Up-and-coming actress Sharifah Sakinah is fast becoming a familiar face in the Malaysian entertainment scene. The 29-year-old mother of one has a strong following on Instagram, which she uses as her main avenue for marketing, as well as to spread positivity.

With Merdeka around the corner, Sakinah reveals that she is starring in the film Rise: Ini Kalilah, a film inspired by the events of the 14th Malaysian general elections (GE14). In the movie she stars as the dutiful wife of a policeman (Remy Ishak), who devotes her life to her family.

The film, the brainchild of executive producer Fred Chong and directed by Saw Teong Hin, Nik Amir Mustapha and Prem Nath, is slated for release in mid-September, in conjunction with Malaysia Day (Sept 16).

We caught up with Sakinah to find out what she has been up to career-wise, and in her personal life.

What are some of the highlights of your career?

My comedy TV series, Girlfriend Aku Dari Neraka and the telemovie Isteri Aku Dari Neraka were more than just shows, I received a lot of positive feedback from viewers and fans, saying that they could feel their stress levels had reduced after watching them. Several fans even made parodies and posted them online!

I feel that this, being able to make viewers happy, is an achievement to me, because as a performer I consider it a success to reach out to audiences in this way.

What do you love about your job and what are some of the challenges?

Acting is my passion, and to me I do all things all with passion – if I don’t feel like doing something, I would not do it.

The challenge nowadays is creating meaningful and good content as an influencer on social media. Social media is a platform to communicate and engage with my followers and so the “fun” challenge is to create content that is relevant to your audience, which is fun and entertaining but also imparts positive messages … through my daily life, posts with my daughter (who is one), my fitness posts and so on.

“The challenge nowadays is creating meaningful and good content as an influencer on social media.” – Sakinah

Tell me about your daily skincare regime. What are some beauty products that you can’t live without?

I keep it simple with cleanser, toner, and SPF!

What is your personal style? How do you dress on a daily basis and for events?

I cannot live without my sneakers and white t-shirts, that’s my uniform. Sometimes my friends joke and say, “Don’t you have anything else to wear?”

Before 1pm, I live in my sports attire, and in the afternoon, it’s usually a white t-shirt with a skirt and jeans.

For night time events, I wear mostly black with a hint of bold colour, and minimal accessories. I love my Garmin watch which I pair with just about everything.

Do you have any favourite travel destinations?

Canggu, Bali! It’s a plastic-free neighbourhood, vegan community, healthy neighbourhood and the pre-schools there are outdoors! I was there for three weeks and really got to experience the outdoorsy, healthy lifestyle of the community there.

Being a fitness enthusiast, what is your workout regime?

I do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Circuit training and running! I go to the gym for an hour every day and I run three times a week.

What are your plans for this Merdeka?

Spending time with my family, but I am also going to expose my daughter Anais to the Merdeka celebrations. She is too young to go to the parade, but I’m planning to sit with her and watch the live telecast of the marching, parade, performances, the jet fly-by, just to show her one way that Merdeka is celebrated.

What does Merdeka mean to you?

I like to express my patriotism through fashion. I love wearing batik, baju kurung and baju kedah, mixing them up with skinny jeans and skirts.

Lastly, what are the most important things in life for you and why?

To me, health is wealth, but above all we need to take care of our environment.

I am taking steps to change certain things in my lifestyle for example using a bamboo toothbrush, not using plastic straws and so on.