“PEOPLE THINK I’M SUPER-FRIENDLY BUT..."
A10-year-old girl stands on the stage in an empty auditorium, prepping for a musical rehearsal when the lights come on, and in that moment, she's struck by a blinding thought: “Oh gosh, I want this forever.” That girl would grow up to become one of Malaysia's proudest talents – Hani Hatim, better known as Hunny Madu. Wearing many hats at once, she's a TV host, singer, songwriter, and now entrepreneur, having added launching a makeup line and owning a recording studio to the list. Beaming with pride, there's no mistaking all the career highs she's had as she regales me with tales of her first gig outside of Malaysia (in Chiang Mai for New Year's Eve), performing at Istana Budaya with an outstanding orchestra, and even interviewing the cast of Fast & Furious in Los Angeles, where she learnt all the intricacies of what goes on behind the scenes. But, if she had to choose, no role could be as endearing as being the mother of the cheeky and adorable Eva, who will be turning five this December.
A STRONG FOUNDATION
The first thing you'll notice about Hunny is the quiet air of confidence she carries, which tells you just how comfortable she is in her own skin – and I soon find out it's been years in the making as she reminisces, fondly, “I'm very lucky that my parents have always been very supportive. In the car, on the way back to my mum's hometown, she would always make me the 'jukebox' and say, ‘You've got a good voice, Hani.'” Instilling in their daughter the importance of always going after what puts the fire in her belly, Hunny continues to bring that backbone of fervour into all that she does in life – which is why, when I ask what keeps her going through exhausting days, she struggles to remember the last time she'd felt that way. “I feel that whatever I do is driven by passion. I've never been forced to do something I don't like. Even at an event where a client is being difficult, I'll sit in a corner, do my job, and leave the negative energy behind. I tell myself it's just another day,” she answers.
In fact, very few things can rattle her – yes, not even hate comments. She laughs,