Entertainer Sharifah Shahirah can do it all. The actress-host is the new morning show presenter for the Suria Pagi segment (weekdays, 5am-10am) with Zulin Aziz and Fizi Ali. Understandably, in her first week on the job, 43-year-old Sharifah is having jitters.
“I’m still unsure about Suria Pagi listeners. Will they find us annoying if we laugh too much? Will the listeners like our banters?” she said during an interview in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Sharifah comes in as a replacement for comedian Shahrol Azizie Azmi, who left the Suria Pagi segment in October last year. From her 20 years of experience in the showbiz industry, Sharifah knows one thing for sure – you can’t make everyone like you.
“It’s not easy to make people like you right away. I’m someone who reads comments on social media. I’m aware of how people would feel if we, entertainers, do things that they don’t like. It’s only our first week and I hope people will give us the time to find our footing.”
However, this is not the first time Sharifah has helmed a radio show. Back in 2010, she hosted a Suria segment with Halim Othman for one year.
“I didn’t think that anyone would be interested to call me again to be a radio presenter. I’ve always just been an on-screen entertainer. So when the offer came along, I couldn’t say no,” she said.
She added: “I talked to my husband (actor Zulkifli Azahari) about the offer and he said, ‘go ahead’. I’m excited to be back at Suria again.”
Secret to long-running career
Sharifah is known for wit and her sense of humour. She received the Anugerah Seri Angkasa award for Best Comedic Actress for her role in the sitcom Ada Ada Aje in 2005. She has also hosted a number of local entertainment events as well as talk shows like Nasi Lemak Kopi O.
“I don’t think I’m satisfied with what I have done so far. When you talk about hosting, I’ve yet to achieve something like having my own talk show,” she noted.
Sharifah, who has been in showbiz since she was 18 years old, said she has never had a manager. Her secret to booking a steady stream of gigs is to simply maintaining a strong sense of discipline.
“Life is a gamble. When you get the chance to do something, don’t waste it. Be nice to others and always work hard. That is the main thing.”
She added: “If you’re going to be late for an appointment or not show up at all, then just call up and explain yourself. I don’t like how some new talents today are always late for work, despite having a manager or personal assistant. I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for these people. Do they not want to be in the industry for a long time?”
The fast-talking entertainer also lamented that some of the new talents that she has worked with seemed more interested in their social media feed than talking to others on set.
“I believe in fostering real relationships with people who are around me.”
The mother of five children said that having a good helper at home is also instrumental for her to focus on her career. Sharifah’s eldest child is 20 years old and her youngest is two years old.
“How do I juggle everything? Well, I realise that as I get older, I don’t need sleep that much,” she said laughing. “But I can’t complain. This is the life have I chosen. I always tell myself that there are others worse off than me.
“My friend (actress-host) Raja Azura has three kids and she’s a single mother. She’s doing great on her own.”
Jovial Sharifah hopes to continue being an entertainer for as long as she lives.
“I’m also hoping that my helper will never run away.”