often been misinterpreted as being demanding.”