‘Akademi Fan­ta­sia’ winner Mawi to make act­ing come­back in ‘Mu­nafik 2’

New Straits Times - - Entertainment - By Den­nis Chua

HIS last movie out­ing was in the KRU-pro­duced fan­tasy-com­edy Magika in 2010, play­ing the Her­cules of Malay folk­lore, Badang.

Mawi, 36, whose real name is As­mawi Ani, now re­turns to flex his act­ing mus­cles in award-win­ning di­rec­tor Syam­sul Yu­sof’s Mu­nafik 2, which is be­ing filmed.

In this se­quel to the first movie re­leased last year, Mawi plays Azhar, a boat­man.

“I’ve been part of Mu­nafik from the be­gin­ning, but not as an ac­tor,” he told the New Straits Times re­cently

“To­gether with Syam­sul, we recorded the theme song Kalah Dalam Me­nang in Mu­nafik, which went on to the fi­nals of Anugerah Juara Lagu early this year.”

In Mu­nafik 2, Mawi will record an­other duet with Syam­sul for the film.

“This new tune is a spir­i­tual one. It will sound dif­fer­ent from Kalah Dalam Me­nang.”

More than a decade ago, Mawi took the lo­cal en­ter­tain­ment scene by storm af­ter win­ning Sea­son 3 of Akademi Fan­ta­sia.

Blessed with a deep, soul­ful voice, he be­came a singing sen­sa­tion. The mere men­tion of his name can send fans into hys­te­ria.

But all good things come to an end. His pop­u­lar­ity faded af­ter he tied the knot with artiste Ekin Rah­mat in 2008.

He then pur­sued act­ing, ap­pear­ing in ro­man­tic com­edy film Jin Notti op­po­site tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity Fara Fauzana in 2009, and Magika the fol­low­ing year with Diana Danielle.

He then took a break to spend more time with his wife and daugh­ter, Ca­haya Malaika As­mawi, who is 5 this year.

Does he miss be­ing the pop­u­lar celebrity he once was?

“Not at all. It was stress­ful be­ing pop­u­lar.

“I’m con­tent and happy where I am now,” said Mawi, who runs a pro­duc­tion com­pany, Mawi World En­ter­tain­ment, which he formed a decade ago.

“Over the years, I have de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in travel doc­u­men­taries.

“We have made a few, like Langkah Mawi, and I look for­ward to mak­ing more,” said Mawi, who went to Pales­tine last year to doc­u­ment life in the Holy Land.

Come Ra­madan, his 26-episode trav­el­ogue ti­tled Trav­elog Musafir will air on RTM. It sees him ex­plor­ing parts of the coun­try and meet­ing the less for­tu­nate.

To­wards the end of the year, he will be pro­duc­ing and di­rect­ing a com­edy, Cerita Rock Sangkut, which stars him­self, Joey Daud, Abam and Hazama.

On his role in Mu­nafik 2, Mawi said Azhar is a God-fear­ing young man who be­comes a good friend of the hero, Syam­sul’s char­ac­ter, Us­taz Adam. It is Azhar who in­tro­duces Adam to the fe­male lead, Sak­i­nah (Maya Karin), whose son is tor­mented by a de­viant teacher.”

Mawi en­joys work­ing with Syam­sul as he is also a fan of the lat­ter’s work.

“I par­tic­u­larly love his ac­tion­packed movie KL Gang­ster, be­cause be­yond its vi­o­lent fight scenes is solid sto­ry­telling.

Fur­ther­more, Syam­sul’s movies al­ways have a spir­i­tual theme, which Mawi says he likes.

FILE PIC

‘Akademi Fan­ta­sia’ Sea­son 3 winner Mawi (right) and award­win­ning di­rec­tor Syam­sul Yu­sof per­form­ing dur­ing Anugerah Juara Lagu in Kuala Lumpur re­cently.

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