The term ‘triple threat’ is used to describe either an individual who is an expert in three different fields or someone who has three different skills in a particular field. However in Aishah Sinclair’s case, ‘triple threat’ may not suffice. Not only is the 36-year-old a successful television host and actress, she is also an emcee and radio deejay with MIX fm. ‘Quadruple threat’ sounds more likely.
This November, we sit down with the Malaysian sweetheart as she discusses her longevity in the entertainment industry; her zeal for working out, the health foods which she swears by; and how she manages to stay on top of things.
The girl behind the TV personality
Considering the longevity (12 years!) and success of her career in the entertainment business, one would think that Aishah is nothing less than outgoing and extroverted – the life of the party, so to speak. When we bring this up to her during our interview, the mother of two can’t help but laugh.
“You know what, I’m actually quite a shy person. Given the choice between staying at home with my kids or hanging out, I’d opt for the former. It may be hard to believe but I can be rather awkward around people at times,” she explains. So, how does she seem so confident and comfortable in front of the camera? “I’m reserved but my job forces me to be an extrovert. So, every time I secure a gig, I’ll get into my ‘work’ mode.”
‘It fell into my lap’
When asked if she always had plans to make it big in show business, Aishah says, “It wasn’t planned at all. It fell into my lap. I started doing commercials after my SPM exams as I was often approached by people with television commercial offers. Although I did do commercials for a few years, I didn’t plan on making it big in the entertainment industry.”
Unlike some who would have seen it as their opportunity to break into the entertainment industry, she had other plans in mind. “I took up mass communications at university, specializing in public relations.” But it seemed that she was destined for show business. “After graduating, I worked in the public relations sector for a year after which I quit. Just at that time, the lady who would always call me about commercial opportunities suggested that I try out for a hosting job at Astro Ria. I was like, ‘Fine, I’ll give it a go.’ I never gave it much thought, what more that it would actually turn out to be my foray into the showbiz!” But it did. She auditioned and was told that she had gotten the job. And as cliché as it sounds, the rest was history.
Sacrifice? What sacrifice?
There is a quote which goes like this ‘there is no progress or accomplishment without sacrifice’. So, what sacrifices did Aishah have to make to become the accomplished person she is now? “I don’t really like the word ‘sacrifices’ because I feel it connotes something negative. I see them as decisions I made. I don’t look back and view it as something I regret. I don’t think that way. I don’t want to think of myself as some martyr. There were many choices I had to make to get where I am and looking back now, I don’t think I would have done it any differently.”
As Aishah talks about her big break and the many accomplishments which followed, it is impossible for her to not mention her family and friends. “I have a great support system. When I told my parents that I hoped to work in entertainment, they gave me their blessings and told me to follow m heart. They are just the best.”
“My husband’s fantastic too. He’s the kind of person who will encourage me to do what I’m passionate about. There are times when I’ll be tired after a long day of shooting but he’ll tell me things like ‘You can do it!’ He’s really sweet,” she gushes. “My friends are also very understanding. Although they initially took some time getting used to strangers stopping us in the middle of the street to take pictures with me, they are alright with it now.”
Finding her balance
It is a well-known fact that Aishah is a busy, busy woman. Even more so, now that she is spearheading MIX fm’s Extreme Mums campaign. So, it begets the question: how does she stay fit and healthy while juggling so many responsibilities? Aishah admits, “I do have a lot of stuff on my plate. I need to prioritize family, kids, work. Unfortunately, the first thing that gets bumped off the list is my fitness routine. I wish I had enough discipline to do yoga at home. I love going to the gym and I love seeing the changes that my body goes through when I work out. But with my work schedule, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.”
“So, to stay fit, I participate in races as much as my schedule allows me. Running forces me to train regularly, which I do with my father and brother. On occasions when I can’t work out, I watch what I eat. I ensure that my diet contains as little sugar as possible. I also avoid processed foods; I opt for healthy, natural foods. For instance, I start my day with a shot of wheatgrass every morning. It’s important to pay attention to what I eat, especially when I can’t exercise much. And of course, drinking lots of water is a must. I make an effort to drink 4 litres of water daily.” Another healthy practice which Aishah swears by is adequate sleep. “I need at least seven hours of sleep daily. It’s not always possible with my work load but hey, I do my best!”
‘Find your own niche’
Aiming to make it big in showbiz? Aishah has some valuable advice for those aspiring media personalities. “Back then, say 15 years ago, if you had a nice face and could talk, you could become a television host. But nowadays, it isn’t the case. Style is one thing but you need to have substance meaning you need to develop your own niche. Learn and grow until you become an expert in a particular subject. I’m not saying to become a PhD holder but you definitely need to know your stuff. Remember, looks fade but knowledge lasts!”