As 2020 comes to near close, we round up our 12 inspiring digital cover stories from the past twelve months.
This year’s list was filled with many interesting, inspiring and creative individuals who have paved their own paths in life and have created a legacy worth remembering.
As we look forward to what 2021 has to offer, here’s the best of our 2020 Inspire features.
In January, we explored and unlocked the way of the human mind with Joey Yap, who taught us his unique brand of Chinese metaphysics, otherwise also known as fengshui. Our chat with the principal consultant of the Joey Yap Consulting Group, speaker and author of over 179 books revealed how fengshui is more than just placing toads in a corner; it is a branch of Chinese metaphysics encompassing different pillars of a bigger picture, and that is of yourself.
In the month of love, we had our faith in romance restored with the love story of Rizman Nordin and Nurida Suraya. He knew he wanted to marry her the first time he met her and even popped the question as a light-hearted attempt at flirting. Little did they know that he would ask the question again three months in – for real this time – and that she would sincerely say yes, marking the beginning of their beautiful marriage as one of Kuala Lumpur’s most stylish couples.
Before the pandemic hit and the world went into lockdown, Farah Ann Abdul Hadi was gearing up for the biggest moment in her career. The first-time Olympian was about to take on her dreams to the world stage and she’s looking inwards towards her femininity for strength and motivation. The Olympics may have been indefinitely postponed, but we got to see the real Farah Ann as she opened up about her fears, vulnerabilities and hopes for what was to be her biggest moment in this sport yet.
Frequenters of Soleil Restaurant in Damansara City Mall will be familiar with the floor-to-ceiling glass wine cellar tucked to one side of the restaurant. This is owner Derrick Tan’s pride and joy, the heart around which the basis of Soleil Restaurant itself was first conceived. Put together under SW Wine Depot, the wines are each hand-selected by Derrick under his philosophy of bringing in good value for money wines that customers can buy in bulk and with a good cellaring value. Here is where Derrick has materialised his vision for a place where appreciators from beginners to the advanced can come together, open a bottle of wine, learn, discover and connect over a simple glass of vino.
When Zaida Ibrahim said “I do” to Arif Azizi in August of 2016, she was saying yes to two new chapters of her life simultaneously. One was becoming the wife to the man she calls her “best friend”. The other was officially becoming mama to Arif’s 7-year-old son, Adam. Now that she is a mother of two, she is discovering how a woman’s capacity to love is not constrained to labels, a story she shared with us along with photographs taken by Arif from the intimate setting of their own home in the height of the pandemic.
For Father’s Day in June, we explored the unbreakable bond of father and son with Datuk Doraisingam Pillai and Karthiik Doraisingam for the iconic Lotus Group. Datuk R Doraisingam built The Lotus Group and its restaurants, cinemas, hotels and resorts from scratch. Now, the time has come for his son Karthiik to join him and write a new chapter together.
Don’t just call Daiyan Trisha a singer. She’s also a songwriter, actress, poet, content creator and executive producer of her own debut album – and who knows what next? At 26, the multi-talented Malaysian is still “losing herself and finding herself” – as expressed on her poetry page – in the many pastures of the local entertainment scene. In this interview, we learnt that there is definitely more to Daiyan Trisha than meets the eye (or greets the ears) and she’s still discovering it all for herself – one artistic expression at a time.
In August, we delve into the creative makings of Ridduan TTFGA Ismail. It’s easy to just call TTFGA a photographer. His name, after all, literally means that, an acronym that stands for Tukang Tangkap Foto Gembira Anda. In Malay, it means your happy photographer, an apt encapsulation of the high energy, easy-to-smile yet incredibly laidback personality with the piercing gaze that he is. It’s easy to just call TTFGA a photographer, but it’s not quite accurate, since he’s also dabbled in fashion design, styling, curating, modeling, and currently runs the most talked about modeling agency in town: Topboi Citizen. They are all proof that constantly evolving in originality – in his own style and time, of course – is his only way forward.
In September, we got to know Ally Mukhriz, who is doing things most people her age are terrified of doing right now. Despite being only 25, she knows she has found the love of her life and tied the knot in a resplendent ceremony early this year. The global pandemic has put a hold on her plans to travel but that’s just as well because she’s just been easing into married life. Most recently, she’s waiting to hear back from a few job applications but that’s not stopping her from moving out to her own place, the move being something she is describing as “a real process” that’s “been so exciting”. Ally is a 25-year-old who grew up in the spotlight but is, in actual fact, just like the rest of us – she’s just trying to figure her own life out while making the best out of the situation.
In October, Jazeman Jaafar, Nabil Jeffri and Tan Weiron shared their story of how they were gathered to make the first all-Asian and all-Malaysian team to try the country’s hand at endurance driving – marked by 24 hours on the track survived by pure teamwork, heart-stopping adrenaline and a tenacity to keep going when everything has been expended. Driven by their passion for the sport and propelled by love for the country, the three answered the call and led Malaysia to podium finishes in five out of the eight rounds they were due to complete before unforeseen circumstances pulled the plug on their Le Mans dream. But out of the dust rises a new bond between them that will never die, one of brotherhood, faith and unwavering trust.
November marks the 40th birthday of Marion Caunter, an occasion that would have been a big deal for most people, but one which Marion is observing with a scaled down celebration this year due to the pandemic. Passionate, loyal, dedicated, reads her Instagram bio. As she turns 40, this is how the words have evolved for her, from building blocks of an earlier time to now lighting the way for the upcoming chapter.
In December, we sat down and spoke about tech, youth and the future with Terimunite, Trunan and Tanestrran Chandran. Style, beauty and glamour may make up a big part of their childhoods, but all grown up now, the three out of four of Dato’ Sri Bernard Chandran’s sons are coming out to charter their own paths in a world increasingly dictated by tech, creativity and innovation, inspired by their parents, but driven by their own passions.