‘Akademi Fantasia’ winner Mawi to make acting comeback in ‘Munafik 2’
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.
‘Akademi Fantasia’ Season 3 winner Mawi (right) and awardwinning director Syamsul Yusof performing during Anugerah Juara Lagu in Kuala Lumpur recently.